Obama sometimes tries to sound tough when it comes to terrorism. For example, he has said that he takes the threat “deadly serious” and would attack al-Qaeda targets inside Pakistan. But terrorists can be forgiven for thinking this is just election talk. Just eight days after 9/11, in an op-ed for the Hyde Park Herald, the senator blamed the attacks on “a failure of empathy” that “grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness, and despair.” As Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs pointed out, Obama made no mention of the role radical Islam played in the hijackers’ lives. Perhaps that’s because acknowledging that an ideology of hatred is behind the murdering of innocents requires one to face the uncomfortable truth that force is often a prerequisite for victory. On the other hand, the belief that we only need to understand where our enemies are coming from allows a person to maintain the delusion that diplomacy and a touch of humility are the answers. Ask yourself this: Would Obama agree more with actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, who once said that “America has done reprehensible things and is responsible in some way” for 9/11, or President Bush, who told the country “on 9/11, our nation saw the face of evil”? (Hint: Gyllenhaal’s rhetoric could have easily come from the mouth of Reverend Jeremiah Wright or former Weatherman William Ayers, two people who haven’t bothered Obama half as much as Bush has.)

Actions do speak louder than words, but Obama’s record in the Senate won’t strike fear in the hearts of those who employ terror to further their goals either. (It does, however, scare those American voters who worry more about Obama’s fortitude than, say, whether Muslim women in headscarves were seen sitting behind him at an event.) Last year, Obama opposed a non-binding resolution designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization because it would send a “wrong message not only to the world, but also to the region.” But what about the message that needed to be sent to Iran, the country that is killing U.S. soldiers in Iraq and threatening to annihilate Israel? As McCain, who did vote for the resolution, said, “Holding Iran’s influence in check, and holding a terrorist organization accountable, sends exactly the right message — to Iran, to the region, and to the world.”

Obama also voted against the Iraq War spending bill because it didn’t contain a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops. This followed his own January 2007 proposal which would have set a March 31, 2008, deadline for withdrawing troops from Iraq.

If you think al-Qaeda couldn’t care less about whether American troops remain in Iraq, consider what happened in Spain in 2004. Socialist Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero promised he’d withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq if elected. Terrorists bombed Madrid trains just days before the election with the goal of intimidating Spanish voters to vote for the Socialists. The last Spanish troop left Iraq in May 2004.

Yes, it’s disgusting to engage in a whispering campaign linking Obama to terrorists. But is it really unfair to say that by voting for Obama you are voting the way America’s enemies would like you to vote?