Upholding values will shield US from terror: Obama
President Barack Obama Friday warned America risked its security when it compromised its values, seeking support for his bid to sketch a new legal framework for anti-terror policies.
Obama used the backdrop of the US Naval Academy graduation ceremony to argue that founding US ideals must guide the future battle against terrorism, a day after trying to quell raging debate over Guantanamo Bay in a major speech.
"We uphold our fundamental principles and values not just because we choose to, but because we swear to -- not because they feel good, but because they help keep us safe," Obama told 30,000 graduating navy cadets and family
"When America strays from our values, it not only undermines the rule of law, it alienates us from our allies, it energizes our adversaries and it endangers our national security and the lives of our troops."
Obama told the graduates they would face a "full spectrum of threats" from 18th century-style piracy to cyber terrorism.
"As long as I am your commander-in-chief, I will only send you into harm's way when it is absolutely necessary," Obama said, in an apparent veiled criticism of the Bush administration war in Iraq, which the president has argued was unnecessary.
Ah yes, the rule of law. How, exactly does the "rule of law" protect us from the lawless. How, exactly, do "American values" protect us from those who find those very values to be their Casus belli?
With Iran testing missiles and moving full speed toward developing nukes, the nuclear state of Pakistan battling the Taliban for its survival and the U.S still waging wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the President actually says that the "rule of law" and "American values" will de-energize our adversaries?
This rhetoric represents naivete at a level that is simply unacceptable from the President of the United States and confirms my worst fears about his foreign policy, once he actually develops one. At the moment, he seems to be adopting all of the Bush policies at the same time he derides them. This is no time for mixed messages.
I would like to know which "values" from which we have strayed that, once re-embraced, will keep us safe. I would like to know how "the rule of law" can protect us from those whose only law is that of Sharia.
The campaign is long over, the time for leadership began four months ago.