While the West battles al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Taliban and other radical organizations and individuals, its more challenging task will be to marginalize the underlying ideology of radical Islam.
Like all of Osama bin Laden’s previous messages to the West, his most recent communiqué contains three Ladenese trademarks — lying, defying, and demoralizing — that are always present whenever the al Qaeda chieftain addresses the West.
We’ve all seen them — those little wristbands Christians sometimes wear, or put on bumper stickers, with the acronym “WWJD?” — What Would Jesus Do? A reminder for them to ask, in every situation they face, what their Lord would do, and to emulate Jesus’ teachings of divine compassion, love, patience, faith, hope, and charity.
Iran and the U.S., who may otherwise be on a collision-course, share one common goal: promoting democracy in Iraq. Just this last September Associated Press reported that Iranian president — a possible accomplice of the U.S. embassy takeover of 1979 and one who believes Israel should be “wiped off the map” —
Al-Qaeda has shrewdly seen to it that, along with the sword, they also employ the pen in their Holy War. In order to vindicate their actions and rally support, they have orchestrated a series of carefully constructed messages. These messages fall into two distinct genres, each revealing a different goal.
On occasion, one finds a historical pattern that provides a paradigm useful for interpreting contemporary world events. One such paradigm is the almost eerie parallel between Germany’s history — its progress from Nationalism to Fascism and ultimately Terror — and the recent history of the Arab world.
Osama bin Laden is apparently certain that the vast majority of Americans, including their policy-makers, are ignorant of al-Qaeda’s goals and strategies. His recent “extended truce” offer to the Americans suggests as much: after offering the truce, he qualifies its earnestness by asserting “for we [Muslims] are a Nation whom Allah has forbidden from breaking pacts and lying.” And this is definitely true — the Koran and Tradition of the Prophet clearly censure acts of perfidy and deception.