Remember President Obama’s campaign stump speech line that “al-Qaeda is on the run“? Well, the terrorist raid on Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 forced him to eat those words—or at least drop them in October from his litany of accomplishments of how he had supposedly made the world a safer place.
The hostage crisis at a BP gas plant in Algeria this week reinforces the fact that al-Qaeda and its affiliates and sympathizers are back in force. It is organized, well-armed, and on the move. Early Wednesday, a force of at least 20 gunmen moved on the remote Ain Amenas gas plant, 800 miles from Algiers, grabbing (by their own claim) 41 foreign hostages. Their stated cause: revenge for the French military action against al-Qaeda linked rebels in neighboring Mali.
The hostage-takers are demanding that France end its intervention.
It will be recalled that President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden ran last year’s presidential campaign on their victory against radical terrorism. In speech after speech, the President trumpeted his victory over Osama bin Laden. The Obama Administration even went so far as to collaborate with the makers of the movie Zero Dark Thirty about the Navy Seal raid on bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.
Reality, however, collided heavily with the Administration’s narrative. On September 11, 2012, al-Qaeda affiliates attacked the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, killing U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans serving their country. After this, the Administration, including President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice argued ludicrously for days that the well-orchestrated raid was a spontaneous demonstration by Muslims who had taken offense at a silly Internet video.
Will the Obama Administration now revise its view that the war on terror is a thing of the past? Will the new Senate Foreign Relations Committee ask the nominees for the next CIA director, John Brennan; the next Secretary of Defense, former Senator Chuck Hagel (R–NE); and the next Secretary of State, Senator John Kerry (D–MA) whether they accept the reality that radical Islamist terrorism has taken a new hold in North Africa and is threatening American interests? And, if so, what they are planning to do about it?
If the ongoing hostage crisis in Algeria can’t do it, nothing can.
(Photo credit: Statoil/Balkis Press/ABACAPRESS.COM)