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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Review Of The Fight Against Islamic Extremism since 2009

Link: A. What Is Our Strategy To Defeat Terrorism?
          B. After Paris, Will Obama Administration Move Against Terrorism?

Barrack Obama has been in office since January 2009.  In 2008, his campaign for the White House targeted the Bush Administration's Foreign Policy, as opposed to the ideas and platform of his opponent, Senator John McCain.  Obama had a field day going after Bush, who was an easy target.  What is it about the Bushes, that they seem so incompetent when it comes to self-defense?  I remember when Bush Senior, while expressing indignation at the Clinton Campaign in 1992, could find nothing harsher than "Bozos" to call his detractors.  Ouch?  Obama criticized the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, and openly hypothesized that Bush's "personal" obsession with Saddam Hussein was the reason we had yet to catch Osama Bin-Laden.  The Democrats were energized, and were absolutely focused and driven in recruiting new voters and getting them to the polls.  I can recall Obama's criticism of Bush quite clearly; what I can't remember is an Obama anti-terrorism plan.  Was he planning on pulling the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and using the resources to exclusively search for Bin Laden?  Can anyone help me out here?  In 2008, during the election, what were Obama's intentions regarding Al-Qaeda?  It must have been in the Party Platform that was agreed upon at the convention.  I am anxious to determine just how closely Obama followed his own plan.

The truth is, there wasn't a plan.  What was important was getting the troops out of Iraq.  I can't fault the Administration there; the American people were more than ready to turn the page on that chapter as well.  But if my memory serves me correctly, the Democrats and the left never really separated Afghanistan and Iraq.  The plan was to disengage from both countries at the earliest opportunity.  Once Obama was in office, he realized that Afghanistan was going to be a bit trickier than Iraq, which explains why we are still there.  Another issue that was important to Obama (and something he openly intended to do all along) was the closing of the military prison at Guantanamo Bay.  You can bet your last Cuban peso that Guantanamo will be closed before he leaves office.  But aside from the departure from Iraq and Afghanistan, and the closing of Guantanamo, what policy or
Barak Obama at Cairo Univ. 6/4/2009
Source: The Official White
House Photostream-Flickr

plan did Obama have for dealing with Al-Qaeda and the like? The apology-tour must have been part of someone's plan, because something like that doesn't get decided over night.  Strange that during the campaign, he didn't announce his intention to travel to the Middle East, apologizing about the brutish behavior and U.S. history of bullying, to anyone who would listen.  And no doubt, behind closed doors, he also announced that Israel would no longer be getting a "free ride", and that the Arabs and Palestinians finally had a friend in the White House.  I'm positive this message was shared, if not by Obama directly, then by Hillary and her team of State Department apologists.  The coup de grace was Obama's speech in Cairo.  Obama certainly has some strong feelings about the history of U.S. involvement in the Middle East, but did he mention any of this during the campaign?  I don't think the American people would have taken well to our president groveling in front of this particular group of people.  Did I say grovel?  Remember, this is only my opinion.  I saw his attitude as an effort to make the United States appear as a racist, guilty, internally-broken country.

Instead of over-analyzing President Obama, let's get back to the review of terrorism in the world since he took office.  Let's do this by continent, shall we?

  • North America: The attack at the Boston Marathon was handled brilliantly by local authorities and because of this, the casualty rate was low.  The FBI has disrupted a number of planned domestic attacks; remember, the news media doesn't always know what's happening behind the scenes.
  • South America: The Islamic Extremist community has been involved in criminal activity in South America for sometime.  Both Hamas and Hezbollah have a history of operating in the Tri-Border Region (Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina), and recently Al-Qaeda has arrived.  Since the 1994 terrorist attack at the Jewish community office in Buenos Aires, the majority of the Jewish population has emigrated from Argentina.  And let's not ignore the fact that a number of South American governments are openly Socialist, and hostile to the United States (Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina).
  • Africa:  Al-Qaeda is having a field day in Africa.  The organization is growing in size and influence in West Africa, and its surrogate Boko Haram has repeatedly embarrassed the Nigerian Army. In the East, Al-Shabaab has become more active in Kenya, taking advantage of the endemic poverty and lack of jobs, to recruit in the townships.  In the last few years, Al-Shabaab has successfully conducted a number of high-casualty terrorist operations.  They have no fear of operating in Mombasa, and enjoy shooting up the wealthier suburbs of Nairobi.  The South African anti-terrorism unit of the SAP had better be keeping a close eye on its townships, especially the ones with high-immigrant populations.  Al-Qaeda and ISIS are there as we speak, recruiting jobless, disaffected young men — especially those with military experience.
  • Europe:  Besides the highly-publicized recent episodes in Paris, the UK has also suffered through a number of terrorist-related attacks.  No doubt the governments and police of Italy, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, etc., are keeping tight-lipped about the number of operations they have disrupted.
  • Australia:  Late last year, Australia suffered is own horrific pro-ISIS attack in a cafe in Sydney.
  • Asia, which includes Iraq, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan and is just too much for me to tackle in this post.  Thank goodness the terrorists haven't reached Greenland…yet.
It's safe to say that Islamic Extremism has advanced on all continents with barely a whisper from the world's most powerful nations.  No doubt, the Europeans were waiting for leadership from the United States.  Since 2009, the message has been one of confusion at best.  We went after, and got, Bin-Laden— but his organization has been allowed to aggressively influence policy in two nations (Pakistan and Yemen), and to expand its operations internationally.  Our policy in Syria seems to be a bit confused as well.  Where is the Free Syrian Army?  We are pursuing an important treaty with Iran, but are we at all interested in their military activity in Iraq?  I'm hoping that one day we will look back at February 2015 as the high-water mark for Islamic Extremism.

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