Thursday, March 06, 2008

Obama and Other Liberals Hoist on their Petard

For almost five years now we have been hearing from liberal Democrats that the Iraq War was a diversion from our efforts to destroy Al Qaeda, and that terrorism could only be overcome through diplomacy. Even now, with unmistakable evidence that President Bush’s strategy of fighting them in Iraq, rather than on our homeland, has proven brilliant, we keep hearing nonsense from Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. See video of Obama’s foolishness at end.

March 4, 2008, cross-posted from Powerline
Bad news for al Qaeda. . .and for liberal talking points

For years now, the American left has been arguing that the war in Iraq is a distraction from the "real" war against al Qaeda and is counter-productive because it's "creating" new terrorists. Apparently, it never occurred to these deep-thinkers that inflicting a defeat on al-Qaeda in Iraq -- a defeat made possible because a previously sympathetic population turned with our help against al Qaeda -- might constitute a devastating blow to al Qaeda's standing in the Arab world.

The idea that losing a war hurts one's standing may be a novel one for our sophisticated liberals. But Osama bin Laden has long grasped it, famously stating years ago that "when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse."

Our amazing progress in Iraq is demonstrating that, for now, al Qaeda rather than the U.S. is the weak horse in the very country that al Qaeda has identified as the key battleground in its struggle against us. Consequently, as Peter Wehner shows, the tide within the Islamic world is beginning to run strongly against al-Qaeda. For example, Sayyid Imam al-Sharif recently published a book -- Rationalizations on Jihad in Egypt and the World -- in which he argues that the use of violence to overthrow Islamic governments is religiously unlawful and practically harmful. He also recommends the formation of a special Islamic court to try bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s number two and its ideological leader. These words are significant, Wehner says, because Sharif was once a mentor to Zawahir and has been described by terrorism expert Jarret Brachman as “a living legend within the global jihadist movement.”

Similarly, Sheikh Abd Al-‘Aziz bin Abdallah Aal Al-Sheikh, the highest religious authority in Saudi Arabia, issued a fatwa late last year prohibiting Saudi youth from engaging in jihad abroad. It states: “I urge my brothers the ulama [the top class of Muslim clergy] to clarify the truth to the public . . . to warn [youth] of the consequences of being drawn to arbitrary opinions and [religious] zeal that is not based on religious knowledge.” Around the same time, Sheikh Salman al-Awdah, an influential Saudi cleric whom bin Laden once lionised, wrote an “open letter” condemning bin Laden. “Brother Osama, how much blood has been spilt? How many innocents among children, elderly, the weak, and women have been killed and made homeless in the name of al-Qaeda?” Sheikh Awdah wrote. “The ruin of an entire people, as is happening in Afghanistan and Iraq . . . cannot make Muslims happy.”

Public opinion polls seem to confirm al Qaeda's suddenly low standing in the Muslim world. Wehner points to a survey in Pakistan finding that in January less than a quarter of Pakistanis approved of bin Laden, compared with 46 per cent last August, while backing for al-Qaeda fell from 33 per cent to 18 per cent. And Pew reports that the percentage of Muslims saying suicide bombing is justified in the defense of Islam has declined in seven of the eight Arab countries where trend data are available. In Lebanon, for example, 34 per cent of Muslims say such suicide bombings are often or sometimes justified. In 2002, before the Iraq war began, 74 per cent expressed this view.

Wehner notes that, even in the face of evidence like this, Barack Obama declared in a recent debate that “we are seeing al-Qaeda stronger now than at any time since 2001.” This may reflect the counsel he's getting from Zbigniew Brzezinski, Lawrence Korb, and Samantha Power. However, with Sunnis in Iraq siding en masse siding with the American “infidel” and “occupying power” to purge al Qaeda and with prominent Islamic clerics throughout the region following suit, Obama's view bears no apparent relation to reality.

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At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact remains that there was no Al Quaedq in Iraq before we invaded. We created it.

At 1:37 PM, Blogger RussWilcox said...

Even if that were 100% true, the fact remains that the Bush doctrine drew Al Qaeda types from many surrounding countries where they have been soundly defeated, and wherein they did not come here to do their mischief. Get over it.

At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree...they were not there but defeating them there is still defeating them...and better there than in the US. Also it is well known that Al Qaeda strength now is FAR BELOW what it was in 2001

I believe the war against the fanatics will be waged in numerous countries at the same time....and that a win in Iraq helps to some degree the fight in Afghanistan or Pakistan.

At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't understand why any of you are so interested in militant muslims that have a name. Prior to 9/11 there were many miltant muslims in every mid-east country including Iraq. They all preached the destruction of the US, and perhaps Osama Bin Laden wished they were aligned with him, but never-the-less they were militant muslims. Perhaps with the Iraq war many became aligned with Osama and many were splinter groups..Most of the early opposition was not aligned with Osama Bin Laden and it was only after he thought he could make some headway did he push for them to join his forces. It does a discredit to the whole mid-east crises to think that the only militant muslim was an Al Qaeda and it diminishes the crises that existed throughout the region long before we invaded Iraq. Remember it was the muslim militant that killed Anwar Sadat. So please recognize the whole mid-east crises and not a small sectarian group as Al Qaeda as the problem we face. You all are putting too much in a name and forgetting the movement throught the mid-east including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan...they may not all be Al Queda but they sure are militants having the same purpose in mind.

At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember also the Taliban had the same goal as Al Qaeda but were not aligned with them


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