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Update 16 Jun 2007

More than five years after 9/11 there is little room for optimism amid the ruins of economic imperialism and "democratic" nation building. If al Qa'ida has lost so many people, had to move its central base, and lost much of the freedom it once had to communicate and move money and people freely, why is it still so effetive?

Why is al Qa'ida now operating freely in Iraq where it had no presence before? Why is the al Qa'ida template now in world-wide use? Why is al Qa'ida now more difficult to find, much less catch?

Why has al Qa'ida increased the stakes with its Islamic enemies by repeatedly attacking Muslim groups and Islamic nations. Al Qa'ida and the Taliban have been dispersed. But both groups have regrouped in Pakistan, behind a nuclear shield in effect. Should not this problem have been solved by a self-styled "War President" after more than five years in command of the greatest armed service might the world has ever known?

Terror incidence is increasing seriously overall. Although another 9/11 may be remote, any thinking person must concede an equivalent could happen. Meanwhile, small targets are cheap to hit, make continuous terror news with sufficient frequency enough to keep the world on edge. It is also enough to goad good people into becoming torturers, in effect behaving like terrorists. America has lost its moral leadership by its despicable fumbling in response to 9/11.

World interests continue to suffer. With its retrenchment al Qa'ida, as an entity, has not only survived, but it reconstituted how it goes about the business of terror.

Because of our blunders, al Qa'ida has achieved its goal of igniting effective open warfare between Islam and the other two monotheisms as well as between the two main branches of Islam itself. All this is history repeating itself.

Terror has dramatically increased because small groups are now active almost everywhere and are very difficult to trace and chase. Thanks to Israeli blunders, Hezbollah is ever more formidable as an opponent to foreigners occupying or exploiting the Middle East. HAMAS achieved legitimacy without renouncing its goal of extinguishing Israel. Like Afghanistan, and Iraq, the Lebanon excursion illustrated once again that there is no knock-out in the offing in the war on terror.

The resurgent Taliban and the mass killing in Iraq have negatively affected Mr. Bush's policy of "democratizing" the middle East in American interests. Al Qa'ida's methods are now widely used with devastating effect, as demonstrated by the Madrid and London bombings. Neither needed a central command nor a ton of money. Look for these trends to continue for at least the time Bush has left in office.

As for nuclear terror, the situation could hardly be worse. Of the "Axis Of Evil," the nuclear score card stands:

  • Iraq is down as an organized entity that was never a threat in the first place.
  • North Korea has made good on its threats to explode a nuclear device. It may soon become the WalMart of the nuclear world.
  • Iran is intransigent and has all the capability and motivation needed to produce nuclear weaponry.
  • A coup in Pakistan could instantly give terrorists a nuclear trigger to pull. Would they? Only they know, and they are not talking.

Sadly, holes also remain in the barriers to terror in America. Cargo, whether by sea or air, goes largely uninspected in the ways it needs to be. It is only a matter of time before these secutity gaps are split asunder with an al Qa'ida trademark whether or not directed by bin Laden. The fall of 2008 might be a tempting period of time for peace; it is not in al Qa'ida's interest as long as Western powers are present in force in what it considers its domain.

New Orleans came; disaster reigned while rescue faltered; belated promises arrived but were never really fulfilled. This disaster carried a message to the terrorists. We just may implode all on our own if current policies continue to prevail--where special interests and cronies come ahead of national safety and security. For this reason too, another 9/11 can wait in bin Laden's mind. It might not even be needed! Why move and take a risk when your enemy is already stumbling and shooting himself in the foot and wasting resources and good will in the process!

See Score Card and Asymmetric Warfare for more. See also Terrorism Update for more up-to-date information.


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