Tuesday, October 06, 2009

THE CONVENIENT BOOGEYMAN

"During a visit to the National Counterterrorism Center just outside Washington in McLean, Va., Mr. Obama hailed successes against Al Qaeda and its allies 'especially in recent months and days,'" said the New York Times.

"Obama cited in particular the arrest of Najibullah Zazi ... who authorities said was trained by Al Qaeda in Pakistan in preparation for an attack in the United States.

"Because of [counterterrorism workers], and all the organizations you represent ... we’re making real progress in our core mission – to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al Qaeda and other extremist networks around the world."

When an individual like Najibullah Zazi is held up as an example of the big bad terrorist our agencies are fighting and winning against, you know the president is relying on his staffers to comb recent headlines, not actually doing his own homework.

Zazi -- the subject of much comment on this blog, including the Sunday post on Tom Friedman's counterintuitive/anti-common sense conclusions -- is a handy Lenny-Skutnick-from-Hell device, pulling a Skutnik being the slightly insulting description for a practice in which presidents and politicians pick some convenient name from the news for making a laudatory point.

Today's practice shows it's still business as usual in the famous 'war on terror' -- the enemy is everywhere but good ol' American know-how and right is takin' 'em down.

Do you feel better now? Have you told your counterterrorism worker you loved him today? Since we're doing such a good job defining the enemy, shouldn't we be breaking our arm patting ourselves on the back?

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