Thursday, July 12, 2007

Shocked that Al Qaeda is stronger?

The Washington Post today indicates that a five-page secret threat assessment of Al Qaeda has been presented to the White House. It is entitled "Al-Qaida Better Positioned to Strike the West," and concludes that “the group has significantly rebuilt itself despite concerted U.S. attempts to smash the network.” Surprise. However secret the report may be, the fact is not secret. That Al Qaeda has gained strength since 9/11 is scarcely news.

And what about those "concerted attempts to smash the network"? The reason for Al Qaeda's prosperity seems clear: the Bush administration rushed into Iraq before the American military had actually found and punished Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. That Osama has remained alive emboldens all those who would attack the United States. In so far as there were "concerted attempts" they were misdirected. The American military effort has gone into Iraq, not Afghanistan and Pakistan's tribal areas, where Osama and other Al Qaeda figures have been hiding out. None of this is secret.

My only hope for the report is that the White House might actually pay attention to it. What the world has already noticed, what is painfully clear to anyone who gives any attention to the issue – could it be noticed by the White House too? Lets pray that the administration will notice, and will acknowledge that there is a problem. If the first step for an addict is to admit to a problem, then we hope that as a first step the administration will admit that they have been living in a fantasy world: it’s time to get real. Osama and other key leaders are in Pakistan, not Iraq.

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