Paul A. Ibbetson
Presentation vs. taste: Why Barack Obama is cooking up disaster in the war on terror
By Paul A. Ibbetson
January 7, 2010

There is little doubt that my pallet is not as refined as my liberal friends' and I have always found it hard to watch the gourmet shows where hours are spent meticulously preparing complex dishes that then cover about three inches of the plate. I guess you can say that while the crème de la crème is still waiting for their single mouthful of Lobster and Prawn Mornay, I will be finishing the last bites of a full plate of steak and potatoes. However, there is one very practical thing that can be learned from the fancy dishes tossed about from those exotic chefs of iron and that is the value of presentation. It is undoubtedly true that we eat first with our eyes. It is this use of presentation to the American people, our enemies, and our allies in the war on terror by the Barack Obama administration that I wish to discuss now.

Barack Obama, since becoming president, has gone on a quest to improve what he states is a negative world image of America. To do this he has ordered the closing of Guantanamo Bay despite not having a plan for where to relocate the prisoners of that facility. The President has also, without qualification, pronounced this country a land of torturers with its use of advanced interrogation techniques and now the administration poises itself to make 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed the most well-known terrorist recruiter in the world by way of a lengthy public show trial.

While all this is taking place, the Obama administration solidifies a transition back to the pre-9/11 reactive criminal justice style of opposition to terrorism. If we put the actions of Barack Obama in the war on terror on the plate of reality, how is he presenting America to those that want to kill us? Is there any doubt left in this great nation that Obama is inviting terrorists to our doorstep through these actions?

While American soldiers continue to fight abroad, Obama's months of indecision to send the requested troops to Afghanistan in combination with a public troop withdrawal date sends a clear message that this administration is not in the fight. The Homeland Secretary's attempt to change the word "terrorism" into "man-caused disasters" shows our enemies that we have less of a desire to get away from promoting the politics of fear to the world, and more that this administration operates within the politics of the frightened when it comes to facing radical Islamic terrorism. When U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, you know, the guy whose business cards read "soldier of Allah," killed American soldiers on American soil, Barack Obama's first words were that we should not be quick to come to judgment. When Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the terrorist who attempted to blow up Northwest Flight 253 is caught, instead of screaming the war cry that Americans won't stand for this, the news is prosaic with statements that the unfortunate happening was an isolated incident in combination with Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano's mild concern over the event and praise for post-event procedures.

The bottom line is that presentation matters, and Barack Obama would do well to embrace the Reagan philosophy of "Peace through Strength" before it is too late. To those who are put out over the idea of having to hold their bowels one hour before airport landings or being made to parade in front of full-body scanners, projecting their little naked selves at the airport, all I can say is this, "you ain't seen nothing yet." As the Obama administration continues to present America as a country unable to hear, speak, or think about bringing the fight to the terrorists, frequent flyers should prepare themselves for future cavity searches with their names on them and much, much more.

The answer is as obvious as a poorly cooked Lobster and Prawn Mornay, well, more like a poorly cooked T-bone; this administration cannot handle the heat of the kitchen when it comes to fighting radical Islamic terrorists and those that aid them. While Obama twiddles and vacillates on the issue of fighting and destroying an enemy that is not going to stop, we, the American people, will be forced to eat every un-tasty dish in the form of suffering the consequences of presenting a weak front in the war on terror.

© Paul A. Ibbetson


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Paul A. Ibbetson

Dr. Paul A. Ibbetson is a former Chief of Police of Cherryvale, Kansas, and member of the Montgomery County Drug Task Force. Paul received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Criminal Justice at Wichita State University, and his PhD. in sociology at Kansas State University. Paul is the author of several books and is also the radio host of the Kansas Broadcasting Association's 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 award winning, Conscience of Kansas airing across the state. Visit his website at For interviews or questions, please contact


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