The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Opinion

April 25, 2011

CONFER: U.S. actions support al-Qaeda

MIDDLEPORT — Al-Qaeda left an indelible mark on modern America. By orchestrating the terror attacks Sept. 11, 2001 — killing thousands while attempting, even succeeding, to topple some of our most iconic structures — it changed the way of life in America by forcing our government’s hand in taking away the rights to freedom and privacy that we once swore were ours forever.

On one front in our ongoing global wars and occupations, the U.S. government and its military chose to make amends for the loss of innocent civilians by fighting al-Qaeda to the death. The desire to extinguish the terror network is so strong that we’re willing to invest 500 American lives and 65 billion American dollars every year on Afghan soil.

Yet, on another front — our newest one in Libya — the Obama administration insists on counting al-Qaeda amongst our allies. NATO commander James Stavridis recently let it slip that many of the Libyan rebels are members of, or align themselves with, al-Qaeda. That jibes with a clandestine West Point study of 700 foreigners who, under the auspices of al-Qaeda, came to Iraq in 2006 and 2007 to kill American soldiers. One-fifth of them were Libyans. They and their brethren now fight alongside (at least temporarily) American’s secret forces in Libya. One of the rebel leaders, Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, openly admits the same to the foreign press. He should know; after all, he recruited and led raids against U.S. forces in Iraq.

The cost to help al-Qaeda, in our morbid attempt to put them in power, has been phenomenal. Since initiating the No-Fly Zone a month ago by bombing Libya’s air defenses, we’ve dropped shells on Tripoli and Misrata while patrolling the air. In the first two weeks of doing so, the Pentagon had spent $608 million, far in excess of the initial price tag of $40 million per month. The Air Force’s Libyan efforts by themselves cost $4 million per day. All those costs ignore the not-so-secret activities of CIA operatives who are now leading the Libyan rebels and supplying them with arms.

Sure, our investment has not been a cheap one financially. But this is not just about money. No, this issue is more about the emotional and philosophical cost, one that has the potential to create incalculable damage on the confidence, trust and maybe even lives of our people and our Armed Forces.

Aiding and abetting al-Qaeda is a slap to the face to the thousands of Americans who lost loved ones on Sept. 11 or the war that followed. How can Obama look the American people in the eye and justify helping the very people who sent nearly 3,000 to the most horrific of deaths in plane crashes and collapsed buildings?

It’s a spit into the faces of the fine men and women of our military, 1,500 of whom gave their lives while another 12,000 gave of limb and mind in Afghanistan in hopes of putting an end to the terrorists’ plans for destruction of the Western World. How can the commander in chief seriously reassure the 100,000 troops there (and their families at home) that it’s somehow worthwhile to defend the organization that killed their friends and brothers? How can Obama defend giving weapons to al-Qaeda, which will undoubtedly be used to kill American soldiers elsewhere?

This insanity speaks volumes about the problem with messing in other nation’s affairs. What do we hope to accomplish by intervening in the internal structure of Libya? Obama said we couldn’t sit by and watch people be oppressed and killed by Gaddafi and his thugs. If that was the case, we surely would have saved the day in Sudan where 500 million people were the victims of genocide while 2.7 million more were displaced. We didn’t.

Obviously, there’s some sort of strategic or economic importance in Libya (probably the latter). When that’s the case, our country is quite willing to sell out its values and morality, even to the must repugnant form of humanity, one that has killed not only thousands Americans, but tens of thousands of Middle Easterners and Europeans through ongoing acts of terrorism.

In one fell swoop, our mortal enemies have “changed” into our very best friends, because, somehow, it’s convenient for the administration and America’s goals (whatever they may be). Is that the “change” that so many Americans voted for in 2008? I certainly hope not.

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