Obama: Press overstates the threat of terrorism compared to climate change

President Obama sat down with a friendly interviewer and made some rather startling comments about terrorism.

Speaking to Vox executive editor and one of his biggest cheerleaders, Matthew Yglesias, the president made clear that he doesn't think terrorism is much of a threat compared to other issues like poverty or global warming.

Washington Free Beacon:

Executive editor Matthew Yglesias asked the president whether he believes the media overstates the threat of terror in comparison to other issues, like climate change.

President Obama said he could not blame the media for the hype because it brings in viewers. He went on to say that the average American viewer does not care about stories about poverty rates or global climate change.

In an effort to protect the American people, the reaction to terrorism has to be like a big city mayor handles crime.

“It is right and appropriate for us to be vigilant and aggressive in trying to deal with that–the same way a big city mayor’s got to cut the crime rate down if he wants that city to thrive,” Obama said.

Obama also said that the strategy Washington has crafted to handle terrorism does not match up with the actual threats were out there.

So terrorism is a media creation and that fighting terrorism is no different from fighting crime.

Sheesh.

There is a valid point to be made about terrorism - at present - not being an "existential threat" to the United States. Even Islamic State is unable to project its power beyond Iraq and Syria in any meaningful way. And by that I mean even a mass casualty terror attack on American soil would not threaten to bring down the country (nuclear weapons excluded, of course).

But the point isn't that they aren't capable now - the point is do we wait until they have the means and opportunity to destroy us before taking serious action? Do we dedicate the resources necessary to smash them while they are in their infancy? Or do we wait until they grow up and then become a threat?

Most historians agree that if the French had responded to Hitler's remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936 by attacking Germany, the German army would have been humiliated and Hitler would probably have been overthrown. Obama's "Rhineland strategy" with regard to terrorism will probably work just as well. And history will have to decide whether he was right or not.

President Obama sat down with a friendly interviewer and made some rather startling comments about terrorism.

Speaking to Vox executive editor and one of his biggest cheerleaders, Matthew Yglesias, the president made clear that he doesn't think terrorism is much of a threat compared to other issues like poverty or global warming.

Washington Free Beacon:

Executive editor Matthew Yglesias asked the president whether he believes the media overstates the threat of terror in comparison to other issues, like climate change.

President Obama said he could not blame the media for the hype because it brings in viewers. He went on to say that the average American viewer does not care about stories about poverty rates or global climate change.

In an effort to protect the American people, the reaction to terrorism has to be like a big city mayor handles crime.

“It is right and appropriate for us to be vigilant and aggressive in trying to deal with that–the same way a big city mayor’s got to cut the crime rate down if he wants that city to thrive,” Obama said.

Obama also said that the strategy Washington has crafted to handle terrorism does not match up with the actual threats were out there.

So terrorism is a media creation and that fighting terrorism is no different from fighting crime.

Sheesh.

There is a valid point to be made about terrorism - at present - not being an "existential threat" to the United States. Even Islamic State is unable to project its power beyond Iraq and Syria in any meaningful way. And by that I mean even a mass casualty terror attack on American soil would not threaten to bring down the country (nuclear weapons excluded, of course).

But the point isn't that they aren't capable now - the point is do we wait until they have the means and opportunity to destroy us before taking serious action? Do we dedicate the resources necessary to smash them while they are in their infancy? Or do we wait until they grow up and then become a threat?

Most historians agree that if the French had responded to Hitler's remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936 by attacking Germany, the German army would have been humiliated and Hitler would probably have been overthrown. Obama's "Rhineland strategy" with regard to terrorism will probably work just as well. And history will have to decide whether he was right or not.