Obama's terrorism summit

Obama's terrorism summit -- and another Obama-Bush debate

President Obama conducts national security meeting last week in Hawaii.
CAPTIONBy Pete Souza, The White HouseAs President Obama conducts a summit meeting on the Christmas near-tragedy, backers and critics beyond the White House are sure to be arguing about his approach to terrorism -- writing yet another chapter in the battle between the Obama and George W. Bush presidencies.

Defenders of the Bush approach, led by former Vice President Dick Cheney, say Obama regards terrorism as more of a law enforcement problem and diplomatic challenge than a war.

One outspoken critic, columnist Charles Krauthammer, writes that, "from the very beginning, President Obama has relentlessly tried to downplay and deny the nature of the terrorist threat we continue to face."

Obama backers, including the president himself, say he is taking a comprehensive approach, one that includes diplomatic and economic initiatives as well as force to combat extremism.

In his Saturday radio address, Obama said that on Inauguration Day he "made it very clear" that the U.S. "is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred, and that we will do whatever it takes to defeat them and defend our country."

Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer wrote on the White House blog that the difference with Cheney is that Obama "doesn't need to beat his chest to prove" the nation is at war..


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