Could this be the Obama administration’s “mission accomplished” moment?

In an article for National Journal, an Obama admin. official is quoted as saying “the war on terror is over” in relation to radical Islam, and the government is taking a new approach:

In an article in the current National Journal called “The Post Al Qaida Era,” I write that the Obama administration is taking a new view of Islamist radicalism. The president realizes he has no choice but to cultivate the Muslim Brotherhood and other relatively “moderate” Islamist groups emerging as lead political players out of the Arab Spring in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere. (The Muslim Brotherhood officially renounced violence decades ago, leading then-dissident radicals such as Ayman al-Zawahiri to join al Qaida.)

It is no longer the case, in other words, that every Islamist is seen as a potential accessory to terrorists. “The war on terror is over,” one senior State Department official who works on Mideast issues told me. “Now that we have killed most of al Qaida, now that people have come to see legitimate means of expression, people who once might have gone into al Qaida see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism.” [Emphasis added]

The Weekly Standard contrasts this with Bush:

This new outlook is radically different than what was expressed under President George W. Bush immediately after September 11, 2001. “Over time it’s going to be important for nations to know they will be held accountable for inactivity,” Bush said on November 6, 2001. “You’re either with us or against us in the fight against terror.

For President Barack Obama, it would seem, one can be both with us and against us–or not with us, but not quite against us.

National Journal author Michael Hirsh asks the relevant question: “The question is, how will this play politically at a time when Obama’s GOP rival, Mitt Romney, is painting the president as a weak accommodationist?”

Read more on the article here.

 

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