Saturday, November 03, 2007

Al Qaeda still may be fairly relevant

Benazir Bhutto has said the deadly suicide attack on her homecoming procession may have been the handiwork of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's son Hamza. She has also warned that Pakistan is facing an ''increasing threat of an extremist takeover''.

This is at the same time as US claims are that Bin Laden admits defeat in Iraq. On October 22nd, Osama bin Laden admitted that al Qaeda had lost its war in Iraq. In an audiotape speech titled "Message to the people of Iraq," bin Laden complains of disunity and poor use of resources. Bin Laden's latest audio recording brought forth a furious reaction from many of his followers. The main complaint was that only excerpts of the message were being reported on by the Arab media, and that if the entire message were put out there, the excerpts would not appear so damaging. The excerpts concentrated on bin Laden admitting mistakes, criticizing al Qaeda operations in Iraq and urging Islamic radicals to get their act together.

IMO: There is an element of whistling in the dark in the US view. They can't do much about Pakistan at the moment. Bush claims he seeks "democracy" in Pakistan but Musharaff (understandably) has imposed an emergency on the country. Then there is Turkey's alignment with Iran over the Kurds, maybe US should have kept their poker games to Texas and not gone out to kill and torture foreigners instead. Can't they at least prevent the Mukasey nomination, quite useless anyway, and probably meaningless in practice.

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