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 I found some unpublished passages that show how bin Laden’s legacy is an ironic mix: His movement is largely destroyed, but his passion for a purer and more Islamic government in the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.

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

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @JimWhiteGNV @emptywheel Perp. Fee. Trainers. Broken. What, did this transmorph into an Afghanistan discussion??
33mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @emptywheel @JimWhiteGNV Hey Okra lady, where you come in? Clearly yer not focused on mane attraction. Brennan sez don't be easily impressed
35mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @emptywheel That prep cost is included in the overall fee to trainers for showing, so we don't see it broken out, thankfully. @bmaz
36mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @JimWhiteGNV And Gomer's up-do is even more expensive than $60, I was under the impression. @bmaz
38mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @JimWhiteGNV No self respecting old man dances away from a hose.
39mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @nlanc Yeah, there were a number of computer-driven machine people at the show.
41mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @bmaz Heh. Gomer is the most finicky of all. Dances away from the hose when getting bathed and keeps his poo in a neat pile in stall corner.
41mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @JimWhiteGNV this ain't Gomer, as hard as it is to believe, I tend to grow rather finicky girlz. #Schadenfreude
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JimWhiteGNV @bmaz Hey, just use a rake and a leaf blower for free. Nobody will ever know the difference...
48mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Sasquatch is in the pool. That is good for her, but a $60 grooming for me. #WattaYouGonnaDo
49mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @carolrosenberg: Just in: #Guantanamo nurse who refused to force-feed prisoners sent home. http://t.co/z6vrh2dsZN @MiamiHerald http://t…
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emptywheel @walterwkatz Been waiting to see what you had to say all week--looking forward to it.
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