In humble attempt at casting this in the tradition of Socrates, a (slightly altered) quote:

"The unexamined vote is not worth casting."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Unsettling Times for Jihadists

This article in today's Washington Post by David Ignatius, one of their columnists, is worth the read--all about what things look like for al-Qaeda and those of a similar mind now that Obama is coming into the presidency. Here's the first part of it:

Let's try for a moment to read the mind of an al-Qaeda operative in the remote mountains of Waziristan as he listens to the news on the radio. His worldview has been roiled recently by two events -- one confounding his image of the West and the other confirming it.

The upsetting news for our imaginary jihadist is the election of Barack Obama as president of the United States. This wasn't supposed to happen, in al-Qaeda's playbook. Its aim was to draw the "far enemy" (meaning America) ever deeper onto the battlefields of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Instead, the jihadists must cope with a president-elect who promises to get out of Iraq and whose advisers are talking about negotiating with the Taliban. And to top it off, the guy's middle name is Hussein.

Before the election, the radical Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradhawi even issued a fatwa supporting John McCain: "Personally, I would prefer for the Republican candidate, McCain, to be elected. This is because I prefer the obvious enemy who does not hypocritically [conceal] his hostility toward you . . . to the enemy who wears a mask [of friendliness]."

Obama makes the jihadists nervous because he is an appealing new face whose ascension undermines the belief that Islam and the West are locked in an inescapable clash of civilizations. "The Democrats kill you slowly without you noticing it. . . . They are like a snake whose touch is not felt until its poison enters your body," observes Qaradhawi.

"Even in the Arab world, Obama is very popular," explains Jean-Pierre Filiu, a French scholar of Islam. "The global jihadists leaned toward McCain because they hoped the confrontation would get worse..."

Finish off the piece here if interested, as it's just a few more paragraphs and is worth read.

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