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Obama and Petraeus Play Whac-a-Mole with Al Qaida, Taliban, Part 1: Yemen Scoffs

Posted on January 6 2010 5:30 pm
John L. Work is a veteran of twenty years of Colorado law enforcement service and a graduate of Cal State Long Beach, B.A. and M.A. He has been a contributor and featured columnist for NewsRealBlog since January of 2010, and a guest columnist for FrontPageMagazine.
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President Obama and U.S. Army General David Petraeus are continuing the exasperating game of chasing the Taliban through Afghanistan and Pakistan, while al Qaida dashes around the Middle East and elsewhere about the Muslim World.  The latest indication that we’re about to swing the Whac-a-mole mallet at a brand new, freshly-dug hole in Yemen comes from Petraeus’ visit to Yemen last Saturday, accompanied by his pledge to the Yemeni government of increased aid to fight al Qaida. That is going to mean lots and lots more American cash, folks.

Worse yet, President Obama is promising assistance in the form of U.S. intelligence, training of Yemeni armed forces, and possible U.S. combat operations in Yemen. Does this sound familiar? It’s all apparently a part of our response to Nigerian Muslim Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s failed Christmas Day attempt to blow up Northwest Airlines flight 253 from Amsterdam on its approach to Detroit’s airport.  Abdulmutallab says he got his jihad training and blow-up skivvies in Yemen. 

Publicly, Yemen’s government is scoffing at what Petraeus and Obama are claiming.

Pardon me for rubbing my eyes here. I’m getting dizzy from watching all of this madness unfold.  Here’s a fact that our President Obama, the three Presidents before him, and most of our top military brass have utterly failed to grasp in formulating the strategy for fighting this War:

Ladies and gentlemen, Al-Qaida and the Taliban are to the world-wide jihad movement as the U.S. Navy Seals and the U.S. Army Green Berets are to the United States of America.  Al Qaida is but a small unit of the vast army of soldiers in the World of Islam. This Whac-a-Mole strategy as violent jihad pops up throughout the world is only going to wear down our already stretched-thin military forces and break our national will to continue the fight.  A massive strategic re-reckoning is in order.

From the Los Angeles Times’ reporter Borzou Daragahi comes this disturbing piece today:

“Yemeni officials on Sunday dismissed the threat posed by Al Qaeda in their country as “exaggerated” and downplayed the possibility of cooperating closely with the United States in fighting Islamic militants, even as the U.S. and Britain temporarily closed their diplomatic outposts in Yemen because of unspecified Al Qaeda threats.

The statements by Yemen’s foreign minister, chief of national security and Interior Ministry came a day after the region’s top American military commander vowed to step up U.S. military support for the beleaguered Arabian Peninsula nation.

Analysts said the Yemeni statements reflected domestic political concerns about President Ali Abdullah Saleh appearing weak and beholden to the West as he faces numerous political challenges.

The group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the failed attempt at bombing a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day. The alleged attacker’s claim that he was tutored in Yemen set off alarm bells in Western capitals about the relatively lawless nation of 23 million, which is also facing an insurgency in the north and a separatist movement in the south.

U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus visited Yemen on Saturday and vowed to give Saleh increased aid to fight Al Qaeda. His promise was echoed by President Obama, who said the United States would step up intelligence-sharing and training of Yemeni forces and perhaps carry out joint attacks against militants in the region…”

So, we’re apparently going to pursue the same strategy now in Yemen as we did in Iraq and Afghanistan, but to what end?  Our elected public officials and military higher-ups cannot even define the enemy we are fighting, eight years after the 9/11 attacks.  Islam, jihad, Muslim doctrine and Sharia are terms that are not allowed in this Administration’s lexicon.  President Bush talked about “extremists”.  President Obama spoke of Abdulmutallab as an “isolated extremist”.  What in the world is an isolated extremist and why are there so many of them?  Can someone explain this to me?

It’s pretty difficult, if not impossible, to win a game of Whac-a-Mole, but that’s what we’re trying to do with this current strategy.  We’ve got to do something very different – radically different.

More to follow.  Stay tuned, folks.

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