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Hullabaloo


Sunday, May 20, 2007

 
Heckuva Job Cheney

by digby

The Bush administration and its neocon muses have long said that the most dangerous thing the US could do would be to give the terrorists a victory by "proving" that we don't have the ballocks to stand and fight. They firmly believe that a failure to kick ass and take names, going all the way back to Reagan and the bombing of the marine barracks in Beirut, is what caused the Islamofascists to think they could attack us. They know this because bin Laden has trash talked this line on various tapes and missives over the years so it must be true. (He wouldn't lie, would he?)

And when they hear him saying "bring it" like big dumb bulls they see red and immediately start snorting and stomping the ground and rush headlong into some half baked scheme designed to prove that we can't be intimidated. But what if the Islamoboogeymen are actually waving their capes in front of the big, dumb United States in order to get them to do exactly that?

A major CIA effort launched last year to hunt down Osama bin Laden has produced no significant leads on his whereabouts, but has helped track an alarming increase in the movement of Al Qaeda operatives and money into Pakistan's tribal territories, according to senior U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the operation.

In one of the most troubling trends, U.S. officials said that Al Qaeda's command base in Pakistan is increasingly being funded by cash coming out of Iraq, where the terrorist network's operatives are raising substantial sums from donations to the anti-American insurgency as well as kidnappings of wealthy Iraqis and other criminal activity.

The influx of money has bolstered Al Qaeda's leadership ranks at a time when the core command is regrouping and reasserting influence over its far-flung network. The trend also signals a reversal in the traditional flow of Al Qaeda funds, with the network's leadership surviving to a large extent on money coming in from its most profitable franchise, rather than distributing funds from headquarters to distant cells.

Al Qaeda's efforts were aided, intelligence officials said, by Pakistan's withdrawal in September of tens of thousands of troops from the tribal areas along the Afghanistan border where Bin Laden and his top deputy, Ayman Zawahiri, are believed to be hiding.

Little more than a year ago, Al Qaeda's core command was thought to be in a financial crunch. But U.S. officials said cash shipped from Iraq has eased those troubles.

"Iraq is a big moneymaker for them," said a senior U.S. counter-terrorism official.


Basing your decisions upon your stated enemy's threats and taunts and holding fast so they can't yell "psych!" is not a foreign policy --- it's a WWF advertising campaign. It isn't real and it doesn't address any real problem. The US is the most powerful country on earth and the Islamoboogeymen are not going to take over our government and make us all wear burkas and pray to mecca. Really. Sophisticated thinkers would find solutions to the real problems of islamic fundamentalism and energy dependence and Israel and all the rest rather than launch invasions as PR exercises, but this is what we are dealing with. Marketing is the only thing the Mayberry Machiavellis know.

This isn't some scripted TV "throw-down." It's a serious and complicated challenge and we desperately need to get some people in power who don't depend on "Jack Baur" for their policy prescriptions. Every single day these jokers continue with their little playground game, they make things worse.


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