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 I found some unpublished passages that show how bin Laden’s legacy is an ironic mix: His movement is largely destroyed, but his passion for a purer and more Islamic government in the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 TwitterShare 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
emptywheel That boring ad by a company you never heard of hoping to make it big...
1mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @JimWhiteGNV Second-to-last throw suggests he can't throw that much in a row. Not getting a TD here may hurt.
3mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Donkos look determined to send Peyton out on top. Still early, though.
6mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @RamyKurdi: Super Bowl 50 with Amir Hekmati!!! @Montel_Williams @greta @FreeAmirHekmati https://t.co/Ec2dmGWgZ3
7mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @emptywheel But he was under center so first snap couldn't go over his head this time.
8mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Damn I"m old. I remember being excited for the first Super Bowl.
8mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Hmm. Not so deep I guess. https://t.co/IezHC0YLl0
8mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Peyton goes deep on first play after spending 3 years making us think he can't anymore!!!!
10mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Will_Bunch Hi there.
10mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @NC_Prime Git outta my head.
11mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @elizabeth_joh Screwing employees
11mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Tails: Hillary gets the delegate.
13mreplyretweetfavorite
April 2012
S M T W T F S
« Mar   May »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930