Jonathan Bernstein looks at Andy McCarthy’s bizarre conspiracy theory that the president is only attacking al-Qaeda to serve the larger cause of Islamic world domination, and senses brilliance:
This isn’t stupid; it’s genius. McCarthy’s plan is foolproof; it covers not only a lucky shot that hits bin Laden, but a complete victory over al-Qaeda. All part of Barack Obama’s treasonous treachery. Notice, by the way, that it’s only a “vibrant debate in Islamist circles.” Nice touch; if by some chance Obama curtails the drone strikes, or is in any way defeated by bin Laden, then that will presumably prove that the “vibrant debate” was decided in favor of al-Qaeda, and Obama acted accordingly.
To assume that this is genius rather than idiocy, you have to assume that McCarthy is proposing this scenario as political strategy and not as, you know, non-fiction. But since McCarthy is the kind of guy who believes Obama might be an Indonesian citizen and draws parallels between Obama and Iranian President Mahmoud Amadinejad because sometimes Obama doesn’t wear a tie (cough), and thinks William Ayers wrote Obama’s autobiography, the more plausible explanation is that he’s a conspiracy theorist laboring to keep pace with the hamster wheel of his own logic.
For some more context some of the original interview with McCarthy,
Marc Theissen and others are right to worry that we are killing people we could be capturing and interrogating — denying ourselves the intel that would improve the effectiveness of our combat operations. But those are quibbles. I said during the campaign that I thought Obama’s position — namely, his promise to attack al-Qaeda safe havens even in Pakistan — was considerably superior to that of McCain (who foolishly regarded Pakistan as a great ally and tried to paint Obama as reckless). My only hesitation was that I believed Obama wasn’t serious — I thought he was just engaging in campaign rhetoric to make himself look stronger and that he’d never actually follow through. He’s proven me wrong on that one, and I’m glad of it.
[ ]….Of course, the “Why is he doing it?” is the intriguing part. Some of the explanation is domestic politics. But the interesting part goes to the heart of what I’m talking about in the book.
These days, the vibrant debate in Islamist circles — the circles Obama has courted assiduously — is over whether al-Qaeda has outlived its usefulness, at least when it comes to attacking our homeland. Many Islamist thinkers believe the Islamist movement is making such progress marching through our institutions (and Europe’s) that terrorist attacks at this point are a tactical blunder. They cause a blowback effect that retards the progress of what Robert Spencer aptly calls the “stealth jihad.”
Two conservative thinkers sit’n round think’n, Monsieurs McCarthy and Theissen think the assigned task of the military and CIA is to make capture, not killing, terrorists, standard operating procedure. A tactical burden the details of which and the successful completion of, is left unexplained. In and out of the military that is called the just do it approach. Usually assigned by people that will be jockeying a desk. The causalities to our military and intelligence services are, apparently, not worth the effort to parse. If President Obama and Defense Secretary Gates continue this madness of making kills a priorities over captures it means they are conspiring to play right into al-Qaeda’s clever plot for the “stealth jihad” and the world wide caliphate of the Right’s morbid wet dreams. In their own way McCarthy and Theissen sound like warped fun house mirrors of Quaker peace activists. We’ve had conservatives state that president Obama should apologize to BP and now we have conservatives claiming Obama should apologize for killing terrorists. Maybe we are all in a glass jar in a universe on the edge of some god’s desk. I just hope they’re enjoying the show.
If your ISP goes down or your copy of Photoshop crashes – How to make upcycled art with old books
On June 21, 1788 the U.S. Constitution went into effect as New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify it.