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February 19, 2007

Oh, Great
Posted by Rosa Brooks

The NYT reports: Al Qaeda Chiefs are Seen to Regain Power.

And they really appreciate the fact that we've been too busy in Iraq to bother them.


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Hmmmmm. I thought "Containment" was the Zinni-inspired theme here. It was all well and good to "contain" Baathist Iraq and leave a despot from a small northern Sunni tribe to continue his tyranny, but not so for al Qaeda?

Far war al Qaeda hasn't been capable of launching a major strike in several years. For all the failings of the Bush administration, the one thing they've accomplished is the hard police work necessary to roll up al Qaeda finances, target cells overseas, break into network communications between the bureaucratic OBL HQ, and "contain" the military might, if not the moral suasion, of al Qaeda.

Even near war adherents using the brand name in Iraq have been seriously curtailed in Anbar, where they once dictated the pace of the war.

The unmentioned implication is simple: If we drop Iraq missions today, and concentrate our forces in Afghanistan, what would you like for them to do? Al Qaeda's formal leadership is confined to the scrublands of northwest Pakistan.

Would you suggest that we invade our putative, nuclear-armed ally to get OSL and his lieutenants? If so, how well have you considered the regional chaos that would cause in an area that already squabbles over Kashmir, Afganistan, northern Pakistan and all the other 'Stans in the neighborhood?

Bush family friend OBL is the best thing that ever happened to 43, who has in turn been facilitating bin Laden's goals--the US out of Saudi Arabia, toppling Iraqi secularist Hussein, confronting Shiite Iran and giving OSB much publicity for his recruiting campaign--while using the bogus GWOT to assume more authority and tap the US treasury for more corporate welfare.

Bush, that modest fellow, is on record as saying that he doesn't care about bin Laden.

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