Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Saving Al Qaeda

You recall when, in the heat of the Arab Spring, the crack Obama-Clinton foreign policy team decided to follow the lead of a French philosopher and overthrow the Libyan dictator Qaddhafi by leading from behind.

Ostensibly, the Obama-Clinton team decided that it had to intervene because Qaddhafi was threatening to attack the city of… you guessed it… Benghazi.

So, we bombed Libya—from behind—in order to save Benghazi. As you know, Benghazi was and still is terrorist central in North Africa.

Some have suggested that the administration had to blame the 9/11 attack on the Benghazi compound on a video, because otherwise people might have wondered whether the Obama-Clinton foreign policy team really had al Qaeda on the run.

Recently, some have opined that what appears to be Obama’s feckless foreign policy is just another example of muddling through. It is true enough that a president who is in over his head can do no more than muddle through. To say that the same predicate applies to all other presidents is profoundly ignorant and insulting.

To echo the words of Colin Powell, we broke Libya, so now we own it. How’s that working out?

Eli Lake reports that the news from Benghazi has not been very good:

In the nearly 20 months since the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks, al Qaeda operatives and allied terrorists have flocked to Libya, making the fragile North African country a hub for those seeking to wage jihad from north Africa, current and former U.S. counterterrorism officials tell The Daily Beast.

Not only does al Qaeda host Ansar al-Sharia, one of the militias responsible for the Benghazi attacks that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. But U.S. intelligence now assesses that leaders from at least three regional al Qaeda affiliates—al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and members of the organization of Al-Mulathameen Brigade loyal to Algerian terrorist, Mokhtar BelMokhtar—have all established havens in the lawless regions of Libya outside the control of the central government.

One U.S. military contractor working on counter-terrorism in Africa summed up the situation in Libya today as simply, “Scumbag Woodstock.” The country has attracted that star-studded roster of notorious terrorists and fanatics seeking to wage war on the West.

An American counter-terrorism official used a different metaphor to describe the situation. “Libya today plays host to members and associates of several AQ-allied groups, in some ways becoming a jihadist melting pot,” this official told The Daily Beast. “These groups haven’t united under the same banner, but the ad hoc links and intermittent cooperation among them are worrisome, especially as some of these groups have made no secret of their desire to conduct attacks beyond Libya’s borders.”

Libya has become a safe haven for terrorists. Great job, Barack and Hillary!

We certainly don’t want to say that the Obama administration has been purposefully making the world safe for Islamist terrorists, but still, Kimberly Dozier’s account of the current policy in Afghanistan is not encouraging:

The CIA is dismantling its frontline Afghan counterterrorist forces in south and east Afghanistan, leaving a security vacuum that U.S. commanders fear the Taliban and al Qaeda will fill—and leaving the Pakistan border open to a possible deluge of fighters and weapons….

U.S. and Afghan military commanders tell The Daily Beast that Afghan forces are stretched too thin to replace many of those departing CIA paramilitaries. Thousands more CIA-trained operatives are about to get the boot ahead of what already promises to be a bloody summer fighting season. That could mean spectacular attacks against U.S. and Afghan targets just as the White House is weighing its long-term commitment to Afghanistan. And it could give the now-small al Qaeda movement inside the country more freedom to grow and eventually hatch new plots more than a decade after the invasion meant to wipe out the perpetrators of the Sept. 11thattacks.

Call it muddle-through if you like. Call it feckless, if you prefer. But surely it looks as though the Obama-Clinton-Kerry foreign policy team has been, perhaps inadvertently, arranging things so that al Qaeda terrorists now have a choice of sanctuaries.


Sam L. said...

I'm going for Stupid. On the other hand, it could be deliberate.

Leo G said...

Jeez Stuart, you are not seeing the big picture. Obama is just waiting for all the terrorists to gather in Bhengahzi, then he'll strike and wipe them all out in one fell swoop!

The man is a genius!