How many presidents in a row will do Osama bin Laden's bidding? First we had George W. Bush, who pulled U.S. troops out of Saudi Arabia -- bin Laden's leading agenda item at that time -- in response to the 9/11 attacks, the first of a string of dumb decisions that encouraged rather than tamped down Islamic extremism. Now is President Obama's walking into a trap in Yemen? Steve Clemons explains:
National security officials in the administration need to go back and read Peter Bergen's Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden in which he recounts many aspects of bin Laden's plan from the Islamic extremist uber-guru's own words - which was to draw the US deeply into the Middle East, and by its presence -- destabilize the governments in the region.
Bin Laden, hiding somewhere in Pakistan, remains the single most significant sculptor of global affairs today, pushing the buttons of an American superpower as well as other regimes, so that they engage in emotional, knee jerk crusades that undermine what is left of a global equilibrium and the perception of American power.
Bin Laden, Mullah Omar, and enemies yet to be named win with each new soldier deployed to the Middle East and South Asia.
But, hey, should America pursue policies that make sense, or policies that feel good?