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Belmont Club

The Triumph of Self-Deception

August 6th, 2013 - 6:39 am

Despite newly revealed news that a drone strike killed four al-Qaeda militants in Yemen, the UK and U.S. are still evacuating their non-essential personnel from that country. The strike has apparently not stopped the threat. But Jay Carney is unperturbed; he argues that while the situation in the Middle East may appear to be deteriorating, that is not the case. The “core” of al-Qaeda remains dead. The snake’s head in Pakistan/Afghanistan has been crushed, even though its distant tail may be twitching in post-mortem spasms:

As al-Qaeda’s core has been diminished through the efforts of the United States and our allies, affiliate organizations, including in particular, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, have strengthened. We have here in Washington have identified AQAP in particular as the dangerous threat.

Carney’s hairsplitting may be a distinction without a difference — other sources say the affiliates are in fact the core of al-Qaeda.

Thomas Joscelyn and Bill Roggio at Long War Journal write that Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the emir of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), is really al-Qaeda’s general manager, the man orchestrating the threat which has occasioned the closure of about 20 diplomatic facilities:

Al-Wuhayshi is thought to be at the center of the latest al-Qaeda plot. The U.S. has intercepted communications between Zawahiri and al-Wuhayshi in which the al-Qaeda emir orders his general manager to execute an attack, McClatchy reported. … The appointment of al-Wuhayshi as general manager discredits the widespread claim that al-Qaeda’s “core” is based solely in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area.

It’s a de facto “core” even if the administration doesn’t want to call it that, just as there’s a de facto U.S. retreat in progress even if the administration doesn’t want to call it that. After all, the evacuation of personnel and the closure of diplomatic missions are physical acts involving actual people being transported thousands of miles. They are actions in which real concrete and steel buildings are being shuttered, at least temporarily. Set against these tangible events are Carney’s word games about the core and the periphery.

A Washington Post editorial simply calls it “wishful thinking on the war on terror”:

The State Department has shuttered 19 embassies for a week, fearing terrorist attacks. Hundreds of prisoners, including senior al-Qaeda operatives, have busted loose in prison breaks in Iraq, Libya and Pakistan. … Meanwhile President Obama says he wants to “refine and ultimately repeal” the mandate Congress has given him to fight the war on terror. What’s going on here?

What’s going on here? Why, an untutored person would be tempted to say: “A surrender is in progress.”

But that would be wrong, because as the Washington Post continues, nothing is what it seems in Washington, D.C. What looks like surrender is really evidence the president is too noble to fight. The Washington Post explains that Obama was opposed from the beginning to any violation of human rights. Moreover, he was unalterably determined never to engage in military action in other countries, and that kindliness misled him into certain well-meant mistakes. The Post describes the fire of idealism:

From the beginning of his tenure, the president has been reluctant to build a legal framework that would assume that the fight against al-Qaeda and like-minded groups might go on for a long time. He not only proposed closing the prison at Guantanamo, rightly given its poisonous effect on the United States’ image, but he also opposed options to hold prisoners taken in future operations. … The president also has sought to minimize U.S. involvement in dangerous countries as much and as quickly as possible.

Then, it segues to the ashes of miscalculation:

He failed to negotiate a follow-on force in Iraq, where violence is again spiraling out of control. He has resisted engagement in Syria, where vicious brigades associated with al-Qaeda are establishing beachheads. He has provided little assistance to Tunisia or Libya, where emerging democracies are struggling to contain Islamist militias. He surged troops to Afghanistan but simultaneously announced a timetable for their withdrawal, which is underway.

They forgot to mention his order to the NASA mission to lift self-esteem in the Middle East.

The point, as the Post says, is it’s not working:

His hope of fighting the bad guys as antiseptically as possible, with drone strikes and a minimal presence, may prove as forlorn as President Clinton’s similar effort in the 1990s, when the equivalent weapon at his disposal was cruise missiles.

Of course, none of this could be foreseen. Who could have anticipated it? How could any human agency have a prevision of this turn of events?

Ultimately, the Washington Post gives us more words. And perhaps tomorrow or the day afterward the president will stride to the podium and offer up even more words. Yet words are ultimately not as good as actions and real policy. Strategy and tactics count. How does this differ with shouting at a T. rex to stop, and letting yourself get eaten by him? Is it really doing something when you’re not doing anything worth a damn?

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Top Rated Comments   
Lets re-cast Obama's surrender to Islamo-Fascism with a World War II cast - where we were actually victorious against Euro-Fascism.

"From the beginning of his tenure, the president has been reluctant to build a legal framework that would assume that the fight against the Nazis and like-minded groups might go on for a long time. He not only proposed closing all of our prison camps, rightly given their poisonous effect on the United States’ image, but he also opposed options to hold prisoners taken in future operations. … The president also has sought to minimize U.S. involvement in dangerous countries such as thos of North Africa, Italy, France and Germany, as much and as quickly as possible."

Let's be honest with ourselves; Obama is surrendering to our Islamo-Fascist enemy because he is sympathetic to them - he is giving them aid and comfort.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The plan of weakening America is proceeding well.
That's all.

That's all an internationalist subversive (in totalitarian parlance: " an anti-imperialist") can wish for.

All the moves of this administration aim at weakening America's military and economic power.
And there is no opposition because this diagnosis is not being accepted by the so called "conservative" pundits.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The administration and the news/media complex are like two drunks leaning on each other for support. The incredibly small value of the Boston Globe and the Washington Post is shocking. These companies must have been worth billions only a few years ago.

They have dwindled to nothing.

So has the administration in its own way, and to compensate it is overusing the Narrative to the point where the Narrative has become a parody of itself, like Michael Jackson in his last days. Obama needs the media to cover for him because it's all he's got and the media is hanging on to him because he's all they've got.

This is too pathetic to watch. There must come a time when some delegation of Democratic elders goes to the President and explains to him that this has got to stop. Problems can be solved if they are faced. Lying never works in the long run.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (90)
All Comments   (90)
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Carney is like Baghdad Bob...lol! Ouch!! That trut
h has to hurt.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"And perhaps tomorrow or the day afterward the president will stride to the podium and offer up even more words. Yet words are ultimately not as good as actions and real policy. Strategy and tactics count. How does this differ with shouting at a T. rex to stop, and letting yourself get eaten by him? Is it really doing something when you’re not doing anything worth a damn?"

wretchard - the tenor of Mark Levin's talk radio show this afternoon was just this point. At what point do we ask Obungler to posit a real foreign policy and what is it?

I think he probably steals most of his viewpoints from others. He is histrionic tho'.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The remarks of Carnival Jay are often hilarious dysfunctions of the truth, as are those of our Vice President JB the Clown. Foreign policy of the Obama Circus has had 3 phases so far. Phase 1 was known as “Leading From Behind”. Phase 2 was “Bleeding From Behind” as seen in Libya and Egypt. Phase 3 should be called “Leaving From Behind” and the reason is as obvious as the incompetence of Jay Carney.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"some delegation of Democratic elders goes to the President"

wretchard,
That would be who? Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid are the Democratic Party elders. Somewhere Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Scoop Jackson are weeping.

What happened to the Democratic Party after 1968, what happened to America, what happened to the WAPO the Globe and the LAT and countless other institutions, is like what happens to a body infected with the AIDS virus. They have become hallowed out shells consumed by self indulgence. How appropriate the popular obsession with Undead themes are.

Perhaps, and I am just throwing this out as a topic to explore and not calling for a hate fest or cat-and-paste religious tracts, there is some common connection to the mainstreaming of homosexuality in our culture. The shift in focus to short term personal as opposed to generational goals and the destruction of social defenses and values that served as behavioral antibodies have had remarkably parallel effects.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Say no more "Jay Carney."

Say his name as "al-Carney" with a glottal stop after the hard c, like the one that occurs in al-Qaeda.

The guy is a flagrant sycophant, who proudly and full willing speaks the lies placed in his mouth by his master.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Just what is the Unqualified, Incompetent USURPER the wicked witch Shrillary and the CIA hiding behind BENGHAZIGATE. Because as sure as eggs is eggs its something POLITICALLY kryptonite enough to have them running scared.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Its not Al Queda which is running scared its UNCLE SAM. Seems the terrorists now only have to 'chatter' to get America on the run. They must be laughing their socks off in Tehran, North Korea, Russia, China and the Bora Bora caves.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This makes me sad and angry. Our friends, my husband & our family have spent the past 12 years being apart for a year at a time, endless deployments, blood, lots of blood, sweat, uncountable tears, family time since our children were small, physical damage done to the body, emotional damage done to the mind, death, many deaths, families & marriages torn apart. Years we can't get back. We did it willingly for our country & actually felt the country & administration appreciated it. Now we have our president disarming us, treating us like a giant social experiment, insulting our intelligence with "workplace violence", cutting services, increasing costs & treating all our sacrifices as something he's ashamed of, like we did something wrong. I saw through the bs in this guy from day one & I'm sad to see the way it's turning out. I have a teenaged son who has always wanted to follow in dad's footsteps (yellow!) I will not be encouraging it
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

Please know this, there are millions and millions of people who very much realize why they are free individuals. It isn't enough, we all know it, but every time I meet a Soldier, Airman, Marine or Navy veteran I say Thank You For Defending My Freedom.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I feel for you and yours and admire you immensely. My big hope is that by the time your son is a young man things will be different and I think there's a good chance of it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Senior Israeli official doubts US move to thwart nuclear Iran. "The diplomatic official doubted US intentions to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons at all costs.

American conduct regarding Syria, contrary to declarations by President Barack Obama, shows Israel that it cannot rely on US assurances, the Israeli source said."

http://www.jpost.com/Iranian-Threat/News/Official-Israel-capable-of-unilateral-strike-on-Iran-if-US-not-committed-322182
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This Man Would Like to Turn Anyone's Clothes Into a Bomb
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/08/this-man-would-like-to-turn-anyones-clothes-into-a-bomb/278415/

The trained Saudi chemist behind the shoe and underwear bombs is working on an undetectable liquid explosive.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I love that explosive clothing bit.

It's against the laws of chemistry and physics, though.

Rapid burn clothing is more like it.

The periodic table establishes which atoms have the potential to form explosively decomposing molecules.

To avoid conventional detection = can't use nitrates -- at all. This oxygen rich radical is inherently unstable and ALWAYS bleeds feeble levels of gas. (NOx) To a dog, this stink is pungent.

Other common combinations turn on azides. But these are insanely touchy, not practical at all. (Azides are used in car bag inflators.)

It's a pretty good bet that he's forced to work around per-oxides. Such critters are insanely dangerous to toy with. With enough rope, he'll blow himself up.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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