In his USA Today column, DeWayne Wickham highlights the Republican Party's efforts to downplay President Barack Obama's success in the war on terror. Almost all attempts have backfired because most Americans are pleased with the president's actions, he writes.
The most revealing moment of the Republican presidential debate in Spartanburg, S.C., came just after that political stage show lost a big chunk of its national television audience. It was at the beginning of the final 30 minutes of the 90-minute debate (just the first 60 minutes was aired nationally) that the moderator, CBS News anchor Scott Pelley — in a pandering abdication of his role — gave Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a chance to lob a softball foreign policy question to his GOP brethren.
Graham wanted to know whether any of his party's presidential hopefuls would continue President Obama's policy of not using enhanced interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects; using civilian courts in some instances to try suspected enemy combatants; and not sending future captives from the war on terror to the Navy base on Guantanamo Bay, Cuba …
When it comes to the war on terror, the GOP has struggled to find an Obama soft spot. It was the president who ordered Navy SEALs to storm Osama bin Laden's Pakistan hideout — a raid that resulted in his death. And it has been on Obama's watch that the body count of al-Qaeda and other anti-American terrorists has grown dramatically. Obama ended the war in Iraq and has ordered all U.S. troops out by the end of this year. Al-Qaeda has been defeated in Afghanistan, and the Taliban is on the ropes. The president has wisely decided that most of the nation-building work that largely remains in Afghanistan must be done by that country's political leaders, police and military. He has ordered a steady withdrawal of U.S. troops from that quagmire that will bring most of them home by 2014 — an action that sits well with most Americans.
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.