In a video released last week, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the top deputy to Osama bin Laden, denounced Obama as a “house Negro” and compared him unfavorably to
“honorable black Americans” such as the late Malcolm X, the black nationalist who practiced Islam.
Zawahiri also showed a still photograph of Obama wearing a yarmulke while visiting Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall last summer. The implication was that Obama had become nothing more than a “tool of the Jews.”
(That’s a switch from the claim of some of Obama’s domestic critics, who fear he’s a secret Muslim who’ll hand the keys of the West Wing to bin Laden.)
While it’s a bit irritating to have an atavistic mass murderer presume to dictate appropriate politics for a black American, Zawahiri’s diatribe is good news. In fact, it may be the best news we’ve gotten in the struggle against al-Qaida since the so-called Sunni awakening in Iraq.
Now, President Obama may in fact become the worst nightmare for Al Qaeda but the fact that Al Qaeda used a tape to insult him is of course not proof of anything. AQ would have been just as cruel had the President been John McCain. Furthermore, they've already been plenty cruel in their repeated characterization of President Bush and Tucker's never before seen it as a sign that Bush was their worst nightmare. Of course, the reason each and every President has been insulted mercilessly is because they represent the leadership of the hated Satan, in the view of AQ, the United States. To say that their sudden insults are a sign of their fear is a stretch in a piece full of them. Tucker continues...
The hamfisted tactics favored by George W. Bush, including his ill-fated invasion of Iraq, were a gift to al-Qaida and its recruiting efforts. They allowed bin Laden and Zawahiri to paint the U.S. government as an imperial power bent on a 21st-century crusade against Islam.
However, that’s a more difficult argument to make when the Oval Office is occupied by a black man whose Kenyan grandfather was Muslim and who played with Muslim friends during his childhood years in Indonesia.
“Obama’s election has taken the wind out of al-Qaida’s sails in much of the Islamic world because it demonstrates America’s renewed commitment to multiculturalism, human rights and international law,” former National Security Council staffer Richard Clarke said. “It also proves to many that democracy can work and overcome ethnic, sectarian or racial barriers.”
This piece is also a remarkable study in selective memory and out of context references. If Iraq was used as some sort of recruiting tool by AQ to show that the U.S. was an imperial power, wouldn't the same be said of Afghanistan? Since Barack Obama is planning on doubling down in Afghanistan, wouldn't our continued presence there also be used as a recruiting tool as "proof" that we are an imperial power? Of course it would and it will. Frankly, our foreign policy can't be dictated by how it will be spun by AQ.
What's most remarkable about this portion is that Tucker uses Richard Clarke as her reference for back up. This is the same Richard Clarke that wrote an anti Bush book in 2004, and it's the same Richard Clarke that is angling for a cabinet position in the Obama administration. Yet, it is Richard Clarke that Tucker uses without setting proper context as though he is someone that has no bias at all. Tucker continues...
The president-elect has also promised to restore the nation’s moral authority by returning to its fundamental values, starting with shutting the prison at Guantanamo Bay. That facility was never necessary for national security; the U.S. has prisons on continental soil that can secure dangerous suspects. But the Bush administration wanted an off-shore location where it could employ hideous methods of interrogation and isolation away from the prying eyes of the media and human rights officials.
We Americans believe ourselves to be a force for good in the world, but the Bush administration’s wholesale detentions and widespread use of torture badly tarnished our reputation. That matters in the fight against jihadists, who win converts by convincing alienated young Muslim men (and, increasingly, women) that America is their enemy. The toppling of Saddam Hussein, who had nothing to do with Sept. 11; the abuses at Abu Ghraib; the quest for permanent bases in Iraq — all those gave credence to al-Qaida’s claims.
Obama is far from naive about the threat represented by Islamist terrorists. The president-elect has promised to step up efforts to hunt down bin Laden and his Taliban sympathizers, the terrorists responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks. He also understands that we’ve wasted several years — not to mention billions in resources and the nation’s good name — in a diversion from that war.
During the campaign, several of John McCain’s supporters — including the recently forgiven Joe Lieberman — tried to argue that an Obama win would be a victory for terrorists. The neocons hyperventilated over Obama’s promise to draw down troops from Iraq, to talk to our enemies, to restore the rule of law. Even Obama’s correct pronunciation of Pakistan (Pah-kis-tahn) became something to snicker about, as if it were a sign of weakness.
Al-Qaida’s cheap taunts, on the other hand, suggest its minions see something to fear in the new president. They know he’ll fight both the propaganda war and the shooting war a lot better than Bush ever did.
I'm not sure how closing Gitmo will hurt AQ. Furthermore, the idea that we lost our moral authority by putting terrorists in GITMO is made by those with an anti American bias. The only thing we know for sure if GITMO is closed is that processing these folks will be a logistical nightmare. The only thing we know for sure if so called "torture" is outlawed is that extracting information from AQ terrorists will be that much more difficult. Yet, neither of these realities is accounted for in Tucker's formulation.
Furthermore, that AQ taunted President Elect Obama had a lot more to do with the office he was about to take than how AQ sees him in that office compared to his predecessor or his opponent. Only time will tell just how President Elect Obama will do against AQ, however unwavering adoration is no way to analyze his performance.