Today, according to BBC News, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he was reviewing "specific and discretionary" powers to bar Islamic State terrorist suspects from returning to the UK. The statement comes on the heals of the UK's terror threat level being raised to "severe" from "substantial" on Friday.
One of the items that is being proposed is the prevention of UK nationals, suspected of being involved in terror acts, from re-entering the UK for a period of time. However, they would be allowed to keep their British citizenship. This may meet with some opposition because, like the U.S. Congress, Parliament has to deal with liberal democrats and they have questioned the legality of such measures, and have warned that rendering citizens stateless was regarded as illegal in international law. They have also stated that they will only agree to policies that are made calmly, on the basis of evidence and maintain the liberty of British citizens.
Cameron feels that even though the UK is able to block foreign nationals and those with dual citizenship from re-entering the UK, not having the same power for UK nationals posed a threat to the country. He is also looking at strengthening.powers to monitor suspects in the UK. The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson said, "The UK is looking at working with Germany, Turkey and other countries through which suspected British jihadists traveled to and from the Middle East to alert them to their presence so they could be detained and questioned before setting foot on UK soil." Although plans are not finalized and implemented yet, at least the UK has a plan.
Meanwhile, on the home front, President Obama has announced there is no White House strategy on foreign policy. Of course his team rushed to contain that wild-fire, claiming that not only was there “a range of options” still being considered by the president but a long-term plan as well. Did the president intentionally convene a press conference that seemed to reassure ISIL (or ISIS, IS, whatever) not to worry about the U.S. doing any of the things that they feared? In this case, one must hope that he is, indeed, that incompetent because the alternative is alarming.
The Laurel and Hardy scenario continues with the murder of American journalist James Foley. Obama gave a televised five-minute rant about the atrocity, while at the same time offering no material change in U.S. policy, the 9-iron never leaving his hand. In the meantime, his defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, states that ISIL is an “imminent threat” to U.S. interests. He is backed up by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey, who also feels the need to confront ISIL in Syria. Yet, the very next day, they both would state that ISIL was now just a “regional threat” with no immediate consequences for US national security. Who's on first?
David Cameron acknowledges the terrorist threat to his country. President Obama ignores it here in America. During a White House press briefing this past week, the commander-in-chief said, “I think what I've seen in some of the news reports suggest that folks are getting a little further ahead of what we’re at than what we currently are." Huh? The Constitution empowers Congress to remove a president for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Can that also allow us to remove him for simple abdication of the responsibilities of his office?