Globe Trot
President Barack Obama at the National Defense University
Associated Press/Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais
President Barack Obama at the National Defense University

Globe Trot: Al-Qaeda hasn't gotten Obama's memo about ending the War on Terror


President Barack Obama defended his use of unmanned drones and at the same time warned against using drones as “a cure-all for terrorism.” In a Thursday speech to the National Defense University, the president also clarified U.S. policy regarding the targeting of U.S. citizens in drone strikes and declassified information surrounding the targeting of American Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.

The president repeated his intent to declare a unilateral end to the war on terrorism:  “But this war, like all wars, must end. That’s what history advises. It’s what our democracy demands.” Al-Qaeda hasn't yet received the memo. Even al-Qaeda documents cited in the president’s speech contain the jihadists’ aims to “concentrate efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan." The irony of losing those countries to terrorist groups seems lost on this administration.

The Obama administration’s editing of the Benghazi talking points not only obscured what really happened in Libya on Sept. 11, 2012, but also confused the events earlier that day in Cairo. The editing process specifically removed any hint that “jihadists” were encouraged to “break into” the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. Now we’re learning the jihadists in Cairo acted on orders by Mohammed al Zawahiri, the younger brother of al-Qaeda head Ayman al Zawahiri.

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Here may be a good place to repeat the posting by U.S. officials at the embassy in Cairo that day:

U.S. Embassy Condemns Religious Incitement
September 11, 2012

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims—as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.

Elliot Abrams on U.S. failure to grasp reality in the Middle East: “The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and Hezbollah probably wondered if we would really tolerate their sending an expeditionary force to Syria, which in effect they are doing. They have their answer now; we would.”

Uganda is now five days into a government crackdown on national media, including closure of Kampala’s Daily Monitor, one of East Africa’s largest newspapers. The controversial move, including arrests of five human rights activists, follows media outlets reporting on a government plot to assassinate politicians who oppose President Yoweri Museveni’s son taking over the high office when his father steps down.

About 13 percent of global respondents identify as atheists, more than double the percentage found in the United States, according to one poll. The highest concentration? In China, where 47 percent of the population describes themselves as atheists. In a Wednesday homily, Pope Francis surprised his orthodox followers, saying, "God has redeemed all of us … even the atheists."


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