When he met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Washington last Friday, Barack Obama said this about the war in Afghanistan: “We achieved our central goal … or have come very close to achieving our central goal, which is to de-capacitate al-Qaeda, to dismantle them, to make sure that they can’t attack us again.”
He said this four days after a Muslim imam who was a soldier in the Afghan National Army opened fire on a group of his British “allies,” murdering one of them and wounding six. The Taliban, al-Qaeda’s partner in Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for the attack, which was yet another in an ever-lengthening string of “insider” attacks by Afghan forces against those who are putting themselves at risk to train and assist them. The BBC reports that “in 2012, more than 60 Nato service personnel, and a quarter of the British troops who died in Helmand, were killed in such attacks.”
The Taliban is not al-Qaeda, although the distinction on the ground in Afghanistan may be exceedingly fine, too fine to be discerned by the average NATO soldier when the Afghan he is trying to teach how to be a military man turns the gun he has just given him on his benefactor. In any case, the appalling fact that “a quarter of the British troops who died in Helmand” perished in such attacks indicates that the enemy in Afghanistan is far from being either “de-capacitated” or dismantled, and still has the ability to attack us.
Nonetheless, Obama officials keep doing the victory dance over an al-Qaeda that they repeatedly imply is on the verge of extinction. Jeh Johnson, general counsel at the Defense Department, recently said that “military pursuit of al-Qaida” should end soon. His reasoning was apparently that al-Qaeda is now so severely damaged that we will soon reach a “tipping point” after which military action against them will no longer be necessary, and local police can handle it.
This astounding manifestation of an overconfidence of Baghdad Bob proportions, or else of a capitulation attempting to disguise itself as a victory, is bitterly ironic coming at a time when al-Qaeda is anything but on the ropes: in fact, it is “carving out its own state” in Mali, with so much success that last Friday the French launched airstrikes in hopes of stopping its advance and its consolidation of power in the vast areas it already controls.
Viewed alongside the Obama administration’s unstinting support for the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt and support for jihadist rebels elsewhere, along with its active work to further the agenda of Islamic supremacist Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the U.S., this raises questions about whether Obama is preparing to abandon the last elements of any U.S. resistance to jihad in any form.