CHARLOTTE, October 9, 2012 – By now we have all heard the phrase, “General Motors is alive, and Osama bin Laden is dead.”
Translation: Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are no longer viable, it is safe to leave Afghanistan and the war on terrorism is over.
Those ten words were one of the cornerstones of the Democratic National Convention. We heard it over and over again, followed by numerous sarcastic remarks by the president that Mitt Romney is a foreign policy novice and only Obama could handle the complexities of global politics.
Then a funny thing happened on the way from the DNC to the next fund raiser. All hell broke out in the Middle East. Suddenly the “bin Laden is dead” line no longer had the clout it had just a few days before. The dirty little secret is that it was never as important as the administration made it.
Make no mistake, the world is a better place without Osama bin Laden. The fallacy however, is that the planet is safer today than it was when he was alive.
The biggest value in getting bin Laden was largely symbolic. He had attained an aura of invincibility and omnipotence in a world where idolatry is forbidden. In that sense, killing the terrorist was far more significant than capturing him.
The problem is that even with bin Laden gone, global terrorism is as much of a threat today, if not more, that it has ever been.
Enter South African reporter Lara Logan, a veteran foreign correspondent who while on assignment in Egypt in 2011, was captured, stripped naked, beaten and raped by an angry mob.
As the keynote speaker at the annual Better Government Association luncheon in Chicago, Logan gave an ominous message saying, “I chose this subject because, one, I can’t stand that there is a major lie being propagated.”
Speaking to about 1,100 business, government, media, political and legal leaders, Logan told her audience that the narrative out of Washington for the past two years that the defeat of al-Qaeda and the Taliban is a lie. Rather, they are resurging.
On the heels of the violence in Libya in September, it is difficult to dispute Logan’s argument despite statements to the contrary by the Obama administration.
Logan, who has been covering the Middle East for many years, wrote a report on September 30 titled “The Longest War” focusing on the conflict in Afghanistan.
While Barack Obama no longer sugar coats his rhetoric on the campaign trail by having his surrogates boldly claim that Mitt Romney is a liar, Logan refutes the president’s own honesty in his Middle East policies.
Powerful and emphatic as Logan’s comments were however, they were likely not strong enough. Like bin Laden, it matters little whether Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are vanquished because Islamic terrorism will continue to exist. Destroy one and another arises. So long as Islamic fundamentalism continues its war against the world, it is insignificant what name terrorism gives themselves because they all spring from the same root.
Logan is passionate in her argument that the American people are not being told the truth about the strength of the enemies we face in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Speaking from intense personal experience she sounds the alarm when she says, “You are not listening to what the people who are fighting you say about this fight. In your arrogance, you think you write the script.”
The Obama campaign’s tactic of calling Mitt Romney a liar is a dangerous gamble. Even more dangerous however, is the lie the president is perpetuating with the American people.
It is time to listen to those who have seen the complexities of the Middle East up close and personal. They are the ones who know the truth and who are telling it. We have been warned and November 6 will determine our fate.
Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in Charlotte, NC. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club, which creates, and escorts customized tours to Switzerland, France and Italy for groups of 12 or more. Inquiries for groups can be made at Peabod@aol.com Taylored Media has produced marketing videos for British Rail, Rail Europe, Switzerland Tourism, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Swiss Travel System and Japan Railways Group among others. As author of The Century Club book, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 69 countries. Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want to know where he has been, check his list on Facebook. Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries. He also played professional baseball for four years and was a sportscaster for 14 years at WBTV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte.
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