Friday, July 09, 2004

Bin Laden Directing Attack Against U.S. Also, the Sky Is Blue and Gravity Pulls Things Down.

This is a headline in the NYT and CNN. What gets me is that people are either shocked or cynical. The once-funny Daily Show accused the Administration of hyping the threat to take to media spotlight off of Kerry Edwards. Meanwhile on CNN Judy Woodruff seemed surprised when interviewing LA counter-terror chief John Miller. She was so focused on the political conventions that she could imagine a bigger picture. "LA is not a target, is it?" Miller was patient with her. He didn't scream into the camera, "YES you overpaid desk monkey. A thousand times YES. LA is a target and will continue to be a target for the rest of your life."

Does the Daily Show think that the Administration is making this up? Do people they think bin Laden is just going to go away? That he'll get jihad-fatigue and take a vacation? That Osama and Zawahiri are cowering at the bottom of a dank cave, twitching behind a damp rock like a pair of Arab Gollums? No, most certainly not. These are smart, capable, experienced people who have devoted their lives and the lives of their wives and children to fighting jihad against America. They run a global network of logistics, finance, and communications. They are dedicated and determined and will only cease fighting when they are dead. They are not stupid or crazy.

Zawarhiri in particular is far more capable and intelligent than the loathsome Michael Moore, the irritating Bill O'Reilly, the disappointing Al Franken, and that effeminate toady Aaron Brown combined. After Zawarihi was arrested and tortured by the Egyptian secret police, he didn't fade away or start a magazine or join an NGO. He left his family and his homeland and spent the rest of his life working tirelessly for the jihad. Born in a different time or place he might have been the dean of a medical school or CEO of a biotech startup or VP for R&D at a multinational pharmaceutical corporation. Bin Laden, while perhaps not as technically intelligent, is a charasmatic entrepreneur with high-level organizational and managerial skills. Do not underestimate them.

These men, and the level of leadership they oversee, don't have hobbies. They don't go to ballgames or movies (even Fahrenheit 9/11) or take their wives to nice restaurants. They are Islamist versions of Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky. When they wake up, they are thinking about the jihad. All day, everyday. Thinking, planning, organizing, researching, praying. The jihad is their lives. Of course they are directing an attack on us! That's what they do. A big attack takes years of planning and development. Even something like the Madrid attack is a complex undertaking. The al Qaeda leadership is guiding one or more groups, suggesting targets and funding others without getting into the details, and merely encouraging yet more groups. They are terror entrepreneurs, spreading their investments around, looking for that big payoff.

As far as I know, the al Qaeda leadership was not directly involved in the Madrid bombing, meaning that the leadership did not pick the target or deal with any of the operational details. I don't even think they funded the bombing. So from a leadership perspective that was a huge success. With encouragement and inspiration but minimal investment from the top, a quasi-independent cell delivered a traumatizing blow to the infidel. They have learned from that. The cells are already in the US. The encouragement and inspiration are widely dissiminated. This is a target rich nation. It's only a matter of time.

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