Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Is Al Qaeda Winning the War on Terror?

with 52 comments

osama.jpg
How smart is this man?

What about Al Qaeda and the situation in Iraq anyhow? Is my previous depressing outlook the only possible scenario? Of course not, it could be far worse. We are so fixated on our own perspective of the world in the USA that many people can hardly imagine that we are fighting an enemy with an agenda and world view of their own. I know it’s comforting to think that Al Qaeda is just a bunch of Muslim fanatics who want to kill us all because Allah commands them to. The reality is much more complicated, and in the spirit of not underestimating our enemies, here is further observation and speculation.

Al Qaeda is a sophisticated modern insurgent group that was forged by events in the Middle East going back a century or more. They are a product of of their time, and decisions made in Washington and Jerusalem played a role in Al Qaeda’s creation. Actions don’t happen in a vacuum, the direct military deployment of US forces in the Persian Gulf in 1991 was a huge change in US policy and an incredibly aggressive move on our part. It would be like if Iran invaded Mexico, people in the US would notice and some of them would take action.

My point is that Al Qaeda has a strategy and agenda that is a a lot more sophisticated than “Let’s behead westerners.” They also have a very clear cut goal…force westerners out of the Middle East. The mujahadeen forced the Russians out of Afghanistan, Al Qaeda plans to drive the US and Israel out of the Middle East the same way. And to get America to leave, they had to pull off something like the Marine Barracks bombing in Beirut, but on a greater scale. To do that, they had to get us to make ourselves vulnerable on the ground in the Middle East.

And 911 did the trick like nobody’s business. A case can be made that the purpose of 911 was to get the US to send troops to the Middle East where Al Qaeda could attack them. And it succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, the USA literally began a crusade in the Iraq and Afghanistan, sending hundreds of thousands of troops to the ends of the Earth at fabulous expense, where Al Qaeda could attack them at will. Even if Al Qaeda doesn’t get a spectacular victory, they will slowly spend us and bleed us to death like Russian’s fate in Afghanistan. That at least is Osama’s avowed plan.

My point here is that Al-Qaeda wants us to stay in Iraq! The people who are arguing that pulling out of Iraq is surrender to Al-Qaeda have it backwards. If we can manage to get out of Iraq properly it will be sticking it to Al-Qaeda. However, the proof is in the pudding. There hasn’t been an Al Qaeda attack in the USA since 911. I’m going to predict the next one, you heard it here first. If Congress passes a bill setting a timetable for US withdrawal from Iraq, that’s when Al Qaeda will strike. Al Qaeda has shown an ability to strike where they need when they need.

So mark my words. In the weeks or maybe months following the passage of an Iraq withdrawal bill, Al Qaeda bombs will go off in the USA again. The right will feel completely vindicated and will call for redoubling our military efforts, the left will continue its tailspin into unreality as it understands neither the enemy nor the right, and the conspiracy folks will go nuts claiming Al Qaeda’s attack was a false flag operation. Yes, like Pavlov’s dogs we will react just the way Al Qaeda intended. Americans will turn on each other with renewed fervour, the homeland security industry will make ever more profit, and like lambs to the slaughter our soldiers will be sent to Iraq and Afghanistan to die in wars that may very well be making our enemies stronger and our friends weaker.

If Bush actually had a clear plan, I wouldn’t be so pessimistic, but “we’re winning, just you wait and see” isn’t much of a plan. Who knows. Maybe Bush will pull a rabbit out of his hat and the much vaunted surge will show positive results this summer. Stranger things have happened, I wouldn’t bet on it though.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit, it is central to illustrating the post, and it is an historically important image. The copyright on the image is held by Al Jazeera TV.)

Written by unitedcats

May 19, 2007 at 2:57 pm

52 Responses

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  1. “So mark my words. In the weeks or maybe months following the passage of an Iraq withdrawal bill, Al Qaeda bombs will go off in the USA again.”

    That is an irresponsible thing to say. What is worse, you use this injudicious argument to claim that this somehow would vindicate the insane warmongers, and delegitimize opposition to war.

    You are still under the influence of the Kool Aid, I’m afraid.

    whig

    May 19, 2007 at 5:45 pm

  2. You are 100% right on the money..

    Whigs response is even more evidence.

    The US is being cleverly manipulated by its enemies. Also clear is that it will take a real leader to see us through this.

    If we look for consensus to solve this we will certainly perish eventually. Real leadership by definition, is the absense of consensus.

    E

    ET

    May 19, 2007 at 8:37 pm

  3. I will remove my blessing if you advocate for war. Peaceful disagreement may be tolerated. Is this the leadership you desire or will you have another?

    whig

    May 19, 2007 at 9:49 pm

  4. Leadership creates consensus.

    whig

    May 19, 2007 at 9:50 pm

  5. What do you call a leader who loses consensus conclusively?

    A miserable failure.

    whig

    May 19, 2007 at 10:04 pm

  6. A great leader inspires his people to work together even if there is no consensus. We do not have, or likely ever will have, the national consensus that existed at the start of world war two, that was an unusual moment in history. Even though there will likely be no consensus about the GWOT, I believe that we as Americans must work to try to understand other American’s viewpoint. If we all do that, we may not win the GWOT, but at least we won’t lose. And that is the spirit that inspires me to speculate about our enemies and ourselves and our war from different directions, and if by doing so I have engaged in what is to some “irresponsible” and “injudicious” speculation, then possibly I have failed…and I will strive harder the next time I take fingers to keyboard to express myself more clearly. Mea culpa.

    unitedcats

    May 19, 2007 at 10:25 pm

  7. Working together represents a consensus to do at least that. Civility is a consensus to treat one another in certain bounds. Etcetera.

    What is irresponsible, in my view, is giving political cover to violent acts of terror.

    whig

    May 19, 2007 at 11:00 pm

  8. Do not mistake my position as one of supporting this war.

    FDR led a reluctant USA into war. Was Hitler not worthy of a war? Certainly some things are worth fighting for.. My grandfather was rescued from Dachau by the Canadians. Is it OK for Canadians to participate in a war? I dont think they liberated the camp by marching in with flowers. I am also sure some Canadians did not agree, yet by working together, in spite of their differences, millions were saved.

    If I understand Dougs point, it is that tearing each other apart helps do the work of our enemies.

    E

    ET

    May 19, 2007 at 11:11 pm

  9. Was Hitler not worthy of a war? He made a war. You pin that on him as a badge of worthiness?

    It was not only Hitler, it was the corporations that supported him, and they sacrificed him to save themselves. And they still do it, and will sacrifice George Bush.

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 12:39 am

  10. I would hope for the secret service to keep George Bush safe and protected from his friends.

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 12:40 am

  11. But to rephrase the question, is George Bush worthy of a war?

    He is unworthy of respect, America must deal with him.

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 12:42 am

  12. The following is my post which is similar to your views posted in Sep. 2006.

    You are right Osama Bin Laden and Aymen Al Zahawari are educated intelligent persons. Osama also said on many occassions that he want to destory USA financially and sure they succeeded in their plans with the budget deficit raising with these costly wars and occupation.

    Osama Bin Landen trapped Bush intelligently
    http://quranbible.wordpress.com/2006/09/23/osama-bin-laden-trapped-bush-intelligently/

    Quran Bible

    May 20, 2007 at 7:14 am

  13. Whig, admit that you do not have a point. You will not answer the question..

    There are times when war is necessary and not all of the people will support a war at any one time.

    You seem to think that war is never the answer.
    If that was true and the US did not rise to the occasion in WW2, you would be a lampshade or a bar of soap.

    Your ability/right to have your own opinion is due to people who fought for you. You cannot seem to make that connection.

    Do I think we ought to get out of Iraq? Yes, for the same reasons Doug had. Will you or I ever agree? Probably not, but I am glad you are there to have an opinion about it :^)

    E

    ET

    May 20, 2007 at 7:50 am

  14. The day US pull out of Iraq Al Qaida will claim it to be their greatest victory. Doug is right Al Qaida don’t ant US to pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Their strategy is to cause as much financial and human lose as they can for decades.

    Quran Bible

    May 20, 2007 at 8:02 am

  15. “A great leader inspires his people to work together even if there is no consensus. We do not have, or likely ever will have, the national consensus that existed at the start of world war two, that was an unusual moment in history. ”

    Actually, not only did Americans not want to go to war, there were large ‘Bund’ (American Nazi Party) rallys in Madison Square Garden and other large meeting halls accross America. FDR most likely knew of the coming attack on Pearl Harbor and let it happen. He could only get a war declaration against Germany through the Japanese attack! Germans represented the largest ethnic group in the US at that time!

    FDR never got the consensus that many would like to believe. Americans were in disagreement. There were pacifists (the Pacifica Foundation is one). Yet the war was fought.

    War is the ultimate political act and is imperfect but it beats being a lampshade all of the time.

    E

    ET

    May 20, 2007 at 8:06 am

  16. LOL Yes, that points out another problem I have been meaning to mention. We are in a situation now where if we leave or stay in Iraq, Al-Qaeda benefits. Which illustrates one of my biggest objections to the invasion…it would put us in a position where our options were limited and our enemy’s options were expanded. All great Chess/Backgammon/etc players understand this, you carefully and subtly move your pieces so that your potential moves are expanded and your opponent’s potential moves are reduced. If you do this for a while you will have great moves available while your opponent is gnashing his teeth because there’s nothing he can do. Bush does not appear to understand this basic aspect of game play, and had just pushed his game pieces forward willy nilly thinking that they were such great game pieces they could just sweep the board clear of the opponent’s pieces. Like the Chess player who foolishly rushes his Queen forward early in the game, Bush is now trapped by the very situation he created.

    unitedcats

    May 20, 2007 at 8:12 am

  17. I should probably add on the subject at hand, if an invader marches into your country I think it’s perfectly justified to grab a gun and defend your home and family. I’ll be joining you, I think war is perfectly justified in those circumstances.

    Sending an army into another nation is vastly harder to justify, I know of no “preventive” or “preemptive” war in history that I would give unqualified support to. They are simply euphemisms for invasion and conquest.

    unitedcats

    May 20, 2007 at 8:41 am

  18. This is now my turn to LOL. Majority of Americans will not understand what you are saying.

    “Sending an army into another nation is vastly harder to justify, I know of no “preventive” or “preemptive” war in history that I would give unqualified support to. They are simply euphemisms for invasion and conquest.”

    War supporters called me terrorist sympathizer and applogist for similar views.

    Quran Bible

    May 20, 2007 at 8:48 am

  19. Doug: “All great Chess/Backgammon/etc players understand this, you carefully and subtly move your pieces so that your potential moves are expanded and your opponent’s potential moves are reduced. If you do this for a while you will have great moves available while your opponent is gnashing his teeth because there’s nothing he can do.”

    Yes, and George Bush does not play Chess at all. The administration is playing Poker, and bluffing badly.

    There are other games, like Go. Never assume that your opponent is playing the same game you are. You may win every encounter and still lose the war.

    George Bush didn’t only start a war on false pretenses, he committed forces unwisely, he dug himself into a no-win situation where the strategy becomes whatever keeps him away from being prosecuted for the war crimes he is guilty of.

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 9:02 am

  20. ET:
    “Whig, admit that you do not have a point. You will not answer the question..

    There are times when war is necessary and not all of the people will support a war at any one time.

    You seem to think that war is never the answer.
    If that was true and the US did not rise to the occasion in WW2, you would be a lampshade or a bar of soap.”

    What kind of offensive twaddle is that? My grandfather was a US Army medic in WW2, and my uncle was a US marine in the same war. All of my ancestors have been in this country since the 1850s.

    We did not start a war with Germany.

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 9:09 am

  21. Whig, please answer the question:

    Is war ever necessary? You keep dodging it.

    Good for your ancestors, but they are not *you* Whig.

    Were the wars they fought in OK to fight in?

    E

    ET

    May 20, 2007 at 10:07 am

  22. Was it OK to war with Germany in WW2 Whig?

    Just a yes or no is all thats needed..

    its not too complicated a question :)

    ET

    May 20, 2007 at 10:17 am

  23. It is never acceptable to start a war.

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 11:25 am

  24. To ask whether it is ever acceptable to defend allies in an ongoing war that they did not start is a separate matter.

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 11:29 am

  25. To ask whether the right choice was made historically requires us to investigate the alternatives. I cannot say that FDR made a correct decision.

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 11:32 am

  26. ET, would it be appropriate in your view for a war to be declared against George Bush?

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 11:34 am

  27. Whig,

    You are just silly.

    You are preoccupied with Bush. And you keep dodging the question.

    Thats why leadership is so important.

    Thankfully our previous leaders did not negotiate and come to a consensus with Hitler, and you and I are not lampshades because of it.
    Its the only reason you are here to even have an opinion, and I am glad you are here to have one :)

    E

    ET

    May 20, 2007 at 12:12 pm

  28. ET, you did not answer my question.

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 12:17 pm

  29. Doug you must be glad that this post is getting so much attention.

    Here what I know about Whig. Whig is anti war person and so am I. Whig is also according to my reading is die hard Democrat and passionate person and when his passion take over his logic I simply don’t reply to his posts.

    My opinion about Afghanistan and Iraq invasion is that both wars were wrong. Have Bush deal with the situation intelligently the world would be a better place.

    Quran Bible

    May 20, 2007 at 12:54 pm

  30. Whig,

    You never answered mine Whig.

    It is because you dont have any answers.

    As for our President, if you are advocating war on our president or our government, it is conspiracy to commit treason. It is a hanging crime Whig to call for such utter nonsense.

    God bless America Whig..

    E

    ET

    May 20, 2007 at 1:35 pm

  31. QB, I am not a die hard Democrat. I am independent.

    ET, you are an idiot. I’m done being civil.

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 1:37 pm

  32. conspiracy to commit treason, indeed.

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 1:41 pm

  33. Whig,

    Do you think the Holocaust really happened?

    And a lack of civility on your part shows the lack of depth of your arguments, like you never really had one to begin with.

    I doubt your civil at all. Your simply a lack of facts, backed up with pure gas.

    And yes Whig. Treason is when you call for the overthrow of a duly elected government.

    E

    ET

    May 20, 2007 at 2:26 pm

  34. It is because we remember the Shoah that we do not allow that to happen here.

    But here you are, and building the same death cult again.

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 2:32 pm

  35. Whig,

    not here.. but does that mean it was OK in Germany?

    E

    ET

    May 20, 2007 at 2:35 pm

  36. You have a reading comprehension problem.

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 2:41 pm

  37. Whig,

    You parse your words so carefully, so as to cover you lack of facts or arguments.. gas-bags do that, as well as attack. Be civil.

    Yes or no Whig.

    Was fighting Hitler a just cause?

    E

    ET

    May 20, 2007 at 2:43 pm

  38. I do not have to be civil to someone who suggests I ought to be hung.

    You are uncivil, and unserious. You do not read, as I have already answered your questions, and you have not answered mine.

    Yes of no ET.

    Did you stop beating your wife?

    As you can see, “Yes or no” are not adequate answers.

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 2:54 pm

  39. I believe my grandfather and uncle were just. That is sufficient. I cannot speak for whether FDR was just, but I can say that George Bush is unjust without question.

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 2:58 pm

  40. Whig,

    The question was for you Whig..

    But you cannot answer the question as you dont have an answer. Just saying so would suffice, but you want to hide behind the actions of your ancestors and assume their valor Whig.

    Was fighting Hitler a just war Whig?

    E

    ET

    May 20, 2007 at 3:14 pm

  41. I rest my case Whig..

    Milk toast is not an answer.

    ET

    May 20, 2007 at 3:20 pm

  42. What is war on President? Why it is treason to criticise the policies of President of USA? How could you declare war on President?

    Bush and Dick has used their powers which to me are criminal and they could be impeached according to US constitution. They did not get what they deserve because Democrats are scared to loose their political support.

    Quran Bible

    May 20, 2007 at 3:31 pm

  43. I am inclined to say there is no such thing as a just war. It would have been possible to wage peace but nobody had the foresight to do that.

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 3:40 pm

  44. I would furthermore urge we wage peace on Iraq.

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 3:42 pm

  45. I agree with you Whig.

    Quran Bible

    May 20, 2007 at 3:44 pm

  46. The international community can provide a judicial remedy for the tribunals.

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 3:46 pm

  47. And certainly in the nuclear age, whatever historically may have been the case, there is presently no such thing as a just war. Not now, not ever again.

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 3:48 pm

  48. Didn’t someone suggest beating swords into plow shares?

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 3:52 pm

  49. Right now, the international community is still waging peace on America. They remember we waged peace upon them after the war. Let’s learn our own lesson.

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 3:54 pm

  50. I never heard anyone say, “Blessed are the warmakers.”

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 3:57 pm

  51. God will continue to bless America if she learns to be peaceful. God can remove a blessing.

    whig

    May 20, 2007 at 3:59 pm

  52. My personal prediction has been that AlQaida will attack the US within 3 months after the pull-out.
    You are right when you say they want us there, and that is why they have not attacked here. You are also right when you say they are running the actions there. They wanted Spain out, so they bombed Madrid, and got Spain out. They wanted England out so they bombed London. They have controlled elections all over the world with their version of terrorism.
    If (and when) the democrats get their way and pull out we WILL get hit in the US, and then what will they do? It will be too late for them to turn back on their plans. The truth is the dems are going to have to keep us in Iraq until after the 08 general election, so they can ensure themselves a victory.
    Their problem is, if they wait to long, the common voter gets impatient quickly…. will they be able to keep the votes so they can get their person in the WHite House?
    All the campaigns for a “Quick retreat,” from Iraq, that is what the voters agreed upon. Will more then two years be too long, for a quick retreat.
    Politics… the greatest game in town.

    Dave

    June 3, 2007 at 9:06 am


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