The more things change, the more they stay the same. Recall this:
National-security adviser Sandy Berger suggested that the U.S. send just one U-2 flight, but the report says Clarke worried that even then, Pakistan’s intelligence service would warn bin Laden that the U.S. was preparing for a bombing campaign. “Armed with that knowledge, old wily Usama will likely boogie to Baghdad,” Clarke wrote in a February 11, 1999 e-mail to Berger. The report says that another National Security Council staffer also warned that “Saddam Hussein wanted bin Laden in Baghdad.”
That e-mail was at the center of the casus belli for Iraq- or more accurately, deflated the opposition to the war.
Now we have an amendment to the Executive Order designating al Qa’ida in Iraq a terrorist organization.
The Department of State has amended the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and Executive Order (E.O.) 13224 designations of al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI) to include the following new aliases: al-Nusrah Front, Jabhat al-Nusrah, Jabhet al-Nusra, The Victory Front, and Al-Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant. The Department of State previously designated AQI as an FTO under the Immigration and Nationality Act and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under E.O. 13224 on October 15, 2004.
AQI emir Abu Du’a is in control of both AQI and al-Nusrah. Abu Du’a was designated by the State Department under E.O. 13224 on October 3, 2011, and by the United Nations under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 on October 5, 2011. Abu Du’a also issues strategic guidance to al-Nusrah’s emir, Abu Muhammad al-Jawlani, and tasked him to begin operations in Syria.
What we have here is the State Department saying al Qa’ida is operating in Syria, like that is a big surprise. But then they go on to say:
…all responsible Syrians should speak out against al-Qa’ida and other extremist elements. By opting for the use of force against its own people, the Asad regime has created the circumstances that attract the violent extremists of al Qa’ida, who seek to exploit civil strife for their own purposes. The sooner the political transition to a post-Asad Syria begins, the better it will be for the Syrian people and the region.
When President Bush denied al Qu’ida their base in Afghanistan he was vilified for creating a climate in Iraq that would attract terrorists. President Obama, on the other hand, is giving aid to the opposition in Syria known to contain al Qa’ida- they’ve boogeyed from Baghdad via Libya and Egypt:
The United States takes this action in the context of our overall support for the Syrian people. We have provided approximately $50 million in non-lethal assistance to the unarmed civilian opposition and nearly $200 million in humanitarian assistance to those affected by the violence in Syria.
Mr. Obama knows there are terrorists in the opposition but he gave them $250 million. How well did that work out in Egypt and Libya?
It doesn’t really matter to this administration because Asad is like Bush, only different.