Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Al-Qaida Plot Distraction?


Al-Qaida Plot Distraction Is Too Well-Timed For Obama

War On Terror: The way the White House has hyped a supposedly imminent al-Qaida plot, only one thing has to happen for President Obama to come off as a hero: nothing. It smells fishy.

It's not at the level of Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman cinematically fabricating a war with Albania to get the public's mind off a presidential sex scandal, as in David Mamet's 1997 black comedy "Wag the Dog," but the indefinite shutdown of 20 U.S. embassies in the Mideast and Africa after the announcement of a for-sure, impending terrorist mega-attack looks suspiciously gift-wrapped and well-timed.

For one thing, if we're on the eve of a possible "9/11 junior," what on earth is the president of the U.S. doing going on the Tonight Show for the umpteenth time?
Why is funny man Jay Leno the one who gets to ask Obama about al-Qaida, but he's too busy for queries without punch lines from the Washington press corps?
The paradox is dizzying: The new "on its heels" al-Qaida, whose charismatic leader "Osama bin Laden is no more," as Obama boasted during last year's campaign, may no longer be as centralized, and CIA director John O. Brennan may claim al-Qaida has its eyes on regional preoccupations rather than on attacking us.

Yet this supposedly weakened "network of local-actor organizations," as German Marshall Fund analyst Hassan Mneimneh described it to USA Today, has managed to shut down U.S. diplomatic facilities indefinitely in a strategically vital region stretching 6,700 miles by 1,700 miles, as the State Department frightens thousands of Americans out of traveling.

And apparently all because current al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri told a flunky in Yemen to "Do something!"
Who is really "on its heels" or "on the run," to use the president's campaign rhetoric last year — the terrorists or the U.S.?

American Enterprise Institute scholar Frederick Kagan, a key architect of George W. Bush's successful "surge" in Iraq, testified to Congress last month that "al-Qaida affiliates in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and West Africa have dramatically expanded their operating areas and capabilities since 2009 and appear poised to continue that expansion."

The Obama administration's near-frenzied response to Zawahiri's directive suggests it believes neocon hawks like Kagan's assessment of the state of al-Qaida more than its own.

There is no denying that saving American lives is a paramount responsibility of the U.S. diplomatic presence abroad, but these unprecedented extended closures may not only be an overreaction; the administration's looky-here disclosure of the Zawahiri communication as rationale for closures and evacuations may also actually help the enemy.

Former CIA officer Mike Baker told Fox News that hyping the intercepted message is "basically just telling al-Qaida how we're onto them," something Obama may have done as "a political calculation," Baker believes, amidst the unpopular fallout of last Sept. 11's Benghazi attack killing our Libyan ambassador and three other American personnel.

John Price, who was U.S. ambassador to several nations in the region with sizable Muslim populations, told Fox how, under Obama's predecessor, "we never went to the media with" information about terrorist threats, and closures of embassies and consulates "at random in Africa don't make any sense to me."

There is no Monica Lewinsky scandal going on in the Obama White House; there are, truth be told, bunglings and corruption that are far worse: IRS election tampering; throwing diplomats to the wolves in a misguided Libyan initiative against an already-defanged Moammar Gadhafi; Justice Department surveillance of journalists; and the growing public realization that ObamaCare is as socialistically intrusive and incompetently designed as it was deceitfully advertised.
A dog-wagging distraction sure would come in handy right about now.

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