Friday, November 14, 2008

CIA Says Osama bin Laden Isolated: Can Everybody Go Home Now?

It's in the news: Osama bin Laden is isolated. He's not actually running Al Qaeda now.

Does this mean that all the troops can go home now? From what some very intelligent (just ask them) people say, maybe they can. And should:
  • Osama bin Laden is really important
  • He's the one to blame for 9/11
  • Anything not obviously focused on serving Osama bin Laden with an arrest warrant is a mistake
    • And the fault of George W. Bush
Me? I think that there's more going on than Osama bin Laden and his vision for Islam. And, I don't see response to the 9/11 attack as something that should be handled by law enforcement. Neither do many others, now, from what I've heard and read.

Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda, and the War on Terror: It's Not Over Yet

My guess is that we're still closer to the beginning of the War on Terror, than its end.

I'm not being pessimistic: but this conflict is not like the major global wars of the 20th century, where there American and other nations were facing an enemy with a well-defined territory, combatants who were, by and large, readily identifiable, and headquarters that could be seized.

The War on Terror is going to take time.

Here's a bit of what CIA Director Michael Hayden said about Osama bin Laden, as reported on CNN:
  • " 'He is putting a lot of energy into his own survival -- a lot of energy into his own security,' ...
    " 'In fact, he appears to be largely isolated from the day-to-day operations of the organization he nominally heads....'"
  • "...'Al Qaeda has suffered serious setbacks, but it remains a determined, adaptive enemy unlike any our nation has ever faced,' Hayden said. 'The war is far from over.' "
  • " 'This is an organization that has never been through a change at the top,' he said. 'For 20 years, bin Laden has been the visionary, the inspiration or harmonizing force behind al Qaeda....' "
Would capturing or killing bin Laden be good for people who aren't with Al Qaeda? Almost certainly, yes.

Is Osama bin Laden the only target in the War on Terror? Definitely not.

Am I disheartened at how long the War on Terror has been going on?

No: but then, I'm a historian. I recognize that the War on Terror isn't a matter of one nation attacking another, or even a war between many nations. Al Qaeda and its affiliates are going to be very, very, difficult to overcome.

But, I think that the strange vision of Islam that bin Laden and some others have will not win. As I've written before, there are Muslims who do not see eye-to-eye with the likes of Al Qaeda. And, even in the Middle East, some Muslims are starting to question their more enthusiastic leaders (see "Chief Saudi Judge: Death to Network Owners!" (September 19, 2008)).

In the news:

1 comment:

Jack Reylan said...

For his vitreous gaze and vitriolic bigotry, Auburndale LI Zeus priest "Palestinian Paul" is feared Osama been Hiding.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.