During the election, Obama ran on the claim that he had defeated Al Qaeda by killing Bin Laden. The problem with that was that Bin Laden was little more than a symbol at that point and Al Qaeda had evolved into numerous local franchises.
After the Benghazi mission attack, the takeover of Mali and the emergence of Al Qaeda as the strongest fighting group operating in Syria, it didn’t exactly look like Al Qaeda was on the way to defeat.
But Obama’s victories are won with terminology. If Al Qaeda isn’t done yet, just change the terminology and claim victory.
Obama appears to be backing away from his often-stated claim – a cornerstone of his 2012 campaign – that “al Qaeda is on the path to defeat.”
In a subtle but important shift three days ago during remarks nominating Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to be Secretary of State, Obama revised the assertion, stipulating that “the al Qaeda core is on the path to defeat.”
And core is helpfully enough a matter of definition. And guess who gets to make the definitions? The same guy who makes up the lies.
Al Qaeda’s presence in Afghanistan had been limited since the original attack, so it’s easy to claim victory there, and maybe over some of the Al Qaeda presence on the Pakistan side of the border. Define that as the core and claim victory with more drone strikes on Al Qaeda leaders.
The trouble with that plan is that Al Qaeda has become a successful international terrorist movement, but it doesn’t matter if Al Qaeda takes over Syria and Libya, along with Mali, because they’re not the “core”.