It’s important, I think, to try to combat the sense of glamor and romance that some attach to senseless acts of murder. If you’re really determined to try to kill some American civilians, you might succeed. But if you’re really determined to break the back of American power through by more-or-less randomly murdering people, then you’re doomed to fail. But unfortunately, certain people are addicted, politically speaking, to the juice that anti-terrorist posturing gives them. Two great examples come from posts by my boss Faiz Shakir on the response of Rep Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) to the Christmas airplane incident.
First he says “People have got to start connecting the dots here and maybe this is the thing that will connect the dots for the Obama administration.” Then he tweets out the following trenchant critique:
Really? That’s his beef? Then he comes up with the idea that the problem is that the Obama administration needs to pay more attention to Yemen. But Faiz points out they’ve been playing plenty of attention to Yemen:
Yemeni security forces carried out airstrikes and ground raids against suspected al Qaeda hide-outs over the past two weeks “with what American officials described as ‘intelligence and firepower’ supplied by the United States. The assaults were Yemen’s widest offensive against jihadists in years.” President Obama reportedly personally approved the use of “military hardware, intelligence and other support to Yemeni forces” in their assault on al Qaeda.
What’s the beef here? Al-Qaeda’s ideological support appears to be on the wane. The logistical capabilities displayed by things like this attempted airplane explosion are unimpressive. Military campaigns are underway against their hideouts in Yemen and Pakistan. Things are basically going fine.