As everybody knows, there is no such thing as a global war on terror anymore. Instead we live in a harmonious world of interfaith comity with only the occasional criminal act that is quickly and competently handled by law enforcement officials. As a result we can cut our defense budgets and get on with the real business of life, which is to say watching TV, going to the mall and voting to re-elect the strategic geniuses whose wise decisions and firm but thoughtful leadership gave us this tranquil world order.
As we celebrate this new age of peace, understanding and joy, here are a few stories that might matter if we didn’t have such a wise and level-headed government in Washington that was bent on soothing and quieting what might otherwise be an aroused and worried public opinion.
The office of the Director of National Intelligence is both confirming that the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi was deliberately planned in advance and excusing the White House for getting the story wrong. Officials are trying to determine if a mysterious, little known organization called “Al-Qaeda” had something to do with the attack. This doesn’t seem likely, as Al-Qaeda was reported dead or at least in what former Vice President Cheney would have called its “death throes” in Pakistan last spring, but you never know.
In a completely unrelated development in Somalia, African Union troops have driven an armed group of mysterious criminals from the city of Kismayo. The criminals have also been linked to Al-Qaeda, but it is obvious to a child that their organization and motives are entirely due to local grievances and their claims to represent a wing of some sort of global movement are delusional and not worth thinking about. Widespread reports that Al Shabab, as these fighters call themselves, merged with the little-known Al-Qaeda last February are understood by all seasoned observers of international politics to be meaningless and not worth discussing. In any case, Al-Shabab is reported to be retreating, so who cares?
Meanwhile from Nigeria comes word that Boko Haram, the fanatical terror group (sorry, organized criminal conspiracy) that is trying to launch a widespread religious (sorry, socio-economic) war (sorry again, state of continuing and kinetic tension) in Nigeria by bombing churches during worship services, murdering Christians and attacking moderate Muslims, has penetrated the Nigerian government. As the BBC reports, an immigration official has confessed to participation in the movement and has provided information that led to a number of other arrests. Reports that this chimerical Al-Qaeda group sent operatives to work with Boko Haram and enabled it to operate at a higher level of effectiveness should be ignored by all serious people.