Archive for the ‘al-Qaeda’ Category

Obama Pushes Into Afghanistan, Pakistan But He Controls Few Variables

March 27, 2009

The success of President Barack Obama’s new war strategy depends heavily on factors beyond his control: Afghan competence, Pakistani cooperation and a greater willingness by Europeans and other allies to adopt the American view that al-Qaida is at the core of the conflict.

Each of those has been missing or, at best, has fallen short despite years of U.S. pushing and prodding.

ROBERT BURNS, Associated Press Writer

That is why, after more than seven years of inconclusive combat, hundreds of American deaths, billions in financial aid and incomplete efforts to build self-sustaining Afghan security forces, Obama saw a need Friday to retool strategy, clarify U.S. war aims and seek more help from NATO and other partners.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200903
27/ap_on_an/obama_war_strategy_analysis

Obama Has United Pakistani and Afghan Taliban

March 27, 2009

First Barack Obama wanted U.S. troops out of Iraq.  Then he wanted more U.S. troops in Afghanistan.  Then Pakistan took some of his interest.  Less than 30 days into his presidency, people started talking in terms of “Pak-Af,” or one gigantic potboiler of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Today the president announced that the United States must “disrupt, defeat and dismantle” the al-Qaida terrorist organization and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

President Barack Obama announced an escalation in Afghanistan; committing 4,200 more troops and hundreds more civilians, and embracing a new system of benchmarks to measure progress.

“He’s gone all in,” said an official briefed on the plan. “This is Obama’s war. He’s pushed all the chips to the center of the table.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090
327/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama_afghanistan

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By CARLOTTA GALL
The New York Times

After agreeing to bury their differences and unite forces, Taliban leaders based in Pakistan have closed ranks with their Afghan comrades to ready a new offensive in Afghanistan as the United States prepares to send 17,000 more troops there this year.

In interviews, several Taliban fighters based in the border region said preparations for the anticipated influx of American troops were already being made. A number of new, younger commanders have been preparing to step up a campaign of roadside bombings and suicide attacks to greet the Americans, the fighters said.

The refortified alliance was forged after the reclusive Afghan Taliban leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, sent emissaries to persuade Pakistani Taliban leaders to join forces and turn their attention to Afghanistan, Pakistani officials and Taliban members said.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/27/
world/asia/27taliban.html?_r=1&hp

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From The Times of India:
“You know something big and spooky is cooking when the three top intelligence honchos in the United States visit India” before any other new Obama cabinet officials.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/I
ndia/US-sleuths-in-India-to-discuss
-dangerous-Pak/rssarticleshow/4
289744.cms

Ron Silver: We Will Never Forget

March 16, 2009

“We will never forget. We will never forgive. We will never excuse.”

Ron Silver, who died this last weekend, delivered that great line not in a movie, on TV or as an actor: he spoke those words about the 9-11 attack by al-Qaeda upon the people of the United States as an American.  And he spoke those words despite the fact that he knew Hollywood would reject him.

And Hollywood did reject him.

“It’s affected me very badly. I can’t point to a person or a job I’ve lost, but this community is not very pluralistic,” Silver told the AP in 2005. “I haven’t worked for 10 months.”

The land of the free and the home of the brave still has trouble in some places, at some times and among some people; in accepting alternate views.

Barack Obama is the anti-Ron Silver.  Obama is about reaching out and discussing with the taliban and al-Qaeda, closing the terror prison at Gitmo, and going soft on terrorists.  He has even done away with the words “terrorists” and “enemy combatants.”

We salute Ron Silver and all men who stick by their guns.

God bless.

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Related:
Ron Silver Dies
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20
090316/ap_on_en_tv/obit_silver

http://michellemalkin.com/2009
/03/15/ron-silver-rip-flashback-
silvers-2004-rnc-speech/

Obama wants to ‘discuss’ with Taliban? Taliban threatens to kill aid workers

Sun Setting On American Superpower?

Obama bans term “enemy combatant,” joins “terrorist” in unusable list

Obama Maybe Doesn’t Know: Nice guys get finished first

Obama wants to ‘discuss’ with Taliban? Taliban threatens to kill aid workers

Obama Could Lose Afghanistan, Pakistan

March 13, 2009

After 52 days, it is starting to look like President Obama wcould roll back America’s strategic place in the world faster than anyone since Napoleon fled from Moscow to Paris.

Obama has established himself as the outreach and diplomacy president in a world that mostly understands thunder and power.

And General David Petraeus says more U.S. troops and power are not the solution in Afghanistan anyway.

Gen. Petraeus: No Iraq-style surge in Afghanistan

As North Korea threatened to both launch a long range missile and go to war this week, the White House almost shrugged and said “never mind.”  Spokesmen even said the U.S. had no intention of shooting the North Korean missile down.  This after America’s commander in the Pacific, Admiral Keating, said his boys WOULD shoot it down.

Finally, Japan has said in disgust it would shoot the darned thing down.

Hillary Clinton, already the subject of talk for a bone-headed gift to her Russian equal, Mr. Lavrov, said the U.S. “had a lot of options” with North Korea.

With China sparking an at sea incident; Washington gave the same kind of response.  The strategic yawn.

The U.S. is even rolling back on its human rights criticisms of China — just as China is expressing doubts at buying more U.S. debt.

Hmmmm.

While these shrugs and yawns may be appropriate, the situation in Afghanistan, where the president is adding troops and lowering expectations and goals, is troubling.

A key air bas, Manas, in Kyrgyzstan is already apparently lost in a move by Russia.

Analysts: Russia outmaneuvered U.S. over air base

Terrorist Taliban forces now surround Kabul, and Afghan government sources say the city could be under seige “at any time.”

Moin Ansari says on his web site, “The US is leaving Afghanistan. Only the details of the withdrawal and the schedule of the return is to announced. A massive campaign will be launched to obfuscate the defeat with face saving measures like the ones implemented in Iraq.”

As for Afghanistan, Mr. Ralph Peters, once a “Surger,” is now an “Exiter“.

Mr. Peter’s four possibilities can be listed as choices between an exit strategy or a hasty retreat after the defeat. We see it as follows:

1) Plan an exist strategy and leave with dignity now or

2) Wait for the Taliban to run over Karzai’s forbidden city

The ranks of the “Exiters” from Afghanistan is surging because of several interlinked factors—the economy and China. Both are inter-related and the dependencies weigh heavy on the White House. Why the US gave up India as a Strategic partner? Without China’s help, the USA cannot sustain the bailouts or hope for a recovery. China is willing to give the US a reprieve, but may have a couple of strings attached. China will exact a price. It seems that Beijing at this point will require a pullout from Afghanistan and the resolution of Kashmir. We have always considered Kashmir as the silent “K” in Holbrooke’s mission. India’s worst nightmares come true: Long term strategic malaise in a changing world . The People’s Daily leaves no doubt that the resolution of Kashmir is not simply a “nice to have” on the “wish list” of Mr. Holbrooke–it a mandated requirement-China’s pound of flesh for agreeing to buy American T-Bonds. India feels the pain: The US begs Beijing for money

Pakistan’s turmoil continues and if Afghanistan falls, Pakistan will likely follow….

Military chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani urged Pakistan’s President Zardari to agree to some demands of protesters, in the first insertion of the military into the government in over a year.

Pakistan Military Chief Pushes President to Yield to Demonstrators’ Demands

The new Obama plan reportedly calls for more effort from Pakistan to fight Taliban and al-Qaeda forces; which seems impossible given the internal politics of  Pakistan at present….

Related:
http://rupeenews.com/2009/03/12
/beyond-us-withdrawal-from-afghanistan/

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03
/13/obama-to-re-brand-enemy-combatants/

The war on “terror” is verbally and virtually over…
Obama bans term “enemy combatant,” joins “terrorist” in unusable list

China:
Obama Backs-Off On Human Rights Issues: Economy is That Important

 Obama Backs Off, Japan Ready To Shoot Down North Korean Missile

Obama’s Poll Numbers Are Falling to Earth

China’s Love/Hate Relationship With The U.S

Pakistan: Circling The Drain?
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U.S. Urges Calm inPakistan:
http://urdunews.wordpress.com/20
09/03/13/us-appeals-for-calm-in-pakistan/

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UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Security in Afghanistan has deteriorated and may worsen this year in the face of a renewed Taliban insurgency, the U.N. chief said in a report published Friday.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his latest report to the Security Council on U.N. activities in Afghanistan that 2009 would be a critical year. He added there were reasons for medium-term optimism.

“The government, security forces and population of Afghanistan, along with its international partners, face a critical test in 2009,” the report said.

“Security has continued to deteriorate. The results of government and international aid efforts have fallen short of popular expectations as Afghans suffer the effects of drought and a global rise in food prices.”

Violence is at its highest level in Afghanistan since U.S.-led forces toppled the Taliban in late 2001.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/200
90313/wl_nm/us_afghan_un_1

By ANNE GEARAN and ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration expects to announce new objectives for the flagging war in Afghanistan as soon as next week that place an onus on next-door Pakistan to contain extremism, defense and administration officials said Thursday.

The White House objectives were expected to roughly parallel 15 goals contained in a 20-page classified report to the White House from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Among them were getting rid of terrorist safe havens in Pakistan and adopting a regional approach to reducing the threat of terrorism and extremism in both countries.

“We’re just about done,” Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said in an interview with PBS’ “The Charlie Rose Show” on Thursday.

The review addresses “the safe haven in Pakistan, making sure that Afghanistan doesn’t provide a capability in the long run or an environment in which al-Qaida could return or the Taliban could return,” Mullen said, as well as the need for stability, economic development and better governance in Afghanistan, and the development of the Afghan armed forces.

An administration official said that although the review was not complete, one thrust was that Pakistan needed to recognize that combating extremism was in its own interest as well as that of U.S.- and NATO fighting forces across the border in Afghanistan. The official, like others interviewed for this story, spoke on condition of anonymity because the review was not complete.

President Barack Obama was expected to explain the redrawn U.S. objectives to NATO allies when he attends a NATO summit in Europe next month.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200903
13/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_afghanistan_7

Losing Terror War? Al Qaeda, Afghanistan, Iran

March 11, 2009
Defense Intelligence Agency chief Army Lt. Gen. Michael Maples tells senators during a Capitol Hill hearing that Al Qaeda has resurfaced in a country it was forced to flee seven years ago.
By Greg Miller
Los Angeles Times
March 11, 2009
Reporting from Washington — Al Qaeda has expanded its presence in Afghanistan, taking advantage of the sinking security situation to resurface in the country it was forced to flee seven years ago, the top U.S. military intelligence official testified Tuesday.

Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, described Al Qaeda’s efforts as one of the reasons for the Obama administration’s decision last month to order additional troops to Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is no longer the haven for Al Qaeda that it was before the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States. But in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Maples said, “I believe Al Qaeda’s presence in Afghanistan is more significant, although still at a relatively minor scale, than we have seen in the past.”

Maples also cited intelligence indicating that Iran is playing a more active role in supporting a militant group based in Pakistan that is launching attacks against U.S. and Afghan forces.

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworl
d/world/la-fg-intel11-2009mar11,0,421
8559.story

Intelligence Officials Testify On National Security Threats 
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Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair, left, and Defense Intelligence Agency chief Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples testify on Capitol Hill at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Maples said Al Qaeda has resurfaced in Afghanistan in a way not seen since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion. Blair said the U.S. intelligence assessment is that Iran does not have any highly enriched uranium.  Alex Wong / Getty Images

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A progressive Presidency is a terrible thing to waste. It only comes around once every so often. Wouldn’t it be a shame if Americans’ hopes for the Obama Administration were squandered in Afghanistan?

See:
http://nasir-khan.blogspot.com/2009/03/c
an-congress-save-obama-from-afghan.html

Guantanamo detainees gloat; say they planned Sept. 11

March 10, 2009

The five detainees at the U.S. Guantanamo Bay prison camp charged with plotting the September 11 attacks have filed a document expressing pride at their accomplishment and accepting responsibility for the deaths of nearly 3,000 people, The New York Times reported on Monday.

Reuters

File:National Park Service 9-11 Statue of Liberty and WTC fire.jpg

The document, which the newspaper said may be released publicly on Tuesday, describes the five men as the “9/11 Shura Council,” and says their actions were an offering to God, according to excerpts of the document read to a reporter by an unidentified government official, the report said.

“‘To us,’ the official read, ‘they are not accusations. To us they are a badge of honor, which we carry with honor,'” the paper said.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090310/t
s_nm/us_guantanamo_document

New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/10/u
s/10gitmo.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=guant
anamo&st=cse

Related:
 Al-Qaeda, Gitmo Quandary: After Prison, Suppose Just One Terrorists Destroys Your Way of Life?

President Obama says he will close Gitmo next year….

Biden: “U.S., West Not Winning In Afghanistan”

March 10, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden says the “deteriorating situation” in Afghanistan poses a security threat to every NATO country and beyond.
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BRUSSELS — Vice President Joe Biden urged NATO members to jointly confront Al Qaeda and other extremist groups in Afghanistan where he said instability threatens all of the alliance’s members equally.

Appearing before NATO’s top decision making body, Biden solicited ideas to reverse a losing military strategy in Afghanistan as part of President Barack Obama’s policy to bring more European allies on board to fight the Taliban-led insurgency.

He warned the situation in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan was worsening, adding, “The deteriorating situation in the region poses a security threat from our respect not just to the United States, but to every single nation around this table.”

“It was from that remote area of the world that Al Qaeda plotted 9/11 and subsequent attacks” in Europe and elsewhere.

In his speech, Biden said the Obama administration will be keen to engage NATO allies in global security discussions, marking a departure from the last eight years when Washington often was on a go-it-alone course that upset its European allies.

“President Obama and I are deeply committed to NATO. Lets get that straight right from the start,” Biden told the North Atlantic Council — the panel of ambassadors from NATO’s 26 member nations.

Biden said Americans view a terrorist attack in Europe “as an attack on the United States. That is not hyperbole … We view it as a gateway to further attacks on the United States. So please understand that this is not a U.S.-centrist view that only if America is attacked is there a terrorist threat.”

He said he came to hear ideas from the allies on how NATO can bring stability to Afghanistan.

“It is from that area that Al Qaeda and its extremist allies are regenerating in conceiving new atrocities aimed at the people around the world from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India to the United States, Europe and Australia,” he added.

After his consultations with NATO allies he will meet with senior officials at EU headquarters.
His visit, less than a week after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with senior NATO and EU officials here, highlights the new priority that diplomatic outreach to allies has become for Washington.

An issue closely related to the Afghan war is growing concern that neighboring Pakistan could be sliding further into instability.

Obama launched a strategic review of U.S. policy in Afghanistan after he took office in January. That review is expected to be completed later this month.

“What I want to learn is what your countries believe are working, what you think is not working, how we can do a better job in stopping Afghanistan and Pakistan from being a haven for terrorists,” Biden said.

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/200
9/03/10/biden-warns-deteriorating-sit
uation-afghanistan/

See Also Reuters:
“West Not ‘Winning’ in Afghanistan”
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/200
90310/pl_nm/us_afghan_nato_b
iden_4

While President Obama and VP Biden attempt to squeeze more troops out of Europe, they are facing the economic problems of the global recession as well as great uncertainty about U.S. policy, commitment, capability and ability….

Related:
Obama Throws Britain Under the Bus: Relationship “Reset” and “Regime Change”

Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

Obama’s First Major Foreign Crisis Brewing?
.
Protocol: Brit Media Furious At Obama

Czech President Says Obama Views “Unknown” On Key Foreign Policy Issues

White House: U.S. Will Not Shoot North Korean Missile

Obama, State Department, White House Staff, Hillary “Unaware,” “Overwhelmed” by Expectations
.
Hillary: One-Time Health Care Failure Now American’s Chief Diplomat, Fouls Up First Time Out

 Obama Forges New Path in Protocol

 Hillary: One-Time Health Care Failure Now American’s Chief Diplomat, Fouls Up First Time Out

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

Trust is the coin of the realm

February 14, 2009

Thomas F. Madden’s book “Empires of Trust” begins with the story of Rome’s conquest of Locri, a small Italian city-state.

A Roman lieutenant named Pleminius maintained order there in a heavy-handed manner, sacking and looting religious shrines and enslaving the Locrians. When Locrian ambassadors later assembled in the Roman Senate chamber, it was not, as many senators expected, to beg for forgiveness and charity but to lodge a complaint.

Pleminius, they charged, was a tyrant. “There is nothing human except his face and appearance,” cried one. “There is no trace of the Roman except in his clothing and speech.”

By Mike Mullen
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Washington Post
Sunday, February 15, 2009; Page B07

Top US military commander Admiral Mike Mullen in New York. Top ... 
Top US military commander Admiral Mike Mullen in New York. Top US military officer Admiral Mike Mullen said on Tuesday more American troops were needed in Afghanistan as soon as possible to hold territory where insurgents have been routed.(AFP/File/Jason Kempin)

Though they had rebelled against Rome — siding with archenemy Hannibal — the Locrians expected better. “They trusted the Romans to act responsibly,” writes Madden, “and even when that trust was violated, they trusted the Romans to make it right.”

Such was the reputation for equanimity and fairness that Rome had built. Such were the responsibilities of leadership.

We are not Romans, of course. Our brigade combat teams are not the legions of old. Madden makes that clear. But we in the U.S. military are likewise held to a high standard. Like the early Romans, we are expected to do the right thing, and when we don’t, to make it right again.

We have learned, after seven years of war, that trust is the coin of the realm — that building it takes time, losing it takes mere seconds, and maintaining it may be our most important and most difficult objective.

That’s why images of prisoner maltreatment at Abu Ghraib still serve as recruiting tools for al-Qaeda. And it’s why each civilian casualty for which we are even remotely responsible sets back our efforts to gain the confidence of the Afghan people months, if not years.

It doesn’t matter how hard we try to avoid hurting the innocent, and we do try very hard. It doesn’t matter how proportional the force we deploy, how precisely we strike. It doesn’t even matter if the enemy hides behind civilians. What matters are the death and destruction that result and the expectation that we could have avoided it. In the end, all that matters is that, despite our best efforts, sometimes we take the very lives we are trying to protect.

You cannot defeat an insurgency this way.

We can send more troops. We can kill or capture all the Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders we can find — and we should. We can clear out havens and shut down the narcotics trade. But until we prove capable, with the help of our allies and Afghan partners, of safeguarding the population, we will never know a peaceful, prosperous Afghanistan.

Lose the people’s trust, and we lose the war. The strategy reviews for Afghanistan recognize this and seek military, economic, political, diplomatic and informational approaches to regaining that trust. We know that the people are the real long-term hope for success. No single solution or preventative measure will suffice in protecting them.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-d
yn/content/article/2009/02/13/AR2
009021302580.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Russia says it wants to help US in Afghanistan

February 4, 2009

Today, Kyrgyzstan’s government submitted a draft bill to parliament calling for the closing of the U.S. base at Manas that is key to the military campaign in Afghanistan. The U.S. Air Base has been especially important, both the State Department and Pentagon say….

Why did they do that?

Because Russia gave Kyrgyzstan a $2 Billion loan and asked them to close the U.S. air base on their soil….

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President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday that Russia and its ex-Soviet allies want to help the United States stabilize Afghanistan, saying Moscow wanted “full-fledged” cooperation with Washington.

He spoke a day after the ex-Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan announced it would evict the U.S. from an air base key to the Afghan war. Kyrgyzstan made the move after getting a promise for $2 billion in loans from Russia — which resents the American presence in a region Moscow regards as part of its traditional sphere of influence.

By MIKE ECKEL, Associated Press Writer

The possibility of the base closure poses a serious challenge to the new U.S. administration and President Barack Obama‘s plan to send up to 30,000 more American forces into Afghanistan this year.

“Russia and other (alliance members) are ready for full-fledged comprehensive cooperation with the United States and other coalition members in fighting terrorism in the region. This fight must be comprehensive and include both military and political components. Only in the case will this have a chance to succeed,” Medvedev said.

It was not clear if Medvedev’s reference to “full-fledged” cooperation was an attempt to reassure Washington or an indication that Moscow would seek concessions in exchange for helping keep the Manas air base open.

Russia has appeared open to aiding the U.S. and NATO in Afghanistan by facilitating attempts to find northern alternatives to Pakistani supply lines increasingly threatened by militant attacks. But Moscow also wants to protect what it says as its strategic backyard by blocking the possibility of NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia. Russia has also vehemently opposed U.S. plans to put a missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Medvedev appeared to criticize U.S. efforts on stabilizing Afghanistan, saying it would be impossible to defeat terrorism there only using military means.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090204/a
p_on_re_eu/as_kyrgyzstan_us_base_12

Related:
American Troops In Afghanistan Out On A Limb?

Afghan Supplies, Russian Demands, Obama’s Big Challenge
Related:
 Russia Boosts Aid To Neighbors; Wants U.S. Base, Influence Ended

 Pentagon study: US should pare Afghanistan goals

Can Obama succeed in the ‘land of the unruly?’ Afghanistan Won’t Be Easy

Obama’s Vietnam

Troubling Obama Trends Seen By Some In Military? Why Die For “Limited Goals” In Afghanistan?

Obama’s Unnecessary Muslim Apologia; Misguided on al-Qaeda

January 30, 2009

Every new president flatters himself that he, kinder and gentler, is beginning the world anew. Yet, when Barack Obama in his inaugural address reached out to Muslims by saying “to the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect,” his formulation was needlessly defensive and apologetic.

By Charles Krauthammer
The Washington Post

 

Is it “new” to acknowledge Muslim interests and show respect to the Muslim world? Obama doesn’t just think so, he said so again to millions in his al-Arabiya interview, insisting on the need to “restore” the “same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago.”

Astonishing. In these most recent 20 years — the alleged winter of our disrespect of the Islamic world — America did not just respect Muslims, it bled for them. It engaged in five military campaigns, every one of which involved — and resulted in — the liberation of a Muslim people: Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn
/content/article/2009/01/29/AR2009
012903444.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Related:
 Obama: Muslims not America’s enemy, “I have Muslim members of my family”

 Obama Told His Actions On Gitmo Could “jeopardize those who are fighting the war on terror”

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From the Heritage Foundation:
http://conservativemeanderings.wordpress.c
om/2009/01/30/al-qaeda-is-not-a-competi
ng-political-party/

President Obama offered a new tone but little substance. He proclaimed that “we are ready to initiate a new partnership based on mutual respect and mutual interest.” But he displayed amazing naivete in defining what those common interests are, suggesting that al-Qaeda leaders “seemed nervous” because their ideas are bankrupt: “There’s no actions that they’ve taken that say a child in the Muslim world is getting a better education because of them, or has better health care because of them.”

This statement reveals an enormous misunderstanding of the ideological roots of Islamist terrorism and a shocking lack of respect for the powerful motivating force of the idea of jihad for al-Qaeda supporters. The President implies that a better education policy or health care plan will inevitably doom al-Qaeda, as if that terrorist network is competing like a political party to benefit Muslim voters rather than trying to violently impose its radical ideas on people that it views as misguided Muslims.