Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Which Al-Qaeda Is it?

On one hand, our "war time" President wants us to believe that America is safer today than it was three years, or a decade ago.

On the other hand, he wants us to jump out of our shoes whenever his folks find new, 3-year-old intelligence.

How long are we going to let Bush have it both ways? Either the war in Afghanistan disrupted Al-Qaeda's communications, money transfer systems and ability to recruit, train and organize personnel or it didn't.

Is Al-Qaeda like the mafia after the 1960s -- still dangerous but a shell of its former self, or is it still an organized, trained, international ring of terrorists powerful enough to be treated with the same status as an enemy nation? If the answer is the latter, then Bush blew it in Afghanistan. If it's the former, then we need to return to some sense of normalcy and realize we're dealing with something that's more an issue for law enforcement than it is for the military.

Bush seems to want things both ways. He wants us to feel safer but still in danger.

Is he doing this on purpose? Or is it, as I suspect, that he and his people don't really know what Al-Qaeda's capabilities are, post-Afghanistan, to develop a coherent policy.

Postscript: Both Bush and Kerry were wrong to give into the 9-11 commission about the creation of an Intelligence Czar. Don't forget that we went to war in Iraq because the White House pressured the CIA to deliver convenient intelligence about Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction. This only further increases the White House's ability to effect the quality of the intelligence gathered and reported.


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