Thomas Joscelyn of the Weekly Standard successfully undermines President’ Obama’s claim that Guantanamo is Al Qaeda’s ‘Number One Recruitment Tool.’ And in scoring a point, he missed the point.
Joscelyn notes that Guantanamo has been rarely mentioned 34 messages and interviews delivered by top al Qaeda leaders since January 2009. The translations were published online by the NEFA Foundation, a non-profit that does research on global jihadists. (One reporter associated with the group is Doug Farah, a former colleague and friend from the Washington Post. For that reason, I implicitly trust the group’s research, even if I don’t always share its politics).
Joscelyn’s keyword analysis finds that Al-Qaeda’s ‘Number One Recruitment Tool’ is the Zionist Occupation of Palestinian. Keywords associated with the issue (“Israel,” “Zionist,” “Gaza,” “Jews,” “Palestinian” etc) far outnumber references to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Iraq is a distant fourth, and Guantanamo is rarely talked about. So Obama’s claim is exaggerated at best, and perhaps not true at all.
Joscelyn is so busy thumbing his nose at the president that he fails to notice his study usefully refutes The Lobby’s talking point, honed by convicted deceiver Elliot Abrams of the decadent Council on Foreign Relations, that the U.S. diplomats should not focus on Palestine settlements, because the issue really isn’t that important. To the contrary, the Weekly Standard has confirmed that al- Qaeda thinks the best way to recruit suicide bombers to kill Americans (like Elliot Abrams and myself) is to call Muslim attention to the Zionist siege of the Palestinians.
So while U.S-Israeli alliance remains strong and Kristol’s tough guys sleep well, al Qaeda’s pitch is working.
Tomorrow is the first anniversary of Al- Qaeda’s most successful strike on a U.S. target since Sept. 11. I refer to the Human al-Balawi’s suicide bombing at CIA base in Afghanistan. Balawi, invariably described as a Jordanian by U.S. news organizations, actually came from a Palestinian family displaced by the ethnic cleansing operations of 1948. Balawi’s martyrdom operation was proof positive that the Israeli Occupation is al-Qaeda’s biggest recruiting tool.
President Obama can’t admit that but the Weekly Standard just did.