Saturday, May 29, 2004

Al Qaeda Steals a March

As Al Qaeda franchisedgunmen kill 16 in a Saudi housing compound and hold hostage as many as 50 more, Bush's conceit that he has made Iraq the central battlefield in terror is called into question. Al Qaida has shown again and again that they will not be manipulated and are capable of inspiring operations wherever they choose, ignoring our wishes.

Among the dead in the lastest attack are at least one American and one Briton. The latter's body was reportedly dragged a considerable distance behind a car by the terrorists. The U.S. and other Western governments are calling for their citizens to evacuate Saudi Arabia.

The danger which this incident, and earlier bombings in Khobar, underscores, is the strong possibility that jihadists can and will easily move to fronts where we are not prepared to meet them. By attacking us and allied Arab governments where we are weak, rather than where we have chosen the ground and are strong, they will be able to give the world, especially the Arab world, an impression of operating with impunity. While we invest billions of dollars, hundreds of lives, and most of America's prestige in the Iraqi boondoggle, they have already moved on to new targets, their objective in Iraq, to the extent they ever had one, aleady fulfilled; to bog American might down in an unwinnable and perpetual domestic uprising that will sap the American publics' will to engage in a war on terror at all.

Cynicism is also the enemy of resolve. The Bush Administration served up a healthy does of cynical balderdash the other day when Ashcroft announced sketchy but alarming plans by Al Qaida to attack America again, only to withdraw the warning shortly after when it was discovered that the intelligence the warning was based upon was as weak and self-serving as the INC's WMD blather.

Directing America's might to the wrong front in a static and counterproductive occupation, allowing the enemy to have the initiative, using terror warnings for political purposes, and thereby degrading the people's trust and confidence in the government, are some of this criminal Administration's worst crimes. These are the actions of an Administration which is 'objectively' (a term they love to use as a weapon) in alliiance with the jihadists. At every turn their incompetence, terrible decisions, and fumbling execution of policy has aided Al Qaeda. But even if one doesn't go so far as to call the the allies of terrorists, or even terrorists themselves, and I don't recommend that people do, the Bush Administration has made, and is making, policy that plays directly into the hands of an opponent who is proving much more subtle and skillful than expected. This Administration has been out-matched, out-played, and out-thought at every trick. If for no other reason... and there are so many, really... this Administration has to go; they simply aren't of the calibre we need to defeat Jihadi terror, and to put the evil genie they ignorantly loosed upon us, back in the bottle of the Middle East.


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