In his USA Today column, DeWayne Wickham tackles what has essentially become President Barack Obama's invisible war on terrorism. He says that because of the faltering economy, the president's economic policies have gotten more attention than his relentless war on terrorism. However, Obama's success abroad and the relative peace that the nation enjoys today likely will be appreciated later in the history books.
Given the state of this nation's troubled economy — which has spawned a grass-roots movement against economic inequities and corporate greed — it's no surprise President Obama's economic policies have gotten more attention than his war on terrorism.
While a traditional reading of the political tea leaves suggests America's financial health will weigh more heavily on voters in next year's presidential election than the hunt for Osama bin Laden's linear successors, the president deserves a lot more credit than he's been given for the war he's waging.
No, Obama hasn't undone the economic mess he inherited from his predecessor, but he has decimated the ranks of the terrorist leaders who commanded the 9/11 attacks. In doing so, Obama has made America a lot safer than it was four years ago — which should also weigh heavily on voters' minds in 2012.
The pinnacle of the Obama-led war on terrorism (though the president pointedly avoids this term) has been the killing of bin Laden by a team of Navy SEALs who attacked his compound in Pakistan. Over the past decade, the near-mythical al-Qaeda mastermind taunted this country with video and tape-recorded messages that threatened more attacks. And let us not forget that bin Laden was free to do so for a decade after the managers of George W. Bush's war on terrorism let him escape from Afghanistan in the battle of Tora Bora. Though the threats proved to be more talk than action, they elevated the fear level in this country.
Read DeWayne Wickham's entire column at USA Today.
DeWayne Wickham is a syndicated columnist, as well as a founding member and former president of the National Association of Black Journalists. He is also dean of the School of Global Journalism & Communication at Morgan State University.