The New York Times is rolling out a series of lengthy stories about the reemergence of Al Qaeda. In the last two days they've documented Qaeda's strength in Pakistan and Algeria.
The stories have an obvious for-the-history-books agenda about them: The NYT wants to mark the end of the Bush era with documentation of President Bush's ultimate failure—Al Qaeda is alive and well.
In addition to all of Bush's other failures, this one is intended to be the most embarrassing for the outgoing president: His only remaining plus is supposedly his tough-guy Republican schtick, but it looks like he's even botched that one too.
Sure liberals hate him for illegal wiretapping (what a bunch of nudge-y sticklers we are about the Constitution), but now the case is being made that Bush isn't even good at GOP type stuff like beating up on the bad guys.
The problem is: In their need to mark Bush as a monumental failure, the NYT is coupling this parting shot indictment with a de facto prescription for the next president (most likely Barack Obama). These fear mongering-stories are hot with a war agenda.
I understand that liberals are getting off on being stronger patriots than Bush, but the chest-thumping seems like a simple-minded way to kick off the Obama era. (I think Obama's talent is that he knows how to lower the temperature.)
I wish the The NYT would also file some editorials on Al Qaeda to provide some direction to the coverage, which otherwise seems like straight up saber rattling.
Let's cool it on the Qaeda fetishism and let Obama fully break with Bush. Figuring out a way to get out of Iraq and into Pakistan would be a smart change, but I'm not sure it would be a fundamental change.
It's time to reevaluate our priorities. Qaeda sure seems like one, but—despite the title of this blog— I'm beginning to wonder if militants boxed into the netherlands of Western Pakistan and the hills of Algeria should be our #1 concern.