Belmont Club

Oh, let's not follow the money

The Washington Post reports that lawyers are successfully arguing that terror financiers can’t be blacklisted because it violates their fundamental rights.

BRUSSELS — The global blacklisting system for financiers of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups is at risk of collapse, undermined by legal challenges and waning political support in many countries, according to counterterrorism officials in Europe and the United States.

In September, the European Court of Justice threw the future of the United Nations’ sanctions program against al-Qaeda and the Taliban into doubt when it declared the blacklist violated the “fundamental rights” of those targeted. The Luxembourg-based court said the list lacked accountability and made it almost impossible for people to challenge their inclusion.

But the fundamental problem with fighting terrorism any further may not be legal technicality. It may be the perception that the political justification for the War on Terrorism and combating terrorism has run out; that September 11 is now truly history and BHO’s election is the period to a last chapter that politicians are now in a hurry to forget. Despite Obama’s promise to ‘get’ Osama Bin Laden, it may be that the very forces which brought him to power are the very same which have worked hard to de-legitimize resistance to Islamic extremism. How can BHO can prosecute a war against al-Qaeda when many of his supporters are Leftist or pacifist is a non-trivial challenge. This is evident even to the Taliban and are they asking the new administration to give up the campaign in Afghanistan as a bad job. Why can’t we just get along and let the Taliban in peace? In the same way they were at peace before September 11, 2001. The Press Trust of India reports that the Taliban has asked President-elect Obama to pull out of Afghanistan.

Islamabad, Nov 6(PTI) Hoping that a new era of peace will dawn with the election of Barack Obama as the US President, the Taliban has asked the President-elect to change his country’s policies towards it and end the war in Afghanistan. Reacting to Obama’s victory in the American polls, top Taliban spokesman Qari Muhammad Yousaf Ahmadi told reporters: “We want to tell the world and the West to pull out their troops from Afghanistan as the (party of US President George W Bush) has lost the race because of their flawed polices.” Another Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said it would be “unwise” if Obama tried to solve the Afghan problem militarily. He said it would be “wrong thinking” if Obama tried to increase US forces in Afghanistan to “make Afghans slaves”.

This highlights the question of whether BHO can prosecute a war against al-Qaeda, even if he wanted to. The very sources of his political support vitiate against raising the commitment he will need from Europe and at domestically for a prolonged campaign in Southwest Asia. The Taliban request is implicitly based on the belief that the very sentiments that swept him into office will make it difficult for him to fight them. Are they right?


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