Monday, December 28, 2009

Follow up on Detroit Plane Attack

If nothing else, this attack should teach us that we have been wrong, if we thought of Afghanistan and Pakistan as the center of terror for Islam’s religious right extremists.

terror-lagos Regardless of whether or not the Nigerian who tried to blow up a US-bound jet on Christmas Day was instructed in Yemen by Al-Qaeda, the White House insists it is not slacking in its anti-terror battle.

"Airline passengers walk into a security checkpoint inside Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, VA, near Washington, DC. Regardless of whether or not the Nigerian who tried to blow up a US-bound jet on Christmas Day was instructed in Yemen by Al-Qaeda, the White House insists it is not slacking in its anti-terror battle."

In early December as he ordered 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, US President Barack Obama warned of the "violent extremism practiced by Al-Qaeda," and stressed that "this is no idle danger, no hypothetical threat.

"Where Al-Qaeda and its allies attempt to establish a foothold -- whether in Somalia or Yemen or elsewhere -- they must be confronted by growing pressure and strong partnerships," Obama said.

His spokesman Robert Gibbs hit the talkshows Sunday to assure Americans after the latest botched attack that there was no let up against Al-Qaeda, and to counter vehement criticism Obama was a soft touch.

"The president certainly has taken steps in his time in office to reorient our priorities as it comes to fighting that war on terror," Gibbs told NBC.

"We're drawing down in Iraq and focusing... on Pakistan and Afghanistan, the place where the attacks of 9/11 originated and where people sit in caves and in houses today planning more attacks in this country, using all elements of American power in places not just like Pakistan, but throughout the world in places like Yemen and Somalia.

"File photo of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos. US authorities have charged Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, with trying to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet, using explosives and chemicals he sneaked past security checkpoints in Lagos and then Amsterdam."

"And you've seen already leaders from Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia that have been targeted and eliminated."

Experts and US lawmakers warned that even if no conclusive Al-Qaeda thumbprint is found on Friday's attempt to bring down a plane as it landed in Detroit, the group's radicalized ideology has "metastasized" well beyond traditional safe havens.

US authorities have charged Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, with trying to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet, using explosives and chemicals he sneaked past security checkpoints in Lagos and then Amsterdam.

According to US media citing unnamed US officials, Abdulmutallab confessed once in custody that he had received specific training for the attack from an Al-Qaeda bombmaker in Yemen... [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Alternet>

As expected, the US right is trying to blame this incident on Obama.  One ChickenHawk came out of hiding long enough to confirm such an assertion on Faux Noise.

Hoekstra-chickenhawk Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) told Fox News' Chris Wallace Sunday that it is "fair" to hold the Obama administration responsible for the a failure to detect an attempted terror attack. Friday, Hoekstra told the Detroit Free Press that the Obama administration needed to "connect the dots."

"You were quoted in the Detroit Free Press [de-linked] this morning as saying that, you know, the key is to connect the dots and maybe the Obama administration will now realize that. Is it really fair to hold the Obama administration responsible here?" asked Wallace.

"Yeah, I think it really is," replied Hoekstra. "Connecting the dots here is not really on this particular case. It's connecting the dots that we've seen over the last 11 months, over the last eight years."…

Inserted from <Raw Story>

This is pure bull.  It took several years to set up the Department of Homeland Security, under complete Bush/GOP control.  It will take several more years to reorganize it in a manner that will actually provide security, not just GOP propaganda.  If Obama has been a little slow in embarking on that task, we must remember that there is no aspect of American life that Bush and the GOP did not leave in chaotic shambles.  Obama is not at fault because the system left in place by his predecessor failed.

As if this is not bad enough, one Republican Senator (even if he calls himself an independent Democrat) has called for war.

liebernan-warmonger Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Senator Joeseph Lieberman (R-CT) [party affiliation corrected], who leads the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has a vision of "tomorrow's war."

"Somebody in our government said to me in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, Iraq was yesterday’s war," Lieberman explained. "Afghanistan is today’s war. If we don’t act preemptively, Yemen will be tomorrow’s war. That’s the danger we face."

Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA), also appearing on the program, seemed to agree, calling an attack against Yemen "something we should consider."

"Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan -- the Army officer who killed 13 people in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in November -- was linked to Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Muslim cleric now based in Yemen," The Hill noted.

Unnamed administration officials told US media in the aftermath of the thwarted attack that their suspect had confessed to traveling to Yemen and receiving training by Al-Qaeda…

Inserted from <Raw Story>

Let us not forget that LIEberman campaigned for McConJob and Mooseolini.  He supported their war policy.  That was nothing more than an extension of Bush’s war polity.  Some do not remember it. Most never knew it, because the regime tried to keep it secret.  Those of you who were with me during the previous incarnation of this blog, may remember this video by General Wesley Clark that explains the GOP’s imperialist intent to conquer several nations.  The subsequent attacks did not occur only because the GOP is so incompetent that they botched the first two wars.


Now if you are unhappy with how Obama is handling US security and foreign policy, consider the alternative.  Need I say more?


Vigilante said...

Don't forget, either, that Barack Obama campaigned for Lieberman against Ned Lamont. Saved the liar's ass.

TomCat said...

Vig, that's true, during the primary, as did almost every other Democratic Senator. That makes LIEberman's betrayal all the more heinous.

Jo said...

I think Obama will have to re-think his policy of appeasement, though. It's not going to work, unfortunately.

Holte Ender said...

Yemen is becoming quite a hot spot of late, those Yemeni's are pretty hard core, they did the USS Cole and 94 of the prisoners in Gitmo are from Yemen. Seems like we could be about to witness conflict in a very strategic location.

Holte Ender said...

P.S. - Hope you had a great Christmas season.

Mauigirl said...

Unfortunately there is not a lot anyone can do to prevent these one-off terror attacks. It's true the guy was on a terrorist watch list but so are 500,000 other people. I suppose one could just ban all of those people from the U.S. but what if some of those people are on the list unfairly? It's a sticky wicket, for sure.

As for the new rules that people have to stay in their seats for the last hour of international flights and not have access to their will this save anyone if the terrorist decides to blow up the plane two hours before it lands? It's just silly.

The Obama administration isn't to blame for this, I totally agree. I feel as if there isn't much we can do to prevent these things. Israel can't prevent there from being people blowing themselves up in public places from time to time, and their security is much stronger than ours.

TomCat said...

Josie I agree. Obama needs to stop appeasing Republicans and blue dogs.

Holte, that could well be. Thanks and same to you.

Thanks, Maui. How about incorporating nudism into air travel? ;-)

Infidel753 said...

How about incorporating nudism into air travel?

Even nudism won't stop them if they're determined enough.

TOM said...

Sen. Pete is on the Homeland Security Committee and helped set up how it all works. Maybe he is more responsible than President Obama.

"Attack Yemen!"

The new mantra for Republicans next year.

Yet, they are afraid to jail a few terrorists.

Lisa G. said...

The Yemenis just last week aerial bombed a suspected terrorist site in their own country (I believe I read that on Huffpo) - so it sounds like they are taking this seriously. Of course, all of the Chickenhawks will be calling for war - that's all they know how to do. Let them suit up, and their kids and other family members first. Then if we have any troops left over (which I'm pretty sure that we don't), they can go in. What are we gonna do? Invade every country where terrorists are suspected? Seriously? That doesn't sound like a very effective strategy at all. And how about some help from some of our allies? Oh, wait, GWB ruined that too and Obama is busy 'appeasing terrorists' by trying to negotiate with these crazy assholes.

Aren't we out of bombs again yet? Remember when that happened a few years ago? How does that happen? I'd say poor planning on GWB and the military's part. But, hey, what the hell do I know?

ivan said...

Everybody, including poor Ambassador Holbrook, has the wrong paradigm on this. And it's affected President Obama's thinking.
The threat is from within, fools.
...And it comes from a third-rail U.S. government that says do what you will, but keep raising shit around Israel's borders.

Lisa G. said...

Hey, where is my soulmate Oso? Recovering from too much holiday cheer? We haven't heard from him in DAYS - should we send out a search party for him?????

Oso said...

Hi Lisa,

I'm baa-aack!

Visiting my daughter in Idaho with limited computer access. I hope you and your bunny are fine!

I would hardly call a troop surge, drone attacks and US airstrikes in Yemen "appeasement". Unless you prefer nukes as a better method to bring democracy and holiday cheer to the Muslim world?

Karen said...

All excellent comments!

Yemen is definitely a hot spot.

Oso said...

Next thing gonna come up in the Yemen thing will probably be-Blame Iran!
There's a Shia minority (around 40%)that the Yemen govt has been struggling with for years.They tend to be an underclass I believe,much like Shia were in Saddams's Iraq although like I say a minority. The Saudis blame all the problems in Yemen on Iran arming the Shia, not likely for a lotta reasons.

So my guess is,the Yemenis can direct our airstrikes against the Shia and claim they are actually AQ since most people here don't understand any Sunni-Shia divide.

Teheran religious leaders would likely condemn the action (killing Shia civilians)which could be used to inflame the "Iran's behind the trouble in Yemen" sentiments since like I say most Americans don't understand Sunni-Shia.

Dave Dubya said...

AQ has declared war on the US for military occupation of Islamic lands. If we withdraw our forces the "war on terror" would be over.

But that won't happen.

The real power in the US wants war. Obama, like Bush before him, works for the Big Money interests of empire. If protection of American people was part of the equation, Bush and Cheney would be in prison for war crimes. Profit is the primary factor of the equation. That is the simple truth.

Oso said...

big props to Dave Dubya!

Lisa G. said...

Actually, the poor bunny had to go to the vet today - he wasn't eating. $400 later, he has a special 'slurry' to eat. But he should be fine in a couple of days. The CIA would be most upset if he croaked (me and the kids too), especially since he's a trained assassin and all.

Oso said...

You might want to get a second opinion from another vet, one who learned as I did from Warner Bros that rabbits eat Carrots, not slurry.
Bugs would be appalled.

Lisa G. said...

He has some type of digestive track issue; the 'slurry' is only temporary. And who ever heard of an x-ray of a bunny that is as big as my husband's fist (he's a dwarf bunny) costing $400?

I mean the CIA can train a bunny to shoot poison darts out of his toes. I can't even get him to poop in his little bunny litter box (yes, I tried to potty train a wild animal; yes, I know I'm insane, but the bunny book said it was possible - yeah right!). The least they could have done was potty train him, dontcha think? I'd have to think that would be easier than getting him to shoot poison darts out of his toes! I mean, how is he supposed to be incognito when he leaves a trail of bunny poops everywhere?

Oso, he's actually graduated from carrots (yes, I have a bunny that won't eat carrots); occasionally, he will eat the baby carrots, but not the regular kind. He prefers pears, Mediterranean apricots, not the crappy California ones (finely diced), apples (only Honey Crisp) and Romaine lettuce. He is quite the discerning bunny about his food. And he will only eat one kind of rabbit food. Yes, I made my bunny into a food snob. Only me. :)

People tell me that if they die, they hope to come back as one of my pets. He has a bunny condo, and about $300 worth of stuff that you can put in his cage. If he doesn't like it, he throws it out of his cage and makes a mess all over the floor. He's an elitist, liberal bunny snob with very discerning tastes. He eats better than most kids do.

Oso said...

Your bunny seems to have taken lessons on being picky from our cats, in particular the spoiled Spanish princess Dulce.
Always needs treats, switches brand of cat food preferences randomly.She likes to wait for us to stock up on a favorite before deciding to begin hating it.
And she's never grateful.

TomCat said...

Yuck, Infidel. Maybe we need a Larry Craig in every airport.

Tom, the hypocrisy is amazing, isn't it?

Lisa, you are correct. They did. You seem to know more than those running things. As you see, Oso is back. I figured that he was oso drunk on Christmas that he's been oso hung over since that he was unable to type. ;-) PS Dulce would know what to do with the bunny. ;-)

Oso, I fully agree with your statement to Jo. Actually, there are two insurgencies in Yemen, each controlling a significant part of the country. One is Shia, and the other is AQ. This clearly is the work of the latter. On cats, "our cats" is a mistake. You don't own cats. Cats own you. :-)

Dave, I'm not as harsh on Obama as you are, but I agree with much of what you say. See today's lead article.

Thanks Karen.

Ivan, take a look at my lead article today to see how much we agree.