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Belmont Club

The Legion of Doom

August 7th, 2013 - 4:19 pm

The second-ranking CIA official now calls Syria the greatest threat to American national security today:

The Central Intelligence Agency’s second-in-command warned that Syria’s volatile mix of al Qaeda extremism and civil war now poses the greatest threat to U.S. national security. Michael Morell says the risk is that the Syrian government, which possesses chemical and other advanced weapons, collapses and the country becomes al Qaeda’s new haven, supplanting Pakistan.

Shouldn’t he ask: “Who armed the Syrian rebels”? And might not he say: ” … in addition to Pakistan”? It is not as if Pakistan has greatly improved over the last five years. Syria is a problem on top of Pakistan. The distinction is important: in assessing a situation, the direction of change is often more important than the current status, and the direction in this case is not encouraging.

Perhaps one sign that the War on Terror isn’t over comes from the New York Times:

T.S.A. Expands Duties Beyond Airport Security

As hundreds of commuters emerged from Amtrak and commuter trains at Union Station on a recent morning, an armed squad of men and women dressed in bulletproof vests made their way through the crowds.

The squad was not with the Washington police department or Amtrak’s police force, but was one of the Transportation Security Administration’s Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response squads — VIPR teams for short — assigned to perform random security sweeps to prevent terrorist attacks at transportation hubs across the United States.

“The T.S.A., huh,” said Donald Neubauer of Greenville, Ohio, as he walked past the squad. “I thought they were just at the airports.”

He thought wrong:

“Our mandate is to provide security and counterterrorism operations for all high-risk transportation targets, not just airports and aviation,” said John S. Pistole, the administrator of the agency.

Does that mean the “War on Terror” is … expanding?

Maybe. Al-Qaeda, far from being hunkered down in caves, is holding conference calls. An intercept of a conference call ”of more than 20 far-flung al-Qaeda operatives” triggered the latest security alert. “This was like a meeting of the Legion of Doom,” one U.S. intelligence officer told The Daily Beast:

Al Qaeda leaders had assumed the conference calls, which give Zawahiri the ability to manage his organization from a remote location, were secure. But leaks about the original intercepts have likely exposed the operation that allowed the U.S. intelligence community to listen in on the al Qaeda board meetings.

Ready to take on the Legion of Doom

Legion of Doom? I’m ready.

Hmmm … maybe Obama is so far ahead of al-Qaeda, he doesn’t care if he concedes a handicap. Why not let them know their lines are tapped? Can they resist his mighty hand?

The conference among “far-flung operatives” was an amazing achievement for an organization already declared dead and buried. Bret Stephens recalled the obituary while writing in the Wall Street Journal:

In May, Barack Obama told an audience at the National Defense University that the core of al Qaeda was “on the path to defeat.” The “future of terrorism,” Mr. Obama predicted, would involve “more localized threats … these threats need not rise to the level that we saw on the eve of 9/11.” He ended by calling for repeal of the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force — Congress’s declaration of war on al Qaeda.

Yes, the president’s May speech contained all the required caveats about the abiding terrorist threat and the continued need for vigilance. But the gist of the address was clear, as was its purpose: to declare the war on terror won — or won well-enough — and go home …

The speech at the National Defense University was billed as a major presidential address. A lengthy article in the New York Times, written days later, reported it was a “window into the presidential mind,” the result of “an exercise lasting months,” a matter not just of Mr. Obama’s policy, but of his very legacy.

Yet here we are, not three months later, faced with a threat that makes a comprehensive and vivid mockery of everything the president said.

How could he get it so wrong? The New York Times’ coverage of President Obama’s canceled summit with Putin illustrates one reason why. This time, the NYT argued that Putin would regret not meeting Obama:

In a statement, the White House said the president had decided to postpone the summit meeting between the two leaders after concluding that there had not been enough progress made on the “bilateral agenda” to make a meeting worthwhile. …

Mr. Obama’s decision to forgo the summit meeting with Mr. Putin, which was first reported by The Associated Press, is a blow to Mr. Putin that will deprive him of a high-profile moment on the worldwide stage. It also threatens to add to the already chilly relationship between the two countries.

Now Putin won’t be invited to Leno! He’ll miss a chance to speak to Oprah! He must be crazy.

This is another case of the “wish being the father of the deed,” yet another instance of the Narrative being taken for reality. The NYT thinks Putin reasons just like them, seeing a world where Barack Obama is at the center of Washington and Washington is the center of the universe. If President Obama declares al-Qaeda to be dead, then al-Qaeda must in fact be deceased. If President Obama supports the Syrian rebels, the Syrian rebels must be worthy of support. If President Obama decides not to meet the president of Russia, then Putin is losing out.

It’s like Versailles in the days of Louis the XIV: the inmates cannot conceive that an external universe exists, one in which another sun shines more brightly than the Sun King.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Not going to happen. Despite the clown kings antics -- the USA is producing technological miracles with strategic consequences at a pretty rapid clip. Really, just keep up with technological changes that undergird strategic considerations all over the world--is daunting.

Using your metaphor --despite everything that Obama might do -- the snake is spinning more rapidly.

There is a caveat here. It has to do with the weakness of the metaphor. The reason that Obama wants to make peace with enemies and antagonize friends--is that his sole real focus is on defeating the only group he considers his real enemies--how shall we say...middle america.


The principle device for defeating middle America is the amnesty bill. Why? Granting amnesty to 12 million illegals would shift Texas Florida or both intergenerationally into the democrat column as California has done in the last 20 years. The dems already have inter-generational control of Massachusetts, new york Illinois and California. one more inter-generational lock on a big state like Texas or Florida will give the dems inter-generational lock of the white house and the federal bureaucracy.

Under these circumstances the abuse of power seen in the IRS and other agencies would be just the beginning. It would represent the kind of victory and fundamental change that Obama has been talking about.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think the President tried to buy everyone off and found to his regret, that even The Man doesn't have enough money to do that. What a glittering prospect beckoned. Buy of the Palestinians with parts of Israel. Buy off the voters with Free Health Care. Buy off Russia by conceding Missile Defense and disarming. Buy off the Left by withdrawing from Iraq. Buy off al-Qaeda by turning on America's old clients.

And to pay for it, why raid the military budget. Raise taxes. "There's plenty of money the only problem is the government doesn't have it." Pay off, buy off, deal. Stick it to the Man.

But the Man's broke. And now what? Time for a round of golf to think this one through. Time for a break at Martha's Vineyard. Try Leno. Try another speech. Bummer, it isn't working this time.

Never mind. We'll report it's working. We'll tell people Detroit is alive and al-Qaeda is dead. The core is what matters. The affiliates ... we can forget them. And on it goes.

Boss. De plen. De plen.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Amazing! Mr. Snowden leaks info that the Soetero Regime is unconstitutionally spying big time on US citizens, and has to flee the country with Obamabots like Jonnie McCain calling him a "traitor".

Barry Soetero leaks that the US has the capability to spy on secret communicaitons by real enemies like Al Qaeda, and little Jonnie McCain is OK with it.

Maybe the word should not be 'Amazing'; it should be DISGUSTING! I have no positive expectations of Barry Hussein, but that a former Republican Presidential candidate should have sold out his honor and his decency for the privilege of licking dirt off the Sun Dwarf's boots ... words fail me.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (80)
All Comments   (80)
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my roomate's ex-wife makes ?84/hr on the internet. She has been unemployed for six months but last month her income was ?19932 just working on the internet for a few hours. Here's the site to read more .... http://www.BBC13.com
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Nope! It is the Bureaucracy of Oversized government that is our biggest threat to our freedom. So, back off and go hide in your rooms!


T.S.A. Expands Duties Beyond Airport Security By RON NIXON August 5, 2013

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/06/us/tsa-expands-duties-beyond-airport-security.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"the inmates cannot conceive that an external universe exists"

This is the core failing of the Obama regime. They truly believe that if they can just redistribute the money evenly and harass the "racists" hiding behind every bush, Utopia will commence. Anything outside of that paradigm does not exist for them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I do not believe that the rearmament of Japan is a bad thing. I would prefer it be done in concert with the United States' strategy in the Western Pacific. Unfortunately, the United States appears to have no such strategy. So what is Japan to do?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Of all these things, somehow the fact that Japan is rearming is the one I find most alarming.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Obama admin is more incompetent than anything else. Like many an upper level management they live in a bubble they created and have little idea what is really going on and no real motivation other than their own butt saving.

It is all image and flash. The rest of us cannot understand why you would tip off AlQueda and give them what they wanted in the first place. Well, probably seemed like a good idea at the time to someone and the suits nodded in agreement.

Just like the worker bees, the mid level managers know that the worst thing you can do is rock the boat no matter how stupid the plan.

Declaring official neutrality in Syria and Egypt, as Israel did, would have been a decent course of action. But no, instead we are locked into a failed wavering humility. The list of failures is so long that even mainstream sources are getting it now.

If Obama could stop talking for five minutes he would begin to gain but he goes on Leno and keeps talking the same hyperbole in speech after speech, in love with his own words.




1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You're looking straight at a class A Gonnabee.

His rationalization hamster is on a marathon spin.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Amtrak has fought long and hard to keep TSA away from their trains. They have their own security forces who are much less invasive and much more discreet. The Amtrak service personnel are in much more face-to-face contact with the passengers and do keep a tab on things on-board.

One of the marketing advantages of riding Amtrak is the lack of TSA interference and Amtrak knows it.

As James Wilson wrote: "A bureaucrat's worst enemy is another bureaucrat."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
An bumbling bureaucrat's worst enemy is a competent one.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
TSA cops that I've seen walk with their M4s at the ready. Held in one hand, pointing down, with index finger alongside the trigger guard. I hope they have good aim and laser pointers.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Re Blast..."If that is a destroyer then I am the Queen of Rumania."
"Destroyer's" were originally "Torpedo Boat Destroyers". They have now grown into Cruisers, as a means to obtain money from congress.
Methinks Japan has built a "Destroyer Killer".
Need a new name here, folks. How about Cruiser?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Isn't one of this "destroyer" 's missions ASW? It's supposed to carry a bunch of helicopters.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes, but not originally.
20th Century Destroyers (WWII onward) were light weight (hence tin-cans) multi-mission platforms (ASW, AAW, and Anti-Surface). Cruisers were larger, longer on-station time, emphasizing one of the three missions over the other two, transitioning in WWII from fast Anti-Surface to big AAW platforms.
Carrying a bunch of helicopters is short for carrying a bunch of aircraft, regardless. Helos can and do carry a variety of weapons, ASW and Anti-Surface, and when networked into a battle group flag ship (as a vessel of this size is surely intended to be) it becomes a good area denial capital surface ship, with a variety of capabilities. Then of course there are the VSTOL birds.
Now, given the time to design and build warships, this thing has been in the works awhile, probably before his Barriness. Japan could see the handwriting on the wall, and its economy could use the work.
Strategically, it can fill some local sea power voids left by the reduction in available big deck US carriers. Oz ought to give it a go as well, and with help the Philippines.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I misread your comment a little, thinking you said '...one of A destroyers missions...' instead of 'This' destroyer...what you actually said.
Getting old is a b...h.
sigh
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
you don't get to end a war, by saying, unilaterally that the war is over.

You end a war by defeating the enemy and bringing them to the peace table.

Since this hasn't happened, we will continue to fight the war on us, by muslim terrorists, and we will continue to fight in ignorance and with one hand tied behind our backs to appease the PC liberals that have no clue.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sadly, the only way to defeat Islamofascism is by killing every single last one of them. Defeat has a very different meaning to people who do not care if they live or die as long as you are destroyed.

The only way to defeat them is to completely wipe them from the face of the earth.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Unfortunately, you can end a war by losing too.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Or simply surrendering.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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