Thursday, July 27, 2006

Further Into the Valley of Death...

Juan Cole notes an ominous development in the mid-east. Former adversaries within the Muslim world are now joining together against Israel and its chief sponsor, the United States.

The Israeli occupation of Jerusalem has long been an al Qaeda bugbear. It sent Richard Reid to case El Al, israeli airlines. It hit Israeli tourists in Mombasa and the Sinai. But Bin Laden always avoided investing in an area where there was already an active insurgency. He also could not join in with heretical Shiites like Hizbulah.

Ayman al Zawahiri today made a change in both policies. He wants al Qaeda to pile on in Gaza and to defend Hizbullah in Lebanon.

The Sunni Arab regimes have been reluctant to press too hard for ceasefire because they see Hizbullah as an agent of Iran. This foot dragging has been unpopular among the public. Al Qaeda is now playing to that gallery.

As usual, Israel is radicalizing the Muslim world. The US, too, will suffer.

Zawahiri has turned to pan Islam and the Near Enemy. He is willing to help Nasrallah and the Qassam Brigades. It is a historic about face. It could be significant. More later.

Much, much more, I am sure.


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