The Corner

Charles Krauthammer’s Take

From last night’s All-Star Panel on the Fox News Network: 

On President Obama’s speech in Hawaii on the averted terrorist attack:

It [Abdulmutallab’s arrest] means we will learn absolutely nothing. The minute he gets a lawyer and his Miranda rights, it’s over.

The question people have to ask themselves is: This guy, who tries to blow up an American airplane, who is a Nigerian, who is not an American, is captured — does he have the right to remain silent or do we have the right to interrogate him in order to find out who sent him, who equipped him, who armed him, and who trained him?

It is a question of whether we’re serious about this as a war or whether it’s a mere, as President Obama said, [case of an] isolated extremist. He is not an isolated extremist. Obviously he is connected to al-Qaeda. Obviously he was in Yemen. Obviously there is information he has.

And the question is: Are we going to treat him the way that we’re treating Khalid Sheik Mohammed with a trial and in this case a right to tell us nothing, or [do] what FDR did when the German saboteurs were captured in the United States and he ordered a secret military trial and they were executed. They had no rights.

This confusion . . . starts at the top with the Obama administration. Remember, he [the president] declared at the beginning of his administration that there’s no war on terror. They won’t use the term.

Well, he may have called off the war on terror, but al-Qaeda has not.

On Janet Napolitano’s handling of “man-caused disasters”:

And remember, her department issued a report early in the year in which she warned of the threat of returning American soldiers who might not fit back in society and who might join right-wing extremists engaged in terror or isolated lone-wolf incidents against the United States. Is that the threat that America is facing?

On Obama’s comments on the events in Iran at the end of said speech:

Flaccid words, meaningless words. He talks about aspirations. He talks about rights. He talks about justice in the statement he made.

This isn’t about justice. It isn’t about a low minimum wage. This isn’t about an absence of a public option in health care. This is about freedom. This is a revolution in the streets.

Revolutions happen quickly. There is a moment here in which if the thugs in the street who are shooting in the crowds stop shooting, it’s over and the regime will fall. The courage of the demonstrators and their boldness isn’t only a demonstration of courage, it is an indication of the shift in the balance of power. The regime is weakening.

This is a hinge of history. Everything in the region will change if the regime is changed. Obama ought to be strong out there in saying: It is an illegitimate government. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the people in the street.

He talks about diplomacy. He should be urging our Western allies who have relations [with Iran] to cut them off, isolate the regime, to ostracize it. He ought to be going in the U.N. — at every forum — and denouncing it.

This is a moment in history, and he’s missing it.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”


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