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July 30, 2014

Uh-Oh. It Looks Like *Someone* Didn't Get the Memo

The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight continues to impress:

The terrorist ideology behind al Qaeda is expanding significantly—contrary to President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign theme that declared the Islamist terror threat in decline, according to the outgoing director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

“It’s not on the run, and that ideology is actually, it’s sadly, it feels like it’s exponentially growing,” DIA Director Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said during a security conference Saturday.

Flynn was asked about the controversy over Obama’s statements during his 2012 reelection bid that al Qaeda had been “decimated” by the U.S. war on terrorism, and that the group was “on the run” as a result.

Flynn challenged use of the term “core al Qaeda” to identify the group once led by Osama bin Laden and now headed by his deputy, Ayman al Zawahiri.

“My belief—so this is Mike Flynn—core al Qaeda is the ideology,” he said.

...A large number of young people in Africa and the Middle East are being sucked into Islamist terror groups.

“These organizations that are out there that are well-organized, they are well-funded, they reach into these young people and they pull them in,” Flynn said. “And there seems to be more and more of them today than there were when I first started this thing in, post 9/11.”

The comments by the DIA chief, an Iraq war veteran who announced in April he will retire in the fall, highlight what critics say is the failure of the Obama administration to target the Islamist ideology. Instead, counterterrorism during the Obama administration has focused on “kinetic” operations, such as drone strikes and special operations raids aimed at killing terrorist leaders.

That's what happens when PR is more important than effectiveness. Just as (another) aside, weren't we assured by the anti-war Left that killing these folks just hardens their resolve and creates more terrorists?

It's almost as though these folks don't really believe the arguments they make. We may have said this a time or twelve, but it never gets old :p

Posted by Cassandra at July 30, 2014 08:05 AM

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Comments

weren't we assured by the anti-war Left that killing these folks just hardens their resolve and creates more terrorists?

Quite literally, this was going to be my comment upon reading the first two paragraphs you quoted. It's almost like they WERE being reduced, right up until we just pulled stakes out of Iraq and Afghanistan (as they always predicted we would) and that somehow gave them hope that they could make us do what they wanted. Who'd have predicted THAT outcome? /rolleyes

Posted by: MikeD at July 30, 2014 09:50 AM

Quite literally, this was going to be my comment upon reading the first two paragraphs you quoted.

Great minds :)

It's almost like they WERE being reduced, right up until we just pulled stakes out of Iraq and Afghanistan (as they always predicted we would) and that somehow gave them hope that they could make us do what they wanted. Who'd have predicted THAT outcome?

You mean, "Aside from The Shrub, pretty much every Rethug in Congress, and the entire US military leadership?" :p

The irony here is that I'm not inclined to ding Obama for this kind of thing. Except that he was so completely arrogant and insufferable about dissing his predecessor's decisions (which he has almost uniformly doubled down upon after heaping scorn on them). The outlier, of course, is the "so-called Afghan Surge", which Bush was smart enough to avoid b/c the tactic was totally unsuited to both our means and our goals.

Obama opposed the Iraqi Surge, which dramatically reduced the violence and increased security. The guy wouldn't even admit it had worked until he inexplicably decided doing the same thing in Afghanistan, only with fewer troops and a pre-announced expiration date.

During the Bush years, every setback was seized upon as proof of Bush's incompetence. Now, under Obama, the nation and the world have suddenly become "ungovernable" :p He's powerless to fulfill all those grand promises he made about healing the oceans and restoring America's moral legitimacy.

Who could've foresee.... oh, never mind :p

Posted by: Cassandra at July 30, 2014 11:28 AM

Now, under Obama, the nation and the world have suddenly become "ungovernable" :p

To be fair, I've not yet heard any on the Left complain that the world is ungovernable because the rest of the world is racist. Only that the US has because the Right is racist. I wonder how long until that bridge is crossed somewhere. "Putin only disagrees with our President because he's racist!" I'd love to see that.

Posted by: MikeD at July 30, 2014 12:26 PM

The irony is so rich even Jon Stewart has starting to remark.

Posted by: CAPT Mike at July 30, 2014 03:24 PM

When you've lost Jon Stewart....

Oh wait! D'oh! :)

Posted by: Cassandra at July 30, 2014 04:49 PM

To be fair, I've not yet heard any on the Left complain that the world is ungovernable because the rest of the world is racist.

I haven't heard that either, but then racism isn't even (or that often) the core argument in the Amerikkka is ungovernable meme. Usually in the articles I've seen, partisanship is cited. Post coming up about the global "ungovernable" 'plaint.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 30, 2014 04:51 PM

I think it's not understanding "decimated". The Empty Chair, told that al Qaeda had been decimated, thought that meant "destroyed". Nope. Decimate is a 10% reduction in force (a Roman mass punishment, one in ten chosen by lot was killed.)

Posted by: htom at July 31, 2014 12:03 AM

Decimate is a 10% reduction in force (a Roman mass punishment, one in ten chosen by lot was killed.)

Technically, it was a bit harsher than that. One man out of ten had to be beaten to death by the other 9 in his "squad". The real punishment wasn't that 1 in 10 was killed, it was that 9 in 10 had to beat their buddy to death.

Posted by: MikeD at July 31, 2014 01:26 PM

Uffda. Hence "The beatings will continue until the morale improves."

Posted by: htom at July 31, 2014 08:33 PM

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