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.