For five years the obama administration has touted its success in the war against al Qaeda. In formal addresses, daily press briefings, speeches, top adm. officials have celebrated the “decimation” of al Qaeda and predicted its imminent extinction.
John Brennan “ If the decade before 9/11 was the time of Al Qaeda rise and the decade after 9/11 was the time of its decline, then I believe this decade will be the one that sees its demise.”
Even those who not long ago were echoing the adm line are now worried that al Qaeda currently controls “more territory in the Arab world than it has done at any time in its history”, in the words of CNN’s Peter Bergen.
Al Qaeda is nowhere near defeat. And with Obama’s withdrawal form Iraq, his drawdown in AFG and his eagerness to end even wars that are not won, the prospect of the demise of al Qaeda grows more distant every day.
Instead al Qaeda in the Obama adm public descriptions is like a Russian matryoshka doll, growing ever smaller with each iteration.
State department spokeswoman Marie Harf claimed that Ayman al Zawahiri is “the only one left” of “core al Qaeda”. It’s an absurd claim.
At a state department briefing 1/23 reporters asked Harf about a new message from Zawahiri to his followers. “ I haven’t seen it”. But moments later after promising to “take a look or a listen”, she claimed to know enough about its contents to dismiss their significance, saying, “this is not new rhetoric we’ve heard from Zawahiri”.
How can you offer assurances about the substance and meaning of a message if you have hot heard it?
A day after the briefing, Thiomas Joscelyn and Bill Roggio from Long War Journal, highlighted Harf’s claims and debunked them. Zawahiri is the only senior AQ leader left from the group that planned 9/11. AQ does replace leaders, with younger. Less experienced fighters who don’t have the same kind of operational background. They are obviously still very dangerous—especially in Pakistan and AFG and when they partner with other local terrorist groups—but they are by any definitions a shadow of what the group used to be.
I’m talking about the core AQ leadership being decimated, not the entire group. It defies logic to argue that I think Zawahiri is literally the only core AQ fighter left.
Harf thinks she might have done more to explain why she said the Zawahiri is the only core AQ fighter left.
There is no question that her views are representative of Obama’s national security leadership. As Harf pointed out herself, she has “spent six years at CIA. FROM THE EARLIEST DAYS OF THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY, THE ADM HAS DOWNPLAYED THREATS POSTED BY AQ AND ITS AFFILIATES.
UNMAR FAROUK ABDULMUTALLAB WAS AN “ISOLATED EXTREMEIST. WHEN FAISAL SHAHZAD SUV BOMB FAILED TO GO OFF NAPOLITANO DISMISSED ITAS A “ONE-OFF”. HE WAS TRAINED AND FUNDED BY THE PAKISTANI TALIBAN AND HAD TES TO INTERANATIONAL TERROIRSIT.
The fatal attacks in Benghazi were misleadingly portrayed as the result of an angry mob spun by a video. If they’re just trying to deceive us, that’s offensive. If they’re deceiving themselves, it’s dangerous.
(Sorry for the caps—the computer just started typing them and I could not get them off???—Then it corrected itself?????)
sources—weekly standard, Stephen hayes, CNN, long war journal