Sometimes reality has a way of getting in the way of your campaign promises.
Despite his earlier rhetoric about ending the conflicts initiated by George W. Bush, and just a couple of weeks after collecting his Nobel Peace Prize, President Barack Obama gave the order for a military strike which was carried out against al-Qaeda terrorists in Yemen yesterday, in a major escalation of his administration’s campaign against that group. This according to a report by Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman.
What the President is coming to realize after being in office for nearly a year, is that Islamic terrorists view him no differently than they did his predecessor; when they are routed from one place, they re-group, hydra-like, in another, and they are plotting, always plotting. Yesterday’s action against a pair of suspected al-Qaeda training camps, Goodman’s report continues, was an attempt to pre-empt “an imminent attack against a US asset [that] was being planned.”
If Goodman’s report is correct about Al-Qaeda’s plans for “an imminent attack,” then the President had no choice but to attack first.
Democracy Now!’s report glosses over that fact, and does not allude to the dangers of al-Qaeda’s regrouping in Yemen at all, in order to focus the bulk of its report on unsubstantiated claims of alleged civilian casualties in the operation. The important part of the story has become little more than a footnote, while the main focus becomes the typical attempt by that network to work an anti-American element into the piece, which by now has become an Amy Goodman/Democracy Now! trademark.
Quoting from an ABC News report which provided the bulk of Goodman’s source material, Democracy Now!’s version emphasized the supposed death toll of civilians, gleaned from information supplied either by al-Qaeda itself, or an anonymous “human rights activist in Yemen”:
A human rights activist in Yemen said twenty-three children and seventeen women were among the sixty-four people killed.
Goodman’s report almost leaves the reader with the impression that the main goal of the action taken by the United States was to hit as many civilian targets as possible. That type of reporting is not only irresponsible, it is dangerous.
Al-Qaeda has been re-grouping in Yemen since losing their bases in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, and it has been coordinating attacks against Yemen’s neighbors and its government.
Richard Barrett, the coordinator of the United Nations Taliban al-Qaeda Sanctions Monitoring Committee, concurs:
I think many of the key people have moved to Yemen. If they [al-Qaeda] can go to Yemen just as easily or easier and get training there and come out again, all your efforts in Pakistan and Afghanistan are a waste of time.
That’s why we need to keep up the pressure, and that’s why we need to continue hitting al-Qaeda wherever they turn up.
And that’s what Goodman just doesn’t get.