Senator Barack Obama’s answer to Katie Couric’s question a few days ago about why he thinks there have been no terrorist attacks on American soil since September 11, 2001, was bizarre.
“Well,” he said, “I think that the initial invasion into Afghanistan disrupted al Qaeda. And that was the right thing to do. I mean, we had to knock out those safe havens. And that, I think, weakened them. We did some work in strengthening our homeland security apparatus here. Obviously, the average person knows that when they go to the airport, because they are goin’ through taking off their shoes … all that. The problem is when we got distracted by Iraq. We gave al Qaeda time to reconstitute itself.” [Emphasis added.]
Jennifer Rubin correctly noted that Couric asked Obama why the U.S. has not been attacked, but let’s leave that aside. The notion that “we gave Al Qaeda time to reconstitute itself” is breathtakingly ahistorical.
The U.S. and NATO have never let up in Afghanistan. At no time were American resources redeployed from Afghanistan to Iraq.
Obama could, perhaps, argue that fewer resources were available for the fight in Afghanistan because of the war in Iraq. That would be true. But that’s also true of Al Qaeda’s resources. They also deployed manpower and material to Iraq that otherwise could have been sent to Afghanistan.
The Al Qaeda leadership emphatically has not agreed with Obama that Iraq is a distraction. It has been their main event for years.
“The most important and serious issue today for the whole world,” Osama bin Laden said on December 28, 2004, “is this Third World War, which the Crusader-Zionist coalition began against the Islamic nation. It is raging in the land of the two rivers. The world’s millstone and pillar is in Baghdad, the capital of the caliphate.”
It’s only natural that an Arab-led and mostly Arab-staffed terrorist group like Al Qaeda would be more concerned with a strategically critical country in the heart of the Arab Middle East than with a primitive non-Arab backwater in Central Asia.
Bin Laden’s lieutenant Ayman al-Zawahiri explicitly spelled out Al Qaeda’s strategy in Iraq on July 9, 2005. “The first stage: Expel the Americans from Iraq,” he said. “The second stage: Establish an Islamic authority or amirate, then develop it and support it until it achieves the level of a caliphate—over as much territory as you can to spread its power in Iraq.”
The war against Saddam Hussein in Iraq can plausibly be described as a distraction from the war against Al Qaeda. But the war against Al Qaeda in Iraq cannot possibly be accurately described as a distraction from the war against Al Qaeda.
Read it all, and perhaps wonder how Obama has the temerity to question Sarah Palin's foreign policy credentials and mock her as a VP candidate. She has more wisdom in a single neuron than the Democrat's 'Messiah' has in his entire brain.
Obama has had the benefit of being involved in running for President for a few years now, with some 200 "advisors" to brief him and lay out the details of what has been going on. It is his judgement about all that information that is so appalling. His 'instincts' and priorities are all warped and perverted by the same tired, leftist ideology and dogma that had nothing to offer in the 20th century and most certainly has nothing to offer us now in defeating the challenges America and the world face.