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Obama During Campaign: “Al Qaeda Has Been Decimated”

by Keith Koffler on August 8, 2013, 9:25 am

With the closing of U.S. embassies in Muslim countries around the world, the White House is putting out word that while it has claimed al Qaeda’s “core” in Pakistan is on the ropes, it has acknowledged that al Qaeda’s affiliates elsewhere are not.

But President Obama was not so keen on making such subtle distinctions during the campaign. The gist of his reelection message was that al Qaeda itself was headed on a fast track for the dustbin of history. Less than a year ago, Obama himself was suggesting all of al Qaeda was on the road to extinction.

“The war in Afghanistan is winding down. Al Qaeda has been decimated,” Obama said during a campaign rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin November 1, 2012. “Osama bin Laden is dead. So we’ve made real progress these past four years.”

“Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat,” Obama declared during remarks in Columbus, Ohio on the final day of the campaign.

That phrase, it would appear, is no longer operative.

{ 8 trackbacks }

{ 55 comments }

DeniseVB August 8, 2013 at 9:32 am

Shutting down embassies and evacuating Americans sounds more like we’re on the run and on our way to defeat.

Not Nabob the Knothead August 8, 2013 at 9:37 am

Yes, yes it does. Obama is Al Q’s best weapon.

Girly1 August 8, 2013 at 10:04 am

Jennifer Psaki: “It’s not an evacuation; it’s a reduction in staffing”.

Mandy Manners August 8, 2013 at 9:41 am

Does he even know what “decimated” means?

Julie Brueckheimer August 8, 2013 at 10:46 am

I doubt he knows the literal meaning of the word. Al Qaeda has not been decimated anyway. It’s like the Hydra and therefore, the opposite: if you cut off one head, another ten grow in its place.

Julie Brueckheimer August 8, 2013 at 11:00 am

I am indulging in the Middle Eastern rhetorical device of hyperbole, but my point is that Al Qaeda has had a net gain, not a loss.

Mandy Manners August 8, 2013 at 12:26 pm

AQAP has expanded, and so has AQIM, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. I find the latter to be more alarming because it is just a hop across the water to Europe, and because there are more people and resources in Africa than in the Arabic Peninsula.

Julie Brueckheimer August 8, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Thanks, Mandy. That’s interesting and informative. At one time, Al Qaeda had a good foothold in the New World in the area where Brazil and two other countries share borders. (I’m ignorant here of geography like Obama. It’s the area where the movie The Mission was filmed.) Do you have any current information about this? It seems to me that it would be very easy for them to infiltrate us across the Mexican border.

Mandy Manners August 8, 2013 at 1:19 pm

They’ve become more entrenched has time has passed. Before he was Chavez’s minister of justice and interior, Tarek El-Aissami, supposedly helped get passports for members of Hizb’Allah and Hamas. His father lead Venezuela’s branch of Iraq’s Ba’ath Party, and his great-uncle was a member of Saddam Hussein’s inner circle.

I don’t know if Maduro’s kept him on, but I’m sure he’ll find something useful for El-Aissami.

http://middle-east-analysis.blogspot.com/2009/03/venezuelas-tarek-el-aissami.html

Mandy Manners August 8, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Julie, if you don’t already have this link, you might also want to check out Money Jihad.

It’s where I first learned about Thomas Perez.

http://moneyjihad.wordpress.com/

Julie Brueckheimer August 8, 2013 at 11:51 pm

Thanks.

scottso August 8, 2013 at 11:13 am

1 word he doesn’t understand the meaning of…
“decimated”
1 action he doesn’t understand the meaning of…
“shameful”

scottso August 8, 2013 at 10:57 am

that’s a good one, Mandy.

Mandy Manners August 8, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Thank you, scott!

65andcounting August 8, 2013 at 10:03 am

Yet the media will forever mock George Bush for the Mission Accomplished banner and never call Obama to the mat for his stupid remarks. We’re doomed folks. The media plays into his hands.

ol gator August 8, 2013 at 10:14 am

Such is the life of the leftist strongman who reigns supreme without answering to the people he claims to represent…
…nothing new under the sun.. it is fleeting..

cincycinco August 8, 2013 at 10:19 am

I don’t know, it’s entirely possible they were decimated. This doesn’t necessarily weaken them, however.

“Decimation” is rather poorly understood today. Its origin was a brutal and uncommon Roman discipinary practice whereby a Roman commander upset at a legion’s performance would have the men line up, and every 10th man was told to step out. The other 9 were then required to beat him to death.

http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/concepts_decimate.html

Obviously, this reduced the unit strength by 10%, but it also made the survivors acutely aware of the price of disobedience. History suggest that this approach made them stronger, not weaker.

I know, it’s not the modern usage, but it may have a modern application. It is entirely possible we did kill off 10% of Al-Qaida. It’s also possible that this simply stiffened their resolve and hatred of America. You don’t win wars by making examples; you win wars by killing EVERYONE in arms against you. It is unlikely we would have prevailed against Japan and Germany with drone strikes. Most of Japan’s major cites had been leveled by the time The Bomb came around – more people died in a single firebombing attack than in any nuclear strike – but this wasn’t pushing them into surrender, any more than the deliberate destruction of the entire city of Dresden just to make a point was going to push Hitler into retirement. Far from it, it just made the enemy crazier and more reckless.

Al-Qaida is not going to be defeated by Obama sitting in his Tuesday room deciding who dies by drone strike this week (if he actually WANTS to defeat them is another issue); it can only be done by destroying their ability to wage war. As much as George Bush is hated by the no-infos, he was right to say that we make no distinction between those that attack us and those that support them. Only by this means and by an actual commitment to victory will we prevail.

Decimation will not work. It never has. This is why it’s irrelevant whether Obama was right to claim this or not. You can’t beat a multinational terrorist organization of people who have allegiance only to the “ummah” by killing a few guys, retreating every time they threaten, and then posting when you’ll be exiting the battlefield so they know precisely when to deploy their reserves.

Obama pretended to victory based on captured Bin Laden documents, but only quoted part of them.

“During his counterterrorism speech on Thursday, President Obama defended the use of drones by saying the following:

‘To begin with, our actions are effective. Don’t take my word for it. In the intelligence gathered at bin Laden’s compound, we found that he wrote, “We could lose the reserves to enemy’s air strikes. We cannot fight air strikes with explosives.”’

The part he left out – on the same document – was;

“The Ummah should put forward some, but enough, forces to fight America. The Ummah must keep some of its forces on reserve. This will be in the Ummah’s best interests. The Ummah will use the reserve in the future, but during the appropriate time”

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/selectively-citing-osama-bin-laden_729064.html

And, The Angry Caliph already telegraphed them the “appropriate time”. What do you think will happen when we leave Afganistan? Probably more of those “fall of Saigon” – type helicopter rescue pictures are in the offing. If Obama sends helicopters, that is…

The only question, as far as I’m concerned, is whether it was deliberate or if he’s really that stupid. There is no question as to whether he defeated them or not. He hasn’t.

He surrendered. Just ask Ambassador Stevens.

rawheadrex August 8, 2013 at 10:40 am

Bravo! People who do not understand words they use can hardly be expected to think logically. They think sounding good is sufficient to impress anyone foolish enough to accept what they are told without critical analysis.

srdem65 August 8, 2013 at 10:57 am

I confess; I never looked past the context of his speeches to determine that he didn’t mean that the enemy was defeated, to the actual meaning that some of their leaders were destroyed/killed.
Using the definition of “decimated”, MrObama was telling the truth as he saw it. The word must have been carefully selected to mislead the public who assumed that because binLaden was dead, the organization must also be dead.

Clever and deceptive by half, his words do come back to call out the farce he supported that alQaeda was finished and no longer a concern.

Julie Brueckheimer August 8, 2013 at 11:03 am

But I even doubt that. Some terrorism experts warned that the death of Bin Laden would draw more into terrorism, and I think that is what has happened.

Star August 8, 2013 at 11:07 am

Bashing a wasp nest with a broom handle comes to mind.

Lizzy August 8, 2013 at 11:12 am

Same logic as if those who tried to kill Hitler would have succeeded would have had a moral victory but there were several in line just as twisted to take over so the result nil.

Julie Brueckheimer August 8, 2013 at 11:19 am

A very good analogy.

DeniseVB August 8, 2013 at 11:16 am

The Great Orator is a horrible Communicator. His speeches never make sense to me because they’re so contradictory of his actions.

Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! (Where? Where? Where?)
Economy ! (Has he ever run a lemonade stand?)
Rich People Need to Share ! (Has O ever shared his wealth?)
Tighten your belts ! (Wheels up on Air Force One!)
Green Jobs! Energy! (And his carbon footprint is how big?)
Unions are Great ! (To get out the vote for ME, ME, ME !)
Bush’s Fault ! ( Watch me double down on Bush’s mistakes!)

……stuff like that ;)

ImNoDhimmi August 8, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Excellent post, cincycinco. Thanks.

Mandy Manners August 8, 2013 at 12:32 pm

“Al-Qaida is not going to be defeated by Obama sitting in his Tuesday room deciding who dies by drone strike this week (if he actually WANTS to defeat them is another issue); it can only be done by destroying their ability to wage war. As much as George Bush is hated by the no-infos, he was right to say that we make no distinction between those that attack us and those that support them. Only by this means and by an actual commitment to victory will we prevail.”

Spot on, cincy! Many Americans don’t understand the Islamist weltanschauung. It demands total submission of the world to some demon named “Allah” created by a mentally ill warrior and pedophile.

Otis Driftwood August 8, 2013 at 10:42 am

AQ knew exactly what they were doing. All they had to do was make allot of “noise” about making a strike anywhere near a foreign US facility or facilities that we do not have adequate security to protect and our reaction would be to shut it down. Big bucks to do that, to maintain that, and probably needed to hire more private security firms to protect our workers.

And what did it cost AQ to do this? Probably nothing other than a few whispers and phone calls on circuits they knew we and other intel agencies monitor.

Danceswithtruth August 8, 2013 at 10:50 am

“That phrase, it would appear, is no longer operative.”

or….

That man, it would appear, is no longer operational.

KmikeB August 8, 2013 at 11:02 am

Any time this administration contradicts themselves I think back to one of Bill Murray’s first movies and scene that I am sure is played out over and over by the minions toiling away in the West Wing.

The new naive Obama speechwriter: “We can’t say ‘decimated’ in this speech AQ is still running rampant in Northern Africa.”

The jaded long time BO speech writer: “It’s just doesn’t matter!”

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=meatballs+it+just+doesn't+matter&mid=ECFDB4C4DEA859314B70ECFDB4C4DEA859314B70&view=detail&FORM=VIRE1

Star August 8, 2013 at 11:04 am

Decimated means killing every tenth person–so it’s 90% alive by that measure. I noticed we usually “get” the number two or three guy…Then after time elapses, the number two or three guy again.

Girly1 August 8, 2013 at 11:45 am

In 2004 Bin Laden stated that his goal was to ‘bleed America into bankruptcy’. The 9-11 attack was an attempt to bring down the financial center, along with killing as many Americans as possible. Ironically, Obama is carrying out the stated goal of OBL – destroying the economy and leaving America vulnerable to more AQ attacks. The biggest lie ever told” “The first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning and before I go to sleep is how to keep Americans safe”.

gracepmc August 8, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Decimate x 10 = what Obama is doing to America.

Math, not my strong suit so I might be off a percentage point or two.

BB August 8, 2013 at 12:19 pm

I’ve got a PhD in mathematical statistics and I think you are on the right track.

gracepmc August 8, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Thanks. :) Good for me. Sucks for America.

Susan August 8, 2013 at 1:26 pm

He’s decimating America at break neck speed, but not without a lot of help. The worst part is watching the majority of our congressional representatives join the ruling class on their bullet train to destruction. Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Louie Gohmert and all the other patriots in Congress who have signed on to defund Obamacare in the continuing resolution are very much in the minority. They need our help. Write and call your representatives and tell them if they fund Obamacare in the continuing resolution, they own it. Also remind them that they work for US, not the other way around. They must live under the same laws they pass for US.

Star August 8, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Yes, dog, turncoat, maybe a Muslim–we get it, BH.

ol gator August 8, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Star, I do believe the word ‘maybe’ has been decimated.
ovomit IS a muslim!

Al47 August 8, 2013 at 12:57 pm

We’ve learned not to believe in this man. Whatever he promises or states, one has to just ignore and record it to play it back later and see how he lies or twists the facts.

gracepmc August 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Pretty much Obama sees Erdogan as an ally, wants the MB back in control of Egypt, and is doing all he can for the Syrian rebels whoever they might be. So,pretty much the “street” in Egypt hates Obama and unfortunately the US and the turkish “street” will follow. And then we will be mired in the muck that is and will continue to be Syria. IMO, Obama’s foreign policy is not so much dictated by the welfare of the US but by his own personal ideology. And he chooses accordingly. Get used to the Muslim Brotherhood

gracepmc August 8, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Get used to the Muslim Brotherhood because it is Obama’s BFF.

As long as he rails against AQ–its core or its factions– which the LIVs translate to mean all terrorists, he’s good.

With Obama, the devil is always in the details.

http://dailycaller.com/2013/08/08/obama-highlights-support-for-islamist-priorities-in-turkey-egypt-syria/

Sol August 8, 2013 at 10:35 pm

Historically ‘decimation’ was a form of martial punishment resulting in the death of every tenth man (drawn by random lot) as punishment of a group.

Only though sloppy and lazy grammar in the last century or so has it come to be popularly misused as a term for the great destruction of a group of objects.

That president might actually be borderline-smart enough to be playing word games and USING the word in its original sense, while leaving it to the generally grammatically-ignorant public to assume the incorrect definition (which mistakenly makes it seem like he is competent in the matter) – and these days it DOES seem like at least 90% of al queda is still active(!).

To quote Charles McGregor in Blazing Saddles (in a different context): “Oh, you shifty [supposed racial slur]“.

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