Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Today’s doubletake: Why we need al-Qaeda

Posted by Charles II on June 27, 2015

Ahmed Rashid, New York Review of Books:

In Washington and other Western capitals there is rampant confusion
 about the status and future of al-Qaeda.

…events in the Middle East suggest growing contradictions in Western 
policy. In Syria, the United States has been bombing Jabhat al-Nusra,
 al-Qaeda’s local affiliate, alongside ISIS. But members of the US-led
 coalition against ISIS, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, are actively 
supporting al-Nusra with arms and money. In Yemen, the US has pursued a
 years-long drone campaign against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a campaign that has included, most recently, the reported killing on Friday of AQAP leader Nasir al-Wuhayshi. But 
much of the Arab world is now essentially siding with AQAP in a Saudi-led war
 against Houthi rebels in that country.

…two quite separate super-wars are 
now being fought.

 The first war is being fought by the US and its Western allies, who are seeking to defeat Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria and AQAP 
in Yemen alongside the campaign against ISIS.

The second war, by contrast, is being fought by Turkey and the regional Arab
 states—primarily Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Egypt—against Assad and other Iranian-backed forces in the region, as well as ISIS. In this war the Arab states openly avoid bombing or attacking 
al-Nusra and AQAP, and in fact now provide both with financial support and weapons.

The West must recognize that the ground is shifting quickly across the region 
and the Arab Spring is now on the verge of turning into an Islamic 
fundamentalist winter, whether we like it or not. The US has paid a bitter price 
for declining to back the Arab states in removing Assad four years ago when there was a viable moderate opposition. In the
 months ahead, we should not be surprised if formal talks between al-Qaeda and
 these Arab states begin. The only one not at the table could be the
 United States. 

I think Ahmed Rashid is wrong, and I think his statement that we should have removed Assad four years ago is a clear sign of just how wrong he is. And if Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey want to focus on killing Shia and supporting terrorists, the United States should make it clear that we will not “sup with the devil,” as Rashid accurately calls such a strategy.

Still, I wish everyone in Congress would read the article, just so they’d stop saying such idiotic things.

2 Responses to “Today’s doubletake: Why we need al-Qaeda”

  1. jo6pacjo6pac said

    In the long run Amerika and it’s proxies should have left Syria alone. Years ago I remember reading Josh Landis when he went to visit his wife’s family there and how the country had changed for the better. The old guard had been removed from the govt. so now there new colleges, schools, health care for all. Rebuilding of old Damascus and new buildings in other areas. There was a young women who at different times wrote on the site how every time she came home Syria was improving and in the new areas young people dressed western. Then of course that changed on his site to now the site is state department talking points.

    Then there is Turkey run by a mad man and at one time thought he might work out when he was hanging out Hugo but somewhere along the way Amerikas neo-conns got control of him. Turkeys army might want to over throw this idiot then again it could get worse I guess.

    • Charles II said

      That’s very disturbing that ISIS was able to stage an attack on Kobane from within Turkey. Erdogan really is playing with fire and, should this become general knowledge in Turkey, will almost certainly cost him any power he might have left after losing the election.

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