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Secondly, there has been a heightened radicalization of the middle ground in the Muslim world. A growing number have embraced Islamist politics but will not sanction al-Qaeda’s tactics and will pursue democratic avenues when they are made available. This radicalization may itself be a worrying development for the West, but it is also weakening al-Qaeda, whose legitimacy and ambition rest on approval from the Muslim masses….br> Azzam found that al-Qaida enjoyed a surge in popularity in the Muslim world immediately after 9/11, but that the war in Iraq turned the tide, significantly weakening Muslim affection for the terror group and terrorist tactics in general. Though the war has spawned a lot of al Qaeda imitators, none is as organized or capable of massive destruction as bin Laden’s organization once was. p>The Chatham House report concludes that br> /p>
Thirdly, there has been a growing discomfort and opposition religiously and morally to terrorism among Muslims. Al-Qaeda has driven a wedge between Muslim communities not about the importance of regional and international politics and the role of the US, but about the justification of violence in the name of Islam. This is perhaps one of the most significant ongoing developments and one which will determine the nature of the Islamists’ struggle against their governments and the West in the future.
“Of the three main grievances held by the majority of Muslims against Western policy in the region, US involvement in Afghanistan (even within a NATO context) and in Iraq is likely to prove temporary, despite the present inability of the Iraqi government to gain control.br> In other words, if the West succeeds in establishing a democratic government in Iraq that puts pressure on neighboring regimes to give their people more say, that will play in our favor among the majority of Muslims. If we pull out and let Iraq fall to the totalitarian thugs, as we did after the first Gulf War, it will confirm in Muslim minds that the West does not mean what it says about promoting democracy.
The two other issues may prove intractable. First, Muslim populations feel that their undemocratic regimes are supported by the West…. Secondly, the Arab-Israeli conflict continues to be a festering wound.
This is why Bush wants to keep the fight going in Iraq until its democracy can stand. Kerry wants out next year, no matter what. Based on Azzam’s assessment, Bush’s strategy is more likely to endear us to Muslims in the long run.
If the measure of success in the War on Terror is, as Kerry suggested, wiping out al Qaeda, then the Bush administration can hardly be called a failure, as Kerry did. Al Qaeda is, in fact, not only on the run but reduced to a fraction of its former self, which is almost certainly one of the major reasons there has been no al Qaeda attack on U.S. soil in five years.
AS FOR AFGHANISTAN, KERRY claims that it represents the real fight in the War on Terror and that Iraq is a sideshow that has diverted necessary resources. As evidence he cites NATO commander Gen. James Jones’ call last week for more troops. But Jones asked only for 2,500 troops, and U.S. News & World Report reported that the real trouble was not a lack of U.S. troops, but reluctance to engage the enemy on the part of our allies: “An unspoken gripe: Some countries haven’t made good on promised support, and a number — among them Germany and Spain — have held their troops away from the combat zone in southern Afghanistan where troops from Britain, Canada, and the United States are heavily engaged.”
Kerry claimed that we were losing the fight in Afghanistan because Bush was too focused on the diversion of Iraq. But that’s not what NATO is saying. Brig.-Gen. David Fraser, head of NATO’s southern Afghanistan operation, said last week, “We’ve got the Taliban surrounded,” the Calgary Herald reported. He called the recent rise in violence by Taliban forces their “last stand.”
NATO Secretary General Jaap De hoop Schaffer told ABC News, “The resistance by the Taliban is more stiff than we expected when we went in. But that’s the reason that General Jones, supported by me, is now asking for more.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?