BACK TO REALITY – AT 10:37 A.M. ET: We are endlessly told by the Obama administration that Al Qaeda is on the run, on the ropes, almost cooked, and that we can start coming home from our overseas commitments.
Con Coughlin, the terrorism expert at London's Telegraph, tells a very different story. As usual, the British reporters take on American politicians more effectively than our own lame press. From The Telegraph:
There are times, such as last night's State of the Union address, when I think President Barack Obama has taken leave of reality. How he can claim, when half the Arab world is being overrun by Islamist militants, that al-Qaeda is now a shadow of its former self is beyond comprehension.
When you're Barac, come to save us, you can claim anything.
Is he forgetting that it is only five months since Chris Stevens, the US ambassador to Libya, died following an attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi by al-Qaeda militants? Is he unaware of al-Qaeda's takeover of large swathes of North Africa? Hasn't anyone told him that al-Qaeda is now playing an active role in trying to overthrow the Assad regime in Damascus, as well as infiltrating other Islamist movements in places such as Egypt and Tunisia?
We can all understand Mr Obama's desire to make reviving the American economy his first priority. But it is downright dangerous for him to claim that the fight against militant Islam is over, and that it is safe to bring home the troops.
But Barack doesn't think like those other pesky American presidents. He is above us, in the Utopian world of the future.
But then avoiding conflict has been the cornerstone of Mr Obama's presidency since he first took office four years ago, no matter how great the provocation. And it is in this context that he feels he can start withdrawing American forces from Afghanistan, even though it is clear to anyone with any detailed knowledge of the conflict that the Taliban is still a force to be reckoned with.
And, more to the point, so is al-Qaeda, which is simply sitting in the mountains over the border in Waziristan waiting for the Americans and their allies to leave so they can relocate across the border and reconstruct their terror bases once again. So far as Britain is concerned the al-Qaeda terror nexus that remains on the Afghan-Pakistan border is responsible for at least fifty percent of the plots directed against the UK, and if Mr Obama is really going to abandon his responsibility of providing effective leadership for the Western alliance, then we really are in trouble.
COMMENT: Yes, we really are in trouble, for Obama is abandoning the field. A man who will appoint John Kerry and Chuck Hagel to the two highest national-security posts in the government isn't signaling seriousness. Neither of these men has been right on any major issue of our time.
I suspect that, quietly, in the confines of their own foreign ministries, many of our allies are chanting, "Bring back Bush!"
February 13, 2013