Saturday, November 12, 2005

Why the Jordan bombings might be a turning point in history

Al Qaida has fucked up. They've fucked up big time. And here is why. Let's say, hypothetically, that President Bush is right when he claims that Al Qaida's objective, in the long run, is to eliminate the Western way of life, or because they just like to kill for fun, or because they are just plain jealous of the West, or because they feel every citizen of the planet needs to follow the rule of the Sharia. Lets assume that all these reasons, although improbable, might still be true. Lets also believe, this theory being more plausible than all the previous ones enumerated earlier, that their objective is to run the US and every Western country out of the Middle Eastern oil fields and to end US support for the military dictatorships currently ruling over most of the Arab population. So, Al Qaida's plan to achieve this objective, would aim at alienating large sections of the Muslim population against the United States. But this time, they have bombed an Arab country, which till recently, while not overtly supporting Osama Bin Laden, was still pretty sympathetic to his cause, in fact, not even willing to believe that he was reponsible for the 9/11 attacks. Most Jordanians were also against the war in Iraq. But now, with Al Qaida setting of bombs in Jordan, things have changed. Jordanians are marching down Amman streets proclaiming their opposition to Zarqawi and his terrorist activities.

And you can see that Al Qaida has realized that it fucked up. Because they have issued a clarification statement. They have tried to justify the attack saying those hotels were targeted because they had become favourites with "American and Israeli intelligence and other Western European governments". When is the last time you've heard Al Qaida justify anything to Arabs? But this time they have had to do it because they have seen the result of their attack on the local population. They know that if they lose the sympathy of Jordanians, its quite possible that Muslims in other Arab countries might begin to develop similar feelings about the organization. This is their effort to try and put out a giant wave of anti-militancy feelings that have begun to take root in Jordan with this bombing.

The United States must seize this opportunity to try and make up with the Arabs. They need to do whatever needs to be done in order to turn the tables on Al Qaida in this "battle for the hearts and minds" of the Arabs. Because right now, Al Qaida's PR machine must be whirring like crazy to try and reduce the damage caused to their image in the minds of Arabs. If they lose the support of Arabs, that might even turn out to be the "victory in the war on terror" our president is so fond of talking about.

Speaking in purely clinical terms, the bombings in Jordan were more significant than the ones in England a few weeks ago. True, both caused a huge loss of life and destruction, but politically speaking, the ones that occurred in Jordan have more significance. Because, this is the time for the West to shore up good will among the Arabs by visibly demonstrating their support for Jordan at this time. Unfortunately, we do not see the same outrage over the bomb blasts in Jordan that was on display during similar bombings in England. The US should assure Jordan that it has it's full support for finding out the perpetrators of these attacks. This could quite well be the turning point for Arabs as well as the US in it's quest to win the war on terrorism by bringing that volatile part of the world on it's side.

Update : Zarqawi gets ostracized by his own people.
"If there were still any people with any sympathy left for al-Zarqawi, it's gone now. It has backfired on him," said Zuheir Najjar, 45. "What does an attack on a wedding with women and children have to do with fighting the Americans?"
Although to be fair, there are still the incorrigibles.

"I don't even know if the man is still alive or not," Abed el-Momany said of al-Zarqawi. "I would not discount the Israeli Mossad. Israel is the worm in the Arab world," he added.

"I support the resistance against the Americans in Iraq and against the Israelis everywhere," said the unemployed 47-year-old. "Those are our enemies. But I don't support bombing innocent civilians."
Update 2 : It appears the US has displayed some semblance of compassion by sending Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Jordan. And we should probably be thankful that the president, in his infinite wisdom refrained from sending proven douchepurse Karen Hughes to mourn with these folks.

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