Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Surge Results: Al Qaeda Resurges

From comes this story:

In the months after September 11, President Bush declared victory over the man he once pledged to capture “dead or alive” and began turning his focus to Iraq:
I am deeply concerned about Iraq. … I truly am not that concerned about [bin Laden]. … We shoved him out more and more on the margins. He has no place to train his al Qaeda killers anymore. [President Bush, 3/13/02]
The results have been predictable: As the U.S. has been mired in an Iraqi civil war, bin Laden has slipped away from the crosshairs and is using his freedom to help al Qaeda resurge all over the Middle East. U.S. News reports this week that “bin Laden already has a safe haven in Pakistan — and may be stronger than ever” as al Qaeda “retains the ability to organize complex, mass-casualty attacks and inspire others.” Bin Laden is behind much of this resurgence:
The broader movement inspired by al Qaeda has only grown bigger, largely because of the group’s powerful propaganda machine. Bin Laden and Zawahiri have been able to fill in the gaps between their megaplots with a rising stream of smaller-scale, homegrown attacks.
Now, well over five years after 9/11, some administration officials are conceding they may have been too hasty in declaring victory over bin Laden:
Privately, U.S. officials concede that they had overestimated the damage they had inflicted on al Qaeda’s network. The captures of successive operational commanders, including 9/11 planner Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, amounted only to temporary setbacks; they were replaced with disturbing ease. “We understand better how al Qaeda is withstanding the offensive that was launched against it in 2001 and later,” says a senior U.S. government official.
Bush is using the rise of al Qaeda as fodder to promote his misguided escalation plan in Iraq. He now claims that al Qaeda has made Iraq a central front in the war on terror, but al Qaeda leaders view Bush’s Iraq strategy as more opportunity to launch attacks against U.S. troops. “Iraq has, of course, been an undeniable boon for al Qaeda, both as a battleground and a rallying cause,” U.S. News adds.

Although this article uses one of today’s journalism’s most awful ploys – a quote from “a senior government official” – it’s a good example of the way Mr. Bush can accept and use the most twisted logic.

How is it possible for him to believe that he might win his “war on terror” – a term, BTW, that most diplomats including those from the UK have decided is not of valid use – by ignoring bin Laden? How can it be that the war in Iraq is the central fight against terrorism if the world’s most wide-spread terroristic group, Al Qaeda, is growing as the war progresses? How can “the surge” be the right approach if the result is the “resurgence” of Al Qaeda?

And yet, television news last night reported that the majority of Republicans, who are dropping away from Mr. Bush like flies from DDT, continue to support the war. How can this be?

The answer lies in one of the small experiences yesterday brought into my life. In response to a group email a friend of mine sent out yesterday complaining about Ann Curry’s interview with the Syian President Al-Assad. My friend was asking everyone he emailed to stop watching NBC news reports because he “. . . watched Ann Curry, NBC foreign correspondent for NBC, become as much of a traitor to the United States of America as Jane Fonda was during the Viet Nam war”.

One of his respondents replied that he never watched NBC anyway. All I need to know, he said, I get from FOX.

There lies the central problem in all of the mess America is in. It is that a significant number of people seem to think that anything that is published that is not in line with presidential policy is left wing propaganda. I never thought I would see this country come to such a state. The unquestioning followership implicit in this kind of thinking is every tyrant’s dream.

If American’s don’t wake up to the danger this kind of thinking poses to the future of their freedoms, they will wake up one morning to a dictatorship that only poses as democracy.

Wait a minute, didn’t we do that yesterday?

Be the change you wish to see in the world. – M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored. But in silence we surrender our power.

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