Daily Wisdom

October 22, 2007

Bin Laden Shows Signs Of Weakness

It should first be acknowledged that the latest audiotape purported to be from Osama bin Laden has not yet been authenticated. Nevertheless, a voice resembling that of Osama bin Laden was broadcast on Al-Jazeera TV in what appears to be a message of annoyance verging on desperation (if such can be said of bin Laden's lackluster voice). In the audiotape message, the speaker appears to "scold" al-Qaeda in Iraq for their mistakes. "The mujahedeen are the children of this [Islamic] nation... they do right things and wrong things," bin Laden said. "Those who are accused of violations of God's commandments should face trial," he added.

The "wrong things" to which bin Laden refers, are the moves by al-Qaeda in Iraq to impose harsh Taliban-like Islamic rule (including death and dismemberment for various "crimes"), as well as its killings of rival Sunni tribal figures. These actions have alienated Sunni Arabs who, as a result, have now aligned themselves with Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces opposed to al-Qaeda. Sunni sheikhs in Iraq's Anbar and Diyala provinces have driven al-Qaeda out of areas that had previously been securely in their grasp.

It seems apparent that bin Laden is recognizing the precarious nature of his position. In the past, he has made bold statements to the effect that his jihad in Iraq is "a war of destiny". He said, "The whole world is watching this war," and stated that it will end in "victory and glory, or misery and humiliation." Now that the whole world is watching him lose in Iraq, he is starting to get desperate. He does not want the "misery and humiliation" which goes with losing. He is trying - no doubt too late - to rally al-Qaeda in Iraq, encourage the insurgents, and to "beg forgiveness" from the Sunni sheikhs in Anbar. It is clearly a sign of weakness, and not likely to be heeded by the Sunni sheikhs.


At 10/23/2007 1:23 AM , Anonymous camojack said...

May the fleas of a thousand camels infest his beard...etc.

At 10/25/2007 10:28 AM , Blogger Maggie said...

May the Bluebird of Happiness crap all over his birthday cake.....next.....

At 10/25/2007 10:35 PM , Anonymous Elroy said...

Hey Hawkeye – wanna buy a bridge?

Do yourself and the rest of us a favour – read this:



At 10/27/2007 10:02 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

OK, so I read it... well, as much as I could stand. Frankly, I disagree with the premise and the arguments of Stephen Holmes, as well as the conclusion of Chalmers Johnson. Despite Holmes' clever attempt to cite authors which Johnson & Holmes refer to as "conservatives", my guess is that both are so far to the left, to them even Ted Kennedy would be considered a "moderate".

Thus, there is little to agree with. Furthermore, I was at complete odds with Tom's intro, which was loaded with hypothesis (presented as fact), hyperbole, and unsubstantiated allegations.

Stop reading such drivel, Elroy... it's bad for your brain. Why not bring me some cogent analysis based on facts, won't you?


At 10/29/2007 7:21 PM , Anonymous Elroy said...

OK, Hawkeye – WHY do you disagree? Just saying 'I disagree' is not really good enough, and that you couldn't even be bothered to finish it speaks volumes about how open minded you are to other points of view or even, dare I say it, the truth.

Yet again, you shoot the messenger, or messengers. Holmes is discussing books by conservatives to see what conservatives say about the war – he is not responsible for what went into the books – in a bid to find out about this ridiculous war.

And it is ridiculous, and flagwavers like yourself need to get your fingers out of your ears and listen seriously to alternative voices. It has been managed abominably badly – post-war planning was done using a ten-year-old Lonely Planet guide book – yet you are not angry at the idiots who have failed your, our, troops.

I am dismayed by your intellectually lazy dismissal of Holmes's work and willingness to reject it on purely partisan grounds. 'Oh, well he would say that, wouldn't he?' is not a particularly rigorous argument; it is but to succumb to the logical fallacy Fundamental Attribution Error.

This absurd position reflects the parlous state of political discourse between the camps, a severe left/right polarization encouraged in the most part by your guys (Rove, Norquist et al) which has left the Right in a nether world where reality is not welcome.

Time to grow up. Time to question your representatives and their rhetoric, and your own beliefs, in as honest and confronting a way as you bear to muster. Do it 'til it hurts! That way lies the truth, a truth that cannot necessarily be found poring over CENTCCOM releases.

The problem with confronting you with 'facts' is that you don't believe them unless they come from sanctified sources, sources that would never tell these facts and therefore live in a bubble, a feedback loop where you only believe government propaganda and dismiss all other.

A closed mind is a dangerous thing, Hawkeye, and I would have thought that the lives of the US troops, and Iraqi civilians that the US has such a high regard for, would deserve a far more diligent and scrupulous inspection of ALL the evidence than you are willing to committ to.

So tell me WHY you disagree, and maybe we might get somewhere – hell, you might even convince me.

At 10/29/2007 11:30 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Why must you be so tiring and irritating? So you demand to know WHY I disagree? As if I owe you something -- a visitor -- here, at my own blog. I should just tell you to go suck a lemon. But out of sheer courtesy (about which you seem to know little), let me give you some examples of why I disagree...

"the matador is the terrorist leadership of al Qaeda, taunting a maddened United States into an ultimately fatal reaction..." Al-Qaeda isn't "taunting" the US, it's ATTACKING the US. Al-Qaeda has only one mission -- to establish the Caliphate. It sees the US as an impediment to achieving that goal, and has therefore tried to inflict grievous wounds on the US in an effort to "cow" the US, the way it cowed Spain with the Madrid bombings. Al-Qaeda is convinced that bloody blows against America and its interests will cause public sentiment to force America into retreat. The liberal media and clowns like yourself have been more than willing to be stooges for Osama bin Laden. You guys sound like PR agents for OBL. And BTW, if anybody's made a fatal move, that would be al-Qaeda.

"the United States has magnified many times over the initial damage caused by the terrorists..." Oh really? I think 3,000 dead Americans and an economic disruption valued in the billions of dollars is pretty significant, don't you? And that's on top of the first World Trade Center bombing, the USS Cole, the African embassy bombings, the Bali night club bombings, the Madrid bombings, the UK bombings (and attempted bombings), and plenty more events that are less well known. Do you honestly believe that al-Qaeda is not a threat and we are over-estimating their terror potential? What planet do you live on, man?

"the Iraq war, which he calls 'one of the worst (and least comprehensible) blunders in the history of American foreign policy'..." Don't even get me started. First, I disagree that it was a blunder. Second, it is certainly 'comprehensible' to those with even a modicum of intelligence. (My condolences to you and your IQ-challenged friends who simply can't comprehend.) You may not agree with our involvement in Iraq, but it is certainly 'comprehensible'.

"His modus operandi is to survey in depth approximately a dozen influential books on post-Cold War international politics to see what light they shed on America's missteps..." I disagree that our involvement in the War on Terror and/or Iraq was a "misstep". If there were any missteps, they occurred in previous administrations when the US failed to respond with appropriate force to terrorist attacks. Going on offense against terrorism for the first time in US history was the BEST thing we could have done. We finally did something CORRECT!

"American conservatives or neoconservatives... are the ones who caused the debacle..." Pure "BS". Those honors my friend, belong to the likes of Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Saddam Hussein and "Chemical Ali". Without their assistance, we wouldn't have gone into either Afghanistan (2003) or Iraq (2001). Technically speaking, the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 was merely a resumption of hostilities in the 2001 Iraq war. Iraq was failing to meet its obligations under: a) the 2001 cease-fire agreement and, b) a dozen or more UN resolutions.

"the reason why the United States responded to the al Qaeda attack by invading Iraq remains to some extent an enigma..." That my friend is a straw man. The US did NOT respond to al-Qaeda by invading Iraq. No one ever said that the US invaded Iraq as a response to al-Qaeda. Saying so confers a lack of credibility upon the proponent.

"Here he (Holmes) supplies his own independent analysis and conclusion..." While Chalmers Johnson seems to relish in the idea that Stephen Holmes "focuses on (authors that) are American conservatives or neoconservatives," I find it laughable that Holmes would stray from the analysis and conclusions of said authors in favor of his own. No!... really? I wonder why?

"Why did American military preeminence breed delusions of omnipotence..." I don't know, did they? This my friend is an unsubstantiated allegation. Prove to me that the American military thought it was omnipotent. Show me the documents. Find me the quotes.

"American military superiority has irredeemably skewed the country's view of the enemy on the horizon, drawing the United States, with appalling consequences, into a gratuitous, cruel, and unwinnable conflict in the Middle East..." Oh, so now it's not just the military that's deluded, it's the whole country that's "irredemeeably skewed"! OK, well I guess that includes liberals and socialists too, eh? And on top of that, the Iraq war has had "appalling consequences". (I'm sorry to disappoint you, but it was the US Civil War that had "appalling consequences"... not Iraq. In the 4 years of the US Civil War, over 560,000 Americans died, while less than 4,000 Americans have died during a similar time period in Iraq.) "Gratuitous, cruel, and unwinnable conflict in the Middle East..." Does that include Afghanistan? There are a lot of Europeans in Afghanistan, and most do not consider it "gratuitous, cruel and unwinnable". As for Iraq, let's let history be the judge.

"How was the war lost, as analyzed in Cobra II..." The war was not lost.

"the best treatment of the military aspects of the disaster..." The war was not a disaster.

"How did a tiny group of individuals, with eccentric theories and reflexes, recklessly compound the country's post-9/11 security nightmare...?" Got me. I don't think it WAS compounded. The "nightmare" was only compounded in the imaginations of men like Stephen Holmes. Because George W. Bush et al didn't operate in a manner which liberals and socialists would have operated, they freaked out... it was a nightmare for them. Too bad. I sleep better at night knowing that Bush and company are on the job, thank you.

"Cheney's and Rumsfeld's manipulation of the neophyte Bush..." Stop with the Rovian mind control stuff already! Yeah right, like everybody and his brother manipulated Bush. More unsubstantiated allegations. Give me the proof.

"the fatally blurred understanding of the terrorist threat..." Oh, so I guess Mr. Holmes has a "life-givingly clear" understanding of the terrorist threat? If that is so, then why hasn't he been hired by the CIA, the DIA, the NSA, or some other major governmental organization or think-tank? If he's so smart, then why isn't anybody except Chalmers Johnson listening to him?

Chalmers Johnson's conclusion...

"There is, I believe, only one solution to the crisis we face. The American people must make the decision to dismantle both the empire that has been created in their name and the huge, still growing military establishment that undergirds it..." Total hogwash. There is no crisis. There is no empire. Johnson just wants to diminish American prestige and influence in the world... like a lot of other people (especially our enemies). Unfortunately, the Democrats in America think the military establishment is TOO SMALL. They think the US military is stretched TOO THIN between Afghanistan and Iraq. They think the military is "BROKEN". They want to revive the draft so we can increase the number of soldiers in our military. Your friend Stephen Holmes seems to be out of touch with the Democrats. He also seems to be out of touch with the war in Iraq, which is far from "unwinnable" and far from a "failure". Frankly, he's just out of touch with reality.

I think Stephen Holmes is just pandering to the leftist, anti-war crowd like yourself. I think Chalmers Johnson is nothing more than a stooge toting the anti-war gospel. I think Tom is a fool for associating himself with either one. Tom's rhetoric is nothing more than the drivel you spew out. Slogans, talking-points, hyperbole, inuendo, allegations, hypotheses, conspiracy theories... nothing more. Just tired, worn-out rhetoric. Blah, blah, blah.

At 11/02/2007 2:32 PM , Blogger Lennon said...

While your argument is very thought providing, I have to disagree with you that Iraq is a part of the war on terror. In your response to Elroy you say that Al-Qaeda has “tried to inflict grievous wounds on the US” and therefore we must stop Al-Qaeda. While that may be true I fail to see the connection between Al-Qaeda and Iraq. If Al-Qaeda is waiting around every corner to kill every American they can, then why does it seem so hard to find them? And if they are so ready to destroy America, then wouldn’t it make more sense to focus solely on stopping Al-Qaeda instead of ‘establishing democracy’ in Iraq? So were is the connection? How is Al-Qaeda associated with Iraq? How is our presence in Iraq going to ensure the safety of Americans in the future? So I understand that you are saying Al-Qaeda is dangerous, but why are we spending so much more time in Iraq than we are specifically fighting Al-Qaeda? How will a democratic government in Iraq stop Al-Qaeda from attacking the US.

At 11/04/2007 6:31 PM , Blogger chelsea b said...

Tough I agree with you about Al-Qaeda attacking the U.S. and not taunting us. There is some argument that I have for your claim. We both know that the Al-Qaeda was the reason for the attacks of the Twin Towers on September 11, but does Iraq really have anything to do with the Al-Qaeda’s. You believe so, but I do not. The Al-Qaeda’s were from Afghanistan and Sadam Hussein had no affiliation with them or even control over them. Iraq had nothing to do with the terrorist acts on September 11. Although there are terrorists in Iraq we are not responsible for someone else’s country if they have not done anything to us. Bush fooled us, Americans, to go into war with a country that had nothing to do with September 11. We are not the World Police. It is not our job to rid every country of terrorism, especially on false terms delivered by our president.


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