February 28, 2008


Is the Terror Threat Overrated? (David Ignatius, 2/28/08, Real Clear Politics)

The heart of [Marc] Sageman's message is that we have been scaring ourselves into overexaggerating the terrorism threat -- and then by our unwise actions in Iraq making the problem worse. He attacks head-on the central thesis of the Bush administration, echoed increasingly by Republican presidential candidate John McCain, that, as McCain's Web site puts it, the United States is facing "a dangerous, relentless enemy in the War against Islamic Extremists" spawned by al-Qaeda.

The numbers say otherwise, Sageman insists. The first wave of al-Qaeda leaders, who joined Osama bin Laden in the 1980s, is now down to a few dozen people on the run in the tribal areas of northwest Pakistan. The second wave of terrorists, who trained in al-Qaeda's camps in Afghanistan during the 1990s, has also been devastated, with about 100 hiding out on the Pakistani frontier. These people are genuinely dangerous, says Sageman, and they must be captured or killed. But they do not pose an existential threat to America, much less a "clash of civilizations."

...he might put two and two together and recognize that the WoT has been a perfect pretext for bringing the End of History to the Islamic world.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 28, 2008 7:00 AM

OBL was Saddam Hussein's worst enemy. And Mullah Omar's. Etc.

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 28, 2008 2:17 PM

I wonder if all these terrorist leaders and their followers decommissioned themseleves, or have somebody like Bush and the US military instigated their demise. Just wondering.

Posted by: ic at February 28, 2008 3:56 PM

Silly Rabbit. That's how the game is played. We provoke and/or entice the enemy to attack at a time and place of our choosing. Worked with Mexico way back when, worked with Hitler, worked with the other Hussein, Saddam, in the work-up to GW I, and it's working now with al-Qaeda.

Posted by: Lou Gots at February 29, 2008 5:10 AM