"I have never voted for a Democrat for President. I could do it on the strength of this issue alone because of my disagreement with the Administration and my fear that John McCain represents more of the same."-- Michael Smerconish sitting in for Bill O’Reilly to host the Radio Factor
Yesterday, conservative radio host Michael Smerconish sat in for Bill O’Reilly to host the Radio Factor and discussed the NYT story about how the Bush War on Terror has FAILED and al Qaeda has established a base of operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan. WATCH IT. As I had noted previously, this was also verified by a government report (pdf).
Bin Laden Hunt at Dead End - "We're all hurting because of Iraq"
But it is increasingly clear that the Bush administration will leave office with Al Qaeda having successfully relocated its base from Afghanistan to Pakistan’s tribal areas, where it has rebuilt much of its ability to attack from the region and broadcast its messages to militants across the world. ...
Just as it had on the day before 9/11, Al Qaeda now has a band of terrorist camps from which to plan and train for attacks against Western targets, including the United States.
When American military and intelligence officials requested additional Predator drones to survey the tribal areas, they were told no drones were available because they had been sent to Iraq.
“We had to put people out in the field who had less than ideal levels of experience,” one former senior C.I.A. official said. “But there wasn’t much to choose from.”
One reason for this, according to two former intelligence officials directly involved in the Qaeda hunt, was that by 2006 the Iraq war had drained away most of the C.I.A. officers with field experience in the Islamic world. “You had a very finite number” of experienced officers, said one former senior intelligence official. “Those people all went to Iraq. We were all hurting because of Iraq.”
“The United States faces a threat from Al Qaeda today that is comparable to what it faced on Sept. 11, 2001,” said Seth Jones, a Pentagon consultant and a terrorism expert at the RAND Corporation.
When looking at the progress of the War on Terror since 9/11 - what does this tell us about the rationality, awareness and intelligence of people who say, "Bush has won 2 wars"... and "the surge has worked" ... and "there's not a lot of anti-war sentiment out there"?? It is more than simple denial. It is a desperate authoritarian effort to save face and cling to the status quo.