In his statement yesterday, President Obama confirmed what Senator Lieberman hinted at Sunday on FoxNews (via Instapundit) “that Yemen needs to be a focal point” of our response to the attempt to blow up Northwest Flight 253:
President Obama, acting just minutes after a Yemeni group affiliated with Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the airplane bombing attempt over Detroit on Christmas, declared Monday that the United States would continue to press its accelerated offensive against terror cells in Yemen and elsewhere in the world. . . .
“We will continue to use every element of our national power to disrupt, to dismantle, and defeat the violent extremists who threaten us–whether they are from Afghanistan or Pakistan, Yemen or Somalia, or anywhere where they are plotting attacks against the U.S. homeland.”
Indeed, the Administration has since increased the pressure on the nation on the Southwest corner of the Arabian peninsula with whom our government has worked to root out terrorist operations:
Since the attack, U.S. officials have repeatedly upped their pressure on the Yemen government to help them investigate Abdulmutallab’s ties to Al Qaeda, which he said had provided training and explosives.
Even before the Detroit incident, the United States in conjunction with the government of Yemen–had aggressively stepped up its counter-terrorism operations in the country, seeking to combat a rapidly expanding Al Qaeda network there.
Seems like steps in the right direction. Still, in the war against Islamicist terrorists who seek to murder American civilians in their war on Western civilization, the incumbent president of the United States has not used the bully pulpit as effectively as his predecessor did nor has he used it as aggressively (or as readily) as he has used it himself on issues of lesser import.
His Administration, however, are taking action. And that’s nothing to sneeze at. But, right action is not always enough, we also need rhetoric with greater resolve. Let’s hope the president’s team follows up on their initial steps, not letting up, continuing to pursue the terrorists (and their enablers) aggressively.
The President would serve himself (and the nation) well if he didn’t repeat a mistake his predecessor did in the wake of 9/11: retaining his national security/intelligence team. Obama could start by asking for the resignation of his Homeland Security Secretary.
Let us hope he uses the power of the bully pulpit more readily and more effectively in the coming year than he has in recent days instead use it as he had used it in other endeavors in the past year.