We Drone Strike, Ergo We Are at War

Check out the logic top pundit David Ignatius employs here:

The United States just decided to step up its drone war [in Yemen], which is a sure sign that al-Qaeda poses a significant, continuing threat.

Ignatius has long served as a mouthpiece for the CIA, so it’s not like he lacks sources he could ask about why we’re going to start using signature strikes in Yemen. If he asked, he might find out that we’re using signature strikes because the civil war Ali Abdullah Saleh’s leadership failures incited is considered a threat to the US (or to the Saudis), independent of any threat AQAP might represent.

But instead, David Ignatius, DC insider, says we’re ramping up drone strikes, ergo al Qaeda must pose a significant, continuing threat.

The line actually serves as the punch line of a larger, equally poorly argued piece “proving” that because people are rebelling against the dictators who used the war on terror as yet another excuse to oppress their people, Osama bin Laden has won.

Egypt is a case in point: This has been a year of mostly nonviolent democratic revolution. But it has brought to power some Salafist and Muslim Brotherhood groups that share common theological roots with bin Laden. And the al-Qaeda goal of driving the “apostate,” pro-American President Hosni Mubarak from power has been achieved.

I would dismiss all this as more beltway inanity. But Ignatius wields this (il)logic even while he waves around those OBL documents he got in an authorized, exclusive leak from the Administration.

As Wednesday’s anniversary of bin Laden’s death approaches, I have been going back over my notes of these messages. I found some unpublished passages that show how bin Laden’s legacy is an ironic mix: His movement is largely destroyed, but his passion for a purer and more Islamic government in the Arab world is partly succeeding. In that sense, the West shouldn’t be too quick to claim victory.

The message the Administration has deemed Ignatius solely worthy to interpret and read is that OBL turned to unifying Muslims behind reformed governance at the end of his life, and therefore reformed governance must be opposed because it would represent a victory of what he calls “electoral bin Ladenism.”

And by pointing to documents that have purportedly been declassified but the rest of us aren’t permitted to see, and deploying the logic that says just because we’ve resumed targeting drones at people whose identity we don’t know, Ignatius “proves” there must be a reason to target those people and that reason must ultimately be OBL.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

11 Responses to We Drone Strike, Ergo We Are at War

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
Emptywheel Twitterverse
JimWhiteGNV Tweet deck come back! Please!
56mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Last link from here: http://t.co/OcumtSRZvF Pillar also notes that climate is a DIRECT threat, not just threat multiplier.
59mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Paul Pillar bemoans "continued prominence of US pol figures whose views on climate sound more in tune w/days when Earth thought to be flat"
59mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Why does my cat get angry with me when I sneeze?
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz For NSA CTO Patrick Dowd and Keith Alexander, craven opportunism is not so much a revolving door as an umbilical cord http://t.co/SgAG2hJINZ
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Thomas_Drake1 And a teeny bit of thought abt why the govt might use defeat lists. @KenDilanianAP
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Thomas_Drake1 But yes, most of it is redacted. It just takes a bit of knowledge of CT cases to compare. @KenDilanianAP
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Thomas_Drake1 This wasn't exactly censored (which is how I know abt it). Even showed up in testimony! @KenDilanianAP
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @NACDL: Investigation: "Confidential informants are an integral but problematic part of federal law enforcement" - @richelord http://t.c…
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @onekade Just you. Also don't mind that O is reversing his stance abt coercive interrogations.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @granick Unless of course the "n" was "corrupt banksters." That'd be like shooting fish in haystack. But not interested there. @mattblaze
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @granick That the "n" they're targeting is too small for algos to actually find the dots out of the haystack? @mattblaze
2hreplyretweetfavorite
April 2012
S M T W T F S
« Mar   May »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930