Tuesday, February 06, 2007

As Muslims Unravel, New Opportunities For U.S.

It hasn't been much noticed in the U.S., but the fact is that al-Qaeda is losing ground, and as the Muslim religion degenerates into the worst kind of internecine violence, there are opportunities opening in the U.S. campaign for change in the Middle East.

The fact is, as Lawrence Wright wrote in his book about the origins of al-Qaeda, "The Looming Tower," the terrorist organization is so venomous, it finds so many excuses for killing other Muslims, that it has been losing even many militants who would otherwise be inclined to fight the West. They have noticed that most of those murdered so brutally in the war are Muslims and that, in Iraq's case, al-Qaeda has been literally trying to destroy the country by turning one Iraqi against another.

It is ironic in a way, because when the villainous Musab Abu al-Zarqawi first launched his campaign to cause Sunni-Shiite warfare, even the al-Qaeda leadership chastised him.

But, soon, the Zarqawi tactic was adopted by al-Qaeda as a whole, and the result has been not only a rising feeling in Iraq that al-Qaeda tactics are not authentically Islamic, but a de facto coalition against extremism, both Sunni and Shiite, has gradually been taking hold in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon and other Arab countries.

The Saudis have gone so far as to undertake diplomatic exchanges with the Israelis, because they realize they have more in common with the Israelis than they do with al-Qaeda. Both the Saudis and the Gulf States are working with the West to sustain the beleaguered government in Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, is no longer as much of a hero as he was, even in Lebanon, and, in short, new perspectives are opening up.

Even in the city of Baghdad, there are now greater elements who welcome the U.S. attempt to bring some peace to the city. They begin to see the alternatives to accepting an American-led security operation are worse.

So while many Democrats in Washington can think only of ways to quit the war and concede American defeat, Middle Eastern opinion is beginning to change.

One of these days, President Bush's stubbornness may yet be appreciated.



Anonymous Rob Wagner said...

Lawrence Wright wrote "The Looming Tower."

I might add that I have lived in Saudi Arabia for three years and found that not a single Saudi I have met ever believed that Al-Qaeda tactics were authentically Islamic. In fact, they are deeply troubled and ashamed that Al-Qaeda has hijacked their religion, perverted it, and used its name to further its murderous cause. It's not a rising feeling here in Saudi Arabia. It's always been the feeling among the general population.

2/10/2007 12:45 AM  

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