In a comprehensive profile in the New Yorker, President Obama dismisses the resurgence of Al Qaeda across the Middle East - downplaying its threat and comparing the group to a “JV team.” During the ramp up to the 2012 elections, President Obama declared Al Qaeda was “decimated.” When you consider the Al Qaeda flag is now seen flying in Falluja, Iraq and in various locations around Syria, however, it’s fairly obvious the terror group is anything but “on the run.”
In the article, David Remnick writes:
At the core of Obama’s thinking is that American military involvement cannot be the primary instrument to achieve the new equilibrium that the region so desperately needs. And yet thoughts of a pacific equilibrium are far from anyone’s mind in the real, existing Middle East. In the 2012 campaign, Obama spoke not only of killing Osama bin Laden; he also said that Al Qaeda had been “decimated.” I pointed out that the flag of Al Qaeda is now flying in Falluja, in Iraq, and among various rebel factions in Syria; Al Qaeda has asserted a presence in parts of Africa, too.
“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama said, resorting to an uncharacteristically flip analogy. “I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.
Glenn sounded off on “the madness” on radio this morning:
Front page image courtesy of the AP