Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Bin Laden getting Desperate?

From al Jazeera:

"The US is no longer facing a tiny dangerous faction within the Islamist movement that is al-Qaeda. The US faces now an ideological enemy which encompasses all jihadis, local jihadis and trans-national jihadis and even radical Islamists.

In many ways this basically sets the US on a highly dangerous track because it's one thing to say that the US faces al-Qaeda which is a highly dangerous enemy and it's another to say that the US faces an ideological threat which encompasses all jihadis and even all Islam.

It changes the nature of confrontation and basically convinces Americans who know very little about the nuances and differences between jihadis and the Islamists that somehow we're facing what I call an existential threat, a strategic threat. And this is not true." (source)

This is an excerpt from an interview with Fawaz Gerge (Christian Johnson Chair in International Affairs and Middle Eastern Studies at New York's Sarah Lawrence University). Sounds like he is saying this will turn into a war of religions...

In the interview he also says that Bin Laden is getting desperate:

"He sounds deeply disappointed that his messages have fallen on deaf ears. The caravan of jihad has left him behind, and it is moving in a dramatically different direction than he had expected. He feels an urgent need to remind his followers and the Muslim community that he is still alive, that he exists.

But the truth is that there are few takers for his civilisational war. Neither Iraqis nor Palestinians are willing to wage a war on bin Laden's behalf; nor do they subscribe to his vision. They have much more limited goals than bin Laden's ambitious and convoluted rhetoric." (source)

I know Bin Laden is a figure head and his death won't stop the hundreds waiting in the wings with suicide vest in hand, but damn would it make me feel better...

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