Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Is 'core al Qaeda' defeated? Yes. Move on.

OK, I admit that Obama's term "core al Qaeda" is kind of dumb. Obama's trying to simplify in a few words what is actually more complicated, and the result of a years-long campaign of assassination and arrest by the U.S. Military to "decimate" and destroy al Qaeda.

By the way, we hear that word a lot from politicians and the press: "al Qaeda has been decimated."  Google it and see.  Literally, decimated means a tenth of the organization has been destroyed.  In fact it's more like the other way around, more like nine-tenths, but who's counting?  And al Qaeda certainly hasn't helped itself, recruitment-wise, since about 85 percent of those it has killed worldwide were Muslims.

But Marc Thiessen's parsing the term "core al Qaeda" to death is even worse than Obama's oversimplification, and makes us dumber.

Thiessen's whole argument boils down to this: because bin Laden's #2 and his personal secretary are still alive, Obama cannot say that "core al Qaeda" has been defeated... and -- here's the kicker -- ipso facto, we must continue the gargantuan global war on terror with no end.

Two guys.

Two dudes.

And only one of them is "senior," reminded us al Qaeda expert Peter Bergen. Regardless, I don't care if those two guys are as senior as Cobra Commander and Zombie Hitler, when there are two guys left on the other side, you've won. Finito.

In fact Thiessen may have been low-balling just a bit. The BBC just ran an article saying there are about 10 "prominent" al Qaeda members left in places like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen and Egypt.  So excuse me.  Ten dudes, not two.  By all means, to stop 10 dudes, we must continue the Global War on Terrorism.

Sheesh.  Gimme a break.  Give us a break.  Give our poor, brave troops a break. And give the U.S. Constitution a break, since it's being torn up to fight this stupid non-war.

By Marc A. Thiessen
August 7, 2013 | Bezos Post

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