Barack Does Not Negotiate With Terrorists

Last Friday, The Hill reported a statement made by Louisiana Representative Jeff Landry in the wake of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s death. On Fox Business Network, Landry commented:

“Well, I’m trying to see what the new criteria is for getting a Nobel Peace Prize. Remember they gave it to President Obama right when he took office,” Rep. Jeff Landry (R-La.) said on Fox Business Network. “And right now, I mean when you look at the, amount of people he has killed worldwide, you think to yourself, wow, what do they give it for? Maybe a new set of criteria. I don’t know, it amazes me as well.”

One must commend Rep. Landry for reminding Americans that the reasons behind the Nobel Committee’s decision to give Obama the Peace Prize still remain unclear. However, that question can be put aside for a moment. After all, everyone knows that the Prize started to take on a sense of irony after it was given to Yasser Arafat in 1994, and then lost all merit in 2002 with Jimmy Carter, but that’s a discussion for another time. 

However, Rep. Landry’s comments certainly shed light on another interesting point that has been all-too-overlooked: Obama’s method of dealing with terrorists is starting to become something of a habit. A quick roll call of terrorists killed in the past 3 years: Anwar Al-Awlaki, Hamza al-Jawfi, Osama Bin Laden, Atiyah Abd Al Rahman, Harun Fazul, Younis al-Mauritani, Sheik Saeed al-Masri to name a few. 

Now add Gaddafi to that growing list.








In all these killings, Obama either actively facilitated the killing, or passively did nothing to prevent it, or simply took the credit that was really due to a previous administration for the accomplishment. In any case, he was not disheartened when these killings happened nor did he vilify the fact that they not been given the right to trial in court before meeting the heavy hand of justice. This is certainly a great shock coming from the man who curses the day Guantanamo was ever established and ran an entire campaign promising to bring our troops home.

But it is starting to become hard to deny that Obama has actually become quite the advocate for the use of aggressive force against terrorism. Maybe it is just his attempt to find yet another quick and easy solution to an immense problem without thinking about the real consequences. Are these the proper actions we should be taking? The answer will rely on what his next point of action is, if there is a next one. One thing is clear: it is not safe or just to abandon a job when it starts to get messy.

The deaths of these fallen terrorists could be the most positive change that North Africa and the Middle East have seen in a long time, or it could all too easily become frightening chaos. If Obama can take responsibility and promote good measures towards security in North Africa and the Middle East, he might actually give, in the conveniently vague words of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, “hope for a better future.” 

Rebecca Hecht