01/23/09 — Hope vs. reality: Changes to the way U.S. handles terror suspects scary

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Hope vs. reality: Changes to the way U.S. handles terror suspects scary

It should come as no surprise to anyone that President Barack Obama has issued an executive order to close the detention center for terror suspects in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He promised to do so on his campaign swing across America.

And, the fact that there is increasing scrutiny over interrogation methods should also not come as a shock -- that was part of his platform, too.

There is already a cacophony of voices in the Obama administration assuring the world that the United States has given up its antagonistic, predatory and prickly handling of world affairs and is ready to deal.

That pronouncement and all the aforementioned developments during the first official week of the Obama presidency should make all of us wary and watchful as the new American foreign policy unfolds.

Even those who have fervently supported the efforts to gain information out of terror suspects and rejoiced at the hard line the Bush administration held to for the last eight years agree that there is reason to take a look at a new view of dealing with the world.

But very few of them want to see the U.S. pretend that you can negotiate with terrorists or expect them to become reformed simply by a kinder and gentler approach to diplomacy.

People who chop off innocent people's heads and kill thousands with airplanes are not interested in diplomacy. They are interested in martyrdom. No amount of hand holding and new attitude will change that.

Now that we are closing Guantanamo Bay, there will be terror suspects to place somewhere. Some people are suggesting Hollywood or Malibu as the perfect place for a detention facility.

Sure sounds like a good idea. That way, we will know for sure if those who preach a new world view are really willing to stand by it when it comes to their neighborhood.

Published in Editorials on January 23, 2009 11:19 AM