Joltin’ Joe Swings For The Fences

I’ve always been, how shall I put this, apprehensive regarding the AQI debate.  At best, the administration’s portrayal of al Qaeda in Iraq has been specious; riddled with misdirection from the beginning.

There are two aspects regarding AQI that I feel are of prime importance.  The first is that we ultimately created the terrorist upstart.  Prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, there was no al Qaeda presence there.  Only in the aftermath did the group form, pledging their allegiance to Osama bin Laden.  Even then it took some time for the official al Qaeda to actually endorse the group.

The other thing that really gets at me, and for all intents and purposes, that aspect that has more impact on our policy, is the fact that the administration has continuously inflated the threat level of the terrorist organization.  Don’t get me wrong, AQI is a bunch of really bad baddies, but to imply that they are the prime enemy in Iraq, and the most responsible for the violence there is not only misleading to the electorate, but also denotes a willful lack of understanding by the administration that is waging this campaign.

My argument has always been; how can you trust these people to effectively manage this war when they don’t seem to actually understand it?

But this is what the administration has done to at least create a veneer that makes Iraq look like the central front on the War on Terror.

Apparently, Biden seemed to have at least a similar question on his mind during the testimony by Petraeus and Crocker on the Hill today.

Questioning the former Ambassador to Pakistan, Joltin’ Joe pressed him on whether or not we should be going after al Qaeda in Iraq, or al Qaeda on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border.  And he made sure he got his answer.

Ultimately, Crocker’s answer that perhaps it would be better to go after al Qaeda in Pakistan validates what many of us have been trying to make clear for some time; that Iraq is not the main front in the war on terror.  It’s instead a distraction.

Further, this would also seem to validate Senator Obama’s stance on going into Pakistan given that, you know, that’s where the real heavyweights in the organization are.

Will anyone listen?  Likely not.  But it’s still nice having the truth out there.

More from memeorandum: Think Progress, Salon, Newshoggers.com and democracyarsenal.org

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