Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Bin Laden isn't back, he never left

David Seaton's News Links
The article below doesn't really touch on the center of the question of why Al Qaeda is so dangerous. Al Qaeda exists because of a political failure that goes back many years. A political failure born of contempt for a stubborn culture's refusal to bend its neck to "reality". At the heart of the GWOT is a rebellion of the most proactive, hard core and daring of the Muslim world against Western domination of their space. Once that political failure connects with a plan to attack it, organizations will spring up spontaneously to continue that attack.

Religion in itself is not really the driving force here, but rather serves as the ideological adhesive to articulate a cultural rebellion that cuts across nationalities and ethnic groups and welds them into a force for violent change. Osama's Islam replaces Marxist-Leninism and nationalism, all of which have failed to free Muslim countries from their perceived oppression. Tied to the newest technologies the ancient concept of the Muslim Umma is proving more potent than any imported ideology ever was.

I agree with Harvard professor, Niall Ferguson, who thinks that Osama Bin Laden is in reality more a "Leninist" than a religious leader. Just as Lenin was first a revolutionary and second a Marxist. Bin Laden's Islam structures his proud rebelliousness. Bin Laden shares with Lenin the rather unique ability to see revolutionary possibilities where others see only backward and illiterate masses and then to craft an organization and an ideology to fit that vision... and he also shares Lenin's "just do it" insistence on action instead of endless talk. DS

Remember Al Qaeda? They're baaack - Los Angeles Times

Abstract: Just last month, this alarming development produced a dramatic reversal in the Bush administration's public assessment of the Al Qaeda threat. In contrast to long-standing White House claims, the annual threat assessment presented by outgoing National Intelligence Director John D. Negroponte to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence painted a disquieting picture of a highly resilient terrorist movement that, he said, is cultivating stronger operational connections to affiliates throughout the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Al Qaeda's stunning resurrection, before the very eyes of American military forces stationed across the border in southern Afghanistan, begs the question of how the most powerful country in the world can launch a six-year, no-holds-barred, global war on terrorism — at great cost to its pocketbook and international standing — only to find the main target of these Herculean efforts still alive and kicking. In retrospect, it appears that Iraq blinded us to the possibility of an Al Qaeda renaissance. The United States' entanglement there has consumed the attention and resources of our country's military and intelligence communities — at precisely the time that Osama bin Laden and other senior Al Qaeda commanders were in their most desperate straits and stood to benefit most from this distraction. What's more, even as we took solace in the president's argument that we were "fighting terrorists over there, so that we don't have to fight them here," Al Qaeda was regrouping. Pakistan is both the problem and the solution to the most salient terrorist threat still directed against us. Al Qaeda and its Taliban allies could not function without the passive connivance of Pakistani authorities. Moreover, agreements concluded over the past two years between President Pervez Musharraf and the restive tribes along the Afghan border have assured Al Qaeda the noninterference with its activities that enables it to thrive. At the same time, the pivotal role played by Pakistan in the disruption of major attacks and the arrests of low-level plotters shows how dependent the U.S. remains on even this partial cooperation. READ IT ALL

1 comment:

RLaing said...

Er...there's a Global War on Terrorism? There's certainly a war in the Middle East over energy reserves, and another in the U.S. against dissent; but no war on 'terrorism' that I've seen, let alone one that's 'global'.