Monday, July 11, 2011
Leon Panetta and David Petraeus agree, the strategic defeat of Al Qaeda is not only possible, it is within reach.
Al-Qaeda's defeat is "within reach," according to Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary, who said that eliminating 10 to 20 of the group's top figures could cripple its ability to strike the West.
Panetta, on his first trip to Afghanistan since taking over at the Pentagon on July 1, told reporters before arriving in Kabul that now was the time - in the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden in May - to intensify efforts to target al-Qaeda's leadership.
"We're within reach of strategically defeating al-Qaeda and I'm hoping to be able to focus on that, working obviously with my prior agency as well," said Panetta, who ran the CIA until the end of June.
His assessment could stoke the debate in Washington over how soon to pull out the US military from the land where bin Laden's network launched the attacks of September 11, 2001, against the US.
"Now is the moment following what happened with bin Laden, to put maximum pressure on them. Because I do believe that if we continue this effort that we can really cripple al-Qaeda as a threat to [the United States]."
General David Petraeus, who will take over the CIA's top job in September, told reporters that he agreed with Panetta's assessment that strategic defeat of al-Qaeda was possible.
Notwithstanding the bleating of Barack Obama's "base" -- which has largely believed that the strategic defeat of Al Qaeda just was not possible -- the president has appointed a team that substantially agrees with George W. Bush, that victory over al Qaeda is both desirable and possible. That is to Barack Obama's credit.
But none of this answers what Iraq ever had to do with al-Queda, or even why we've been fighting the Taliban for so long in Afghanistan when Al-Queda has had much greater connection to Pakistan -- even elements of the Paki military -- and palce like Yemen.
A fine post. Well worthy of note.
Sorry Ignoramus, we all know full well of Saddam's love of terrorism, even the treatment of Al Zarqawi after he ran from Afghanistan (upon the USA's leading the crushing of the Taliban Rule) to hide in Baghdad under the Hussein Regime.
Even the bold rewards of 20G to Palestinian Suicide Bombers was a Public Display of Saddam's funding/fostering of Terrorism throughout the ME and the World.
9-11, even the original bombing of the WTC in 1993 (with one Terrorist using a Kuwaiti Passport obtained during Saddam's invasion of Kuwait) was a sign the entire Middle East desperately needed a serious intervention. Saddam was a prime example of the enormous destructive dysfunction.
The Bush Administration policies were sound, and the Obama Team has only vindicated basically all of the Bush Era efforts, while trying to still Publicly deny it.
However, I have to differ from Tigerhawk's fine opinion. I cannot give Obama Credit for the Panetta move. It is clear, Panetta was sent in to begin the political draw down, to facilitate the run away scheme for Obama's reelection purposes - as well as the Democratic Partisan addiction to cut/slash Defense Spending. The game is evident, as Panetta talks about victory and cuts. ("The game is over, we all can go home now"). Panetta is a typical Partisan given a very misleading 'centrist' image.
The Obama Team foolishly pulled Petraeus from the Battlefield to hide him in Washington - and installed a Partisan 'yes' man to control their political manipulation of the GWOT for 2012. Probably they couldn't find anyone else willing to begin the political "white flag" gimmick in the guise of victory.
Panetta's partisan sophistry is evident everywhere:
CIA Director Leon Panetta: Incompetence Incarnate
"Spy Agency Fiasco "
I want to see Panetta try to juggle the Clinton State Department disaster of bombing Libya for humanitarian reasons, while they enable Iran, Syria, North Korea, etc. That will be very interesting. Panetta will tell us how all is won everywhere, we can come home now, cut the Defense, while they still bomb away in Libya - not seeking regime change/not waging real war.
Here is a simple example, very simplistic overview, for Mr. Ignoramus regarding Saddam's Terrorism embrace:
"Saddam Hussein's Philanthropy of Terror"
Nearly all of the Democrat Partisans, including Mr. Obama's Vice President and Secretary of State voted for this Mission to use force to remove Saddam (which included numerous UN Resolutions - US Congressional approval - even 40 other Nations contributing to the effort).
Hillary Clinton would later lie repeatedly about her vote to authorize this force. More 'sniper dodging' partisan manipulation for cheap personal gain.
When one includes the Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998, as well as all the overwhelming evidence against Saddam's horrid Regime (including the UN & AI claims 100,000 Iraqi Children will die each year without the removal of Saddam's Despotic Regime), the pure Partisan opposition for the serious rationale to liberate the Iraqi People led by the Bush Administration is clearly one of the biggest fraudulent Partisan Swindles of all time - especially via the likes of ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, the Daily Show, NY TIMES, WAPO, etc., etc.
Mr. Obama himself has been revealed to be an utter fraud on this issue. Obama's deceit pushing the dishonest "unilateral - illegal" war sophistry, the fraudulent campaign mantra claiming the USA should not 'meddle' even if it means genocide, takes the big Cake for one of the biggest Political Lies in modern memory.
Thanks for your comments, Old Fan. Unfortunately you left NPR out of your litany of fraudulently partisan media agents.
I knew the media was using whatever tricks it could to bring about widespread opposition to the war in Iraq as early as the second week after military actions commenced, but I was astounded by the blatant misrepresentations I heard on NPR when I woke up one morning after the start of the Republican convention in 2004. The commentator was saying, "the speakers at the convention keep trying to link the war in Iraq to the war on terror." Where in the world, I wanted to ask, had this "reporter" been when the case for war was being made in 2002-2003 and not just the Bush administration, but many Democrats (including Hillary! and Harry Reid) were making statements doing the same thing (concurring that Iraq needed to be the next front in the war on terror).
First, Tigerhawk, great blog!
Second, I believe that the argument that justification for the toppling of the Hussein regime must be based on evidence of a direct link between AQ and Saddam is a bogus one. The grounds for Saddam's take-down are 1) strategic 2) legal and 3) moral.
Strategic: We needed a foot-hold in the region to conduct operations against the Taliban and AQ. Isreal would have taken too much heat, and Turkey and Pakistan are unreliable allies. Saddam's psychopathology presented us with the perfect opportunity to establish a base there.
Legal: Saddam and his Air Force routinely violated the Truce Agreement that he, the US and Coalition forces signed after Gulf War I by repeatedly violating UN-sanctioned no-fly zones. This act alone was justification for war! Also, whether we found them or not, the world - Senate Democrats are on record - thought Saddam was developing WMDs. Again, justification enough for international use of force.
Moral: Saddam should have been deposed after Gulf War I; the US only went half the distance. The result was that the Kurds suffered and the UN crippled the Iraqi populace with punitive and ineffective sanctions.
President Bush's decision to invade Iraq was profoundly wise. As president, Obama has had to confront the realities there and follow through with the very same Bush policies that he railed against in 2008. By doing so, his irresponsible anti-war campaign rhetoric of the past has put him in the awkward position of alienating his anti-war base while at the same time showcasing his appalling naivety.
The four comments preceding this one are stellar!
It speaks ill of our journalists, politicians, and citizenry that the facts recounted above now amount to uncommon knowledge.
Read Douglas Feith's book, "War and Decision" for a meticulously documented inside look at the history prior to and during the Iraq War. It is destined to be source material for all neutral/responsible historians still to come.
I should perhaps clarify my statement concerning journalists by putting the blame where it squarely belongs: overtly liberal editorial bias. To wit, the NY Times has yet to review (or even acknowledge the existence of) Mr. Feith's excellent work.
Thank you, sirius, for the book recommendation. May I add that Chris Hitchens and David Horowitz also wrote brilliant books on the subject. Also, then PM Tony Blair argued bravely, persuasively, and cogently for The Coalition's action in Iraq. Cheers, Mr. Blair.
With respect, Ignoramus: now you know how those of us who supported Pres. Bush's Iraq policy felt for the better part of a decade.
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