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Good News/Bad News From The Lord Voldemort War

That war we don’t like to mention because we feel saying the name of the enemy only makes him stronger continues to bubble along, with good and bad news coming in. Across Africa, American forces leapt to action yesterday, carrying out lightning raids in Libya and Somalia against Al Qaeda and al Shabaab. FBI and CIA agents seized Abu Anas al-Liby, a senior Al Qaelda leader on the streets of Tripoli, while Navy Seals attacked the seaside villa of a militant leader at dawn, withdrawing without having confirmed killing its target. The New York Times:

Officials said the timing of the two raids was coincidental. But occurring on the same day, they underscored the rise of northern Africa as a haven for international terrorists. Libya has collapsed into the control of a patchwork of militias since the ouster of the Qaddafi government in 2011. Somalia, the birthplace of the Shabab, has lacked an effective central government for more than two decades.

The good news: the Libya raid was successful. The bad: the Libya and Somalia raids confirm that the cancer has metastasized. The war Obama hoped to win in the Af-Pak hills has now entrenched itself across a vast expanse of territory with new groups and new alliances springing up faster than we can root out the old ones. We are going to be playing whack-a-mole for a very long time.

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  • Corlyss

    “The war Obama hoped to win”
    First of all, he didn’t hope to win it or he would have fought it. I HOPED to ignore it to death to win a double political victory: make the discrediting and repudiation of GW Bush total and complete; and prove the cause of the hostilities was American aggressiveness, which he has been diligent in defanging by crippling the US military.
    I went to see Capt. Phillips yesterday. Watching the end of the rescue with the Navy ships surrounding the tiny lifeboat in the gray dawn, I had the overwhelmingly sad feeling that I was watching one of the last times our great American Navy sailed the seas in defense of peace and commerce.

    • Andrew Allison

      Are you seriously suggesting that the utter mess made of handling the Arab Spring (and resulting invigoration of al Qaeda) , which began on 18 December 2010, and the failure to deter Iran from pursuit of a bomb which they or a surrogate will clearly use are not owned by the Obama Administration? If so, I’d like to try and understand your reasoning. To save time, I’ll stipulate that GWB screwed up Iraq just as thoroughly. FWIW, I think they both totally screwed up in Afghanistan.

      Might I also suggest that the fact that between them they’ve succeeded in setting the mid-East aflame is more important than which of them is more culpable. Rather than trying to assign blame, should we not perhaps consider what to do now? IMHO, we should leave them to sort out their 1400-year war of succession, while very severely punishing any attack upon our interests.

      • Corlyss

        “Are you seriously suggesting . . . ”

        No. Of course not. Dear Leader is a total screw-up in foreign affairs for multiple reasons. He’s anathema.

        “Might I also suggest that the fact that between them they’ve succeeded in setting the mid-East aflame is more important than which of them is more culpable.”

        Well, not to burst your neat bubble, but I’ve known it was going to spontaneously combust since early 2001 when I saw Robert Kaplan’s Dec. 2000 appearance at the School for Advanced Military Studies at the Army Command and General Staff School at Ft. Leavenworth. He said then explosion in the middle east Muslim world was a dead bang certainty because of the mix of 1) inert governments that can’t deliver services to their populations, 2) populations abandoning the countryside, where they used to disappear into the landscape in invisible poverty, to move into big urban areas where the governments’ inability to deliver services becomes more acute and more obvious, and 3) the huge population bow wave hitting all the middle east Muslim nations where then huge majorities of the population were between 15 and 30. Who or what lit the match is really immaterial because it was going to happen, period. Here’s the talk if you want to see it:. His predictions re: the middle east are in the Q&A if I recall correctly. The whole program was the most rewarding hour and a half I’ve ever spent watching TV.

        • Andrew Allison

          Corliss, thank you for the link. I enjoyed it despite the fact that he’s a better writer than speaker (I’ve been a subscriber to The Atlantic for 40 years, although since it’s become a left-wing rag I don’t plan to renew, and am quite familiar with his writing).
          In both regions, I think he underestimates the import of religion (Orthodox vs Catholic vs Protestant vs Muslims in the Balkans; the 1400-year civil war between Sunni and Shia in the mid-East, and their joint determination to destroy Israel). His thesis that the young are restless and the region is unstable is not news.
          There’s another way to look at both, namely that they are inherently tribal, and the only way to keep such cauldrons under control is iron rule. One could argue the we’ve made the mistake of supporting those who wish to overthrow autocrats. Regards.

  • Andrew Allison

    “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” (Wittgenstein). Instead, there’s jubilation about a failed SEAL mission to attack a single residence which would have been a perfect target for a drone except that he who cannot be named wanted a trophy. Sickening.

    • f1b0nacc1

      You have put your finger on the core of the problem. Militaries are designed to break things and hurt people, not collect trophies for narcisistic fools who fancy themselves latter-day conquerers.

  • Blaton Hardey

    Generations of cynics ahead.

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