From Brian Ross at ABC News:
In a new video posted today on the Internet, al Qaeda’s number two man, Ayman al Zawahiri, mocks the bill passed by Congress setting a timetable for the pullout of U.S. troops in Iraq.
"This bill will deprive us of the opportunity to destroy the American forces which we have caught in a historic trap," Zawahiri says in answer to a question posed to him an interviewer.
Continuing in the same tone, Zawahiri says, "We ask Allah that they only get out of it after losing 200,000 to 300,000 killed, in order that we give the spillers of blood in Washington and Europe an unforgettable lesson."
Yet according to politicians like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, Iraq is not the central front in the War on Terror, and we should be fighting terrorists in Afghanistan. Just to pick one statement, at random, from Reid:
As Larry Kudlow points out, our terrorist enemies are in Iraq. Victory in Iraq matters. It has become the central-front on the global war against Islamic militants, devoted to violent Jihad against the West, and all those- including Muslims- who oppose their radical ideology of intolerance and hatred.
Here is a random pick from Nancy Pelosi- just one out of many such statements that shows a lack of up-to-date understanding of the fight we are in today:
It calls for the strategic redeployment of U.S. combat troops by the end of 2007 or sometime in 2008.
“Only then can we refocus our military efforts on Afghanistan to the extent that we must. We must direct our attention there now. We must do it more intensely after we have redeployed the troops. So refocusing our military efforts on Afghanistan and fighting the war on terrorism where it began, where it is a challenge, and where, because we left, it is an unfinished and nearly forgotten war, the terrorists have had an opportunity to reemerge. – Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, 03/08/07, at a press conference with other senior Democrats regarding the military funding bill, the Supporting Our Troops, Veterans’ Health and Iraq Accountability Act
Even Lawrence Kaplan writing for the liberal New Republic recognizes the woeful nature of our Congressional Democrats who would have us "change the course" from a position of ignorance:
Maybe it was a slip of the tongue. But, when Nancy Pelosi confessed last year that she felt "sad" about President Bush’s claims that Al Qaeda operates in Iraq, she seemed to be disputing what every American soldier in Iraq, every Al Qaeda operative, and anyone who reads a newspaper already knew to be true. (When I questioned him about Pelosi’s assertion, a U.S. officer in Ramadi responded, incredulously, that Al Qaeda had just held a parade in his sector.) Perhaps the House speaker was alluding to the discredited claim that Al Qaeda operated in Iraq before the war. Perhaps. But the insinuation that Al Qaeda’s depredations in Iraq might be something other than what they appear to be has become a staple of the congressional debate over Iraq. Thus, to buttress his own case for withdrawal, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, "We have to change course [away from Iraq] and turn our attention back to the war on Al Qaeda and their allies"–the clear message being that neither plays much of a role there….
Read more here…(really, it’s an extraordinary piece; all the sweeter, coming from a liberal writer)
Astonishing, even, how Harry Reid can hijack a statement by David Petraeus, distorting it out of context to support his own ignorance; and within the same interview, when asked by CNN’s Dana Bash if Petraeus, who was scheduled to come to the Hill the next day to brief lawmakers, were to give testimony that the troop escalation was having a positive effect, would the Senate Majority Leader believe him if he said that, Harry Reid, said flat-out, "No." Thus showing why the Senate Majority Leader is also the acting Senator of the great State of Denial.
Other Democrats who seem to have a hell of a lot to say on foreign policy matters, wouldn’t even give General Petraeus the time of day (you know Petraeus…that "guy" who the Senate unanimously voted for, to become the new commander in Iraq? To spearhead a change of strategy so that we may "stay the course" to win, while they lose); they apparently had more important things to do than to listen to what the good general had to report, while the fate of the civilized world hangs on the edge of a knife (yes, they support the troops who they authorized to go to war; kind of in the same manner in which they support the general who they voted to take over said war). Hot Air points out that they did the same thing to the general on March 8th when Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats chose not to attend a Pentagon video conference with General Petraeus; and April 9th, when only one Democratic Senator attended a video conference progress report by General Petraeus. Is it any wonder, then, that Democratic leaders are still waging yesterday’s arguments? And dictating policy-directives from a position of willful ignorance? When it comes to the War on Islamic-Terror, they’ve already made up their minds that a George W. Bush defeat is more important to them than an American victory.
I guess that’s just how they roll.
*Addendum Update* Scott Malensek left an excellent comment that should be a post of its own:
A few notes on Zawhahiri’s comments…
Before being elected Dems claimed they had a plan for a New Direction in Iraq, and that the plan was not to withdraw by some arbitrary date, and was not a plan to cut funding; ie, not cut funding and runaway.
They got elected in November In December Democrats (Kerry, Dodd, and others) went to Syria
A few weeks later, the highest ranking leaders of Saddam’s ole regime met in Syria re how to proceed in Iraq
Right after that, the Dems came out with their non-binding opposition to sending more troops to Iraq (recall they had DEMANDED more troops go to Iraq all the way up to Dec 21).
Zawahiri released a tape complaining that Democrats weren’t doing enough, and mocked their non-binding resolution.
Literally days (even measurable in hours) later the Dems broke their pre-election promise of having a new direction that wasn’t a withdrawl, didn’t include timelines, and wasn’t cutting funds. Instead, after Zawahiri spoke, they attached timelines and withdrawl consequences to PRESIDENT BUSH’S benchmarks.
Days after that Dem effort failed, Zawahiri speaks again.
Reid, Pelosi, Dean, Hoyer, Rockefeller, Kennedy, and so forth all blow off: closed door intelligence meetings special full-Congress briefings from the Director of National Intelligence National Intelligence Estimates don’t get read and when Gen Petraeus leaves the battlefield, flies thousands of miles to brief them…Pelosi gives him a phone call rather than walk down the hall, and Reid refuses to believe anything he says. Murtha says the General is a political hack.
Oh! but…if Zawahiri speaks Democrats listen
HH: The penetration of the book into some leadership circles is profound. In other places, I still find myself amazed that leading public figures are not only unacquainted with it, but unacquainted generally with the nature of al Qaeda.
Is that a phenomenon still surprising to you, that our political leadership is often in the dark about the nature of our enemy?
LW: I get so discouraged about this, and it’s not just the political leadership. It’s, you know, our intelligence community, which is supposed to know all of this. I mean, one can expect that it’s hard for politicians to keep up to date with everything, and they rely on our intelligence community to keep them supplied with the relevant information. But you know, it’s not a joke when the head of the counterterrorism division for the FBI testifies under oath that he doesn’t know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite, and that he thinks that’s an irrelevant question. It’s not irrelevant. It’s at the heart of things. It’s the reason that we are so handicapped in our battle against this enemy, because we don’t understand the first thing about them.
HH: How about when the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee confesses the same ignorance of the difference between the Sunni and Shia?
LW: There’s no excuse for it, Hugh. It’s…you pretend, you say that you are trying to ensure the nation’s safety, but part of…you know, the first act that you would take in that capacity would be to learn something about the enemy that you’re fighting against. But the arrogance and the ignorance that’s been displayed in our intelligence and political life is almost breathtaking. It’s…certainly, we don’t deserve to win this battle if we don’t make the effort to find out who these people are, and why they’re fighting against us.
A former fetus, the “wordsmith from nantucket” was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968. Adopted at birth, wordsmith grew up a military brat. He achieved his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (graduating in the top 97% of his class), where he also competed rings for the UCLA mens gymnastics team. The events of 9/11 woke him from his political slumber and malaise. Currently a personal trainer and gymnastics coach.
The wordsmith has never been to Nantucket.