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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Team Obama's Panic To Separate Al-Qaeda From The Taliban

Team Obama's Panic To Separate Al-Qaeda From The Taliban

October 12, 2009

Team Obama's Panic To Separate Al-Qaeda From The Taliban

October 9, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In an Aug. 17 address delivered to the VFW in Arizona, president Obama made three references to the Taliban:

"In recent years, our troops have succeeded in every mission America has given them, from toppling the Taliban to deposing a dictator in Iraq to battling brutal insurgencies."

"In the months since, we've begun to put this comprehensive strategy into action. And in recent weeks, we've seen our troops do their part. They've have gone into new areas—taking the fight to the Taliban in villages and towns where residents have been terrorized for years."

"But we must never forget. This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which al Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans. So this is not only a war worth fighting. This is fundamental to the defense of our people." [source, http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/143101]

Taken together it's difficult not to assume that at the time at least, Obama conflated the threat posed by Taliban with that of al-Qaeda.

With the revelation of General McChrystal's harsh assessment of the military situation in Afghanistan, all that has been amended and we now find that six weeks after the VFW speech Obama has changed his mind, sending the message through unnamed high level administration sources that the Taliban should now be considered not so dangerous or destabilizing, even - unbelievably - suggesting that properly managed, it could become as "non-threatening" as Iran's proxy army, Hezbollah.

"The Taliban is a deeply rooted political movement in Afghanistan, so that requires a different approach than al-Qaeda," said a senior administration official...Some inside the White House have cited Hezbollah, the armed Lebanese political movement, as an example of what the Taliban could become. Hezbollah is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. government, but the group has political support within Lebanon and participates, sometimes through intimidation, in the political process." [source, http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-obama-afghan9-2009oct09,0,5266050.story?track=rss]

Such a rapid and tectonic change in underlying war-fighting assumptions in Afghanistan is evidence of the near total collapse of this administration's counter-terror strategic thinking.

On the day that the administration was test-marketing its Afghan-lite policy, the defiantly un-defanged Taliban was busy detonating a car bomb in Peshawar, Pakistan killing at least 49 and seriously injuring at least a hundred more.

On the previous day a Taliban suicide bomber killed at least twelve in Afghanistan's capital city of Kabul, attempting to demolish the Indian embassy.

On October 3, the Taliban nearly overran an American military outpost in North Afghanistan's Kamdesh resulting in a day-long firefight which saw 8 American servicemen lose their lives.

Today the Taliban flag flies from that now abandoned outpost.

While it might prove interesting for some, as a classroom exercise, to consider the differences between various violent Islamic jihadist groups, on the battlefield, in a shooting war, whatever distinctions might be arrived at in an academic setting are at best tangential to the central goal of victory.

Though different in many regards, the central commonality linking al-Qaeda and the Taliban [and all violent jihadist groups] is a shared ideology based upon a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. Of course this is the primary reason why the administration has cleansed its lexicon of anything to suggest that the phenomenon of terrorism which we face is a religious war promulgated by Muslim fanatics, because absent such concise nomenclature, any manner of nonsense about terrorism might be bandied about in an attempt to gain temporary political advantage, the raison d'ętre, of this administration.

The incredible shortsightedness of this policy will become manifest as the administration's intellectual withdrawal from this conflict intercepts its de-facto abandonment of the war.

At that point few will doubt that Mr. Obama is the deserved object of the Nobel organization's Chamberlainian wet dream.


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