Andrew McCarthy at the National Review:
Whatever your thoughts on our foreign policy, it’s important to recognize an important aim of any administration is to set goals and appear to have met them.
The whole ‘ISIL’ moniker instead of ‘IS’ or ‘ISIS’, and ‘Khorasan,’ rather than any focus on Al Qaeda serves the current President’s claims that his policies have worked. There isn’t much evidence for this.
‘You can’t pick up a carpet by all four corners at once. Some al-Qaeda units are assigned to one or more of these objectives at different times; but all al-Qaeda units support and work toward the comprehensive, hegemonic program. It is highly unlikely that the so-called Khorasan Group is working on a mission completely distinct from al-Nusra’s mission; but even if there were such a division of labor, they are still one organization with one ideology and one ultimate goal.’
It’s a little more complicated than that. Eli Lake’s original piece:
‘The attack on the Khorasan Group, which consists of senior al Qaeda operatives loyal to the group’s central leadership, presents an unusual dilemma for Obama’s own war planners.’
‘An easing of tensions between al Qaeda and ISIS presents dangers for America in its military campaign in the Levant. It could persuade hardline Islamist brigades, the largest of the insurgent militias among the Syrian rebels, to oppose the West and to halt their own war against ISIS.’
Here’s Adam Garfinkle, from a while ago, as (I think) the goal is to have policies that work, that can maintain American security and form functional alliances to meet our interests. Full piece here.
‘It is all well and good to point out that the President is largely to blame for his paucity of decent options—and it happens also to be true. It is true that, had he acted with a judicious use of U.S. power in the early stages in the Syrian civil war, he very well might have avoided the mess that he, and the nation with him, are in now. Plenty of people urged him, and plenty of people warned him—both inside his own Administration and out—that passivity would exact the highest price of all. He ignored them all.’
There’s a real mess out there.
Link sent in by a reader to Alexander Hitchens essay: As American As Apple Pie: How Anwar al-Awlaki Became The Face Of Western Jihad
Christopher Hitchens At Slate: ‘Lord Haw Haw And Anwar Al-Awlaki’…From CSIS: ‘Rick “Ozzie” Nelson and Tom Sanderson on the Future of Al Qaeda’,Lawrence Wright At The New Yorker: ‘The Man Behind Bin Laden’…From Slate: ‘In Aleppo, Syria, Mohamed Atta Thought He Could Build The Ideal Islamic City’…Repost-Philip Bobbitt Discusses His Book ‘Terror And Consent’ On Bloggingheads
Free speech (used both well and unwell) meets offended Muslims: ‘Mohammad Cartoonist Lars Vilks Headbutted‘During Lecture’……From The OC Jewish Experience: ‘UC Irvine Muslim Student Union Suspended’…From Volokh: ‘”South Park” Creators Warned (Threatened) Over Mohammed’