Armstrong Williams

I must be mistaken. I was told that Al Qaeda was basically wiped out; for all intents and purposes it was dead.

Nope, that was Detroit.

Al Qaeda is very much alive as evidenced by the closing of embassies and consulates throughout the Middle East and Islamic world.

Wait, I must be confused again. The election of Barack Obama promised to usher in a new age of love from the Muslim world.

Nope, somehow love turned into revulsion.

The drone attacks in Yemen signal a possible ramp up in kinetic action against Al Qaeda.

Hold on now. The administration promised no more war and pledged to try to withdraw all the military from areas of conflict.

Oh, I see. Because drones are robots piloted from simulators in Utah, that doesn't count.

The hard reality is this: the current Al Qaeda in the Middle East has arisen like a phoenix from the ashes of Al Qaeda Iraq (AQI). It has helped plunge Iraq back into a civil war, is fighting against Assad in Syria, operating in Libya, and training in Yemen.

The Arab Spring gave Al Qaeda the perfect opportunity to move into the chaos that ensued. We absconded the field and hung any allies out to dry. We still have troops scattered throughout the Middle East, but none are in a position to start fighting a hot war in a faraway nation (outside Afghanistan that is).

Yes, the Bush administration is responsible for creating AQI by invading Iraq -- just like the US helped create what would become the Taliban during the Afghan war against the Soviets.

Whether or not you believe we should have invaded Iraq in the first place, history should have taught us better than to leave a mess behind. Without our troops to continue to harass and kill AQI, Iraqi President Maliki was unable to smother the embers.

I am on record as calling for the withdrawal of troops: from Afghanistan to Iraq to Japan. Let other countries be responsible for policing themselves and carrying out their own revolutions. Let's only risk lives and treasure in retaliation, not nation building. However, even I must admit that sometimes it is better to leave some forces to guard against terrorism rather than suffer greater consequences later.

But our commander-in-chief does not agree. He has made promise after promise throughout the Islamic world and kept none. The result is that Obama is more hated than Bush, and America’s reputation has only declined.

Like Bush, Obama has excelled in killing and throwing resources at foiling terrorists. And like his predecessor, Obama has failed miserably in addressing grievances and reducing motivations for potential radicals to join outfits like Al Qaeda.

Armstrong Williams

Armstrong Williams is a widely-syndicated columnist, CEO of the Graham Williams Group, and hosts the Armstrong Williams Show. He is the author of Reawakening Virtues.
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