Monday :: Feb 19, 2007

Democrats Need To Use Failed War On Terror As Club Against GOP

by Steve

If the Democrats are looking for the silver bullet against their GOP opponents in the House and Senate these next two years, and want to put the White House back on its heels continuously, and even make a case for impeachment that would stick, it won’t be by hammering the White House about Iraq or even Iran. The means and hammer against the White House and GOP fell into the Democrats’ hands today, when the NYT ran a story with intelligence and counterterrorism sources confirming that Al Qaeda has regrouped inside Pakistan, despite Bush and Cheney’s recent boasts that the Al Qaeda leadership is on the run, and despite the administration’s claims that Iraq is the central front in the war on terror. Over five years after Bush let Bin Laden go the first time at Tora Bora, the Times reports that intelligence community sources believe that Al Qaeda has regrouped to a point that they pose a real threat.

Yes, Harry Reid should try to push through a tough resolution with teeth every month, even if he fails. And yes, the Senate Democrats should put the Administration on the spot now about Iran, but both should be done in the context of the administration’s failures in the war on terror. Democrats should now insist that troops be redeployed away from Iraq and back into Afghanistan, and they should tell the White House publicly that there will be no talk or planning for any attacks against Iran. They should also talk up the real vulnerability this White House faces with the regrouping of Al Qaeda in North Waziristan inside Pakistan: Bush helped it happen. And that is grounds for impeachment.

American officials and analysts said a variety of factors in Pakistan had come together to allow “core Al Qaeda” — a reference to Mr. bin Laden and his immediate circle — to regain some of its strength. The emergence of a relative haven in North Waziristan and the surrounding area has helped senior operatives communicate more effectively with the outside world via courier and the Internet.
The analysts said that North Waziristan became a hub of militant activity last year, after President Musharraf negotiated a treaty with tribal leaders in the area. He pledged to pull troops back to barracks in the area in exchange for tribal leaders’ ending support for cross-border attacks into Afghanistan, but officials in Washington and Islamabad conceded that the agreement had been a failure.

What the folks at the Times and other papers miss is that Jonathan Landay of McClatchy was the only reporter who pointed out last September the real significance of the treaties that Musharraf negotiated with tribal leaders which have now allowed Al Qaeda to regroup: the treaties were encouraged by the Bush Administration.

The Pakistani regime of Gen. Pervez Musharraf has been negotiating truces - with the Bush administration's encouragement - with Islamic separatists in North Waziristan and South Waziristan, mountainous tribal areas along the Afghan border where U.S. officials think bin Laden may be hiding.

If the Democrats want a real issue to hammer against the congressional GOP and the White House, it will be the negligence of this administration and the rubber-stamp support of that abdication of responsibility by the GOP congress these last five years. It won’t be hard for Democrats to show the public that while we waste American blood and money in Iraq and threaten Iran, Bush and the GOP have let Bin Laden escape and rebuild Al Qaeda as a result of the active encouragement of his own administration. And that can be used to shut up Bush and Cheney once and for all on the issue of who understands the nature of the real threats facing this country.

Steve :: 9:19 PM :: Comments (9) :: Digg It!