By Geoffrey Cook, TMO
New York City–May 5th–Although your columnist regards the subject of his article herein to be worn out, (he had contemplated placing it next to his Op-Ed of last week on the death of Osama when the event was au courant,) but instead your essayist has decided to concluded his material on this important incident by this report he has garnered during his recent wanderings.
The Asia Society chapter in (N.Y.C.â€˜s borough of) Manhattan, the very City of 9-11 presented Peter Bergen, the author of the popular Holy War, Inc. and the equally acclaimed The Osama bin Laden I Know with the authoritative the Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda which has only recently been released. That journalist relayed his subject honestly with great insight that night.
His discourse there concerned itself on how the death of the commander of Al-Qaeda, the infamous Osama bin-Laden, might change the strategy of global terrorism and the counter-insurgency that it generates — especially within Afghanistan and the chief worldwide counterterrorist, the United Statesâ€™ relationship with its second most dependable ally since the Second World War (after Great Britain, of course), Pakistan. There is a sense here in the West that their Pakistani allyâ€™s bilateral commitment to the United States has become problematic with bin-Ladenâ€™s discovery by U.S. intelligence living comfortably and openly within the Islamic Republic. American commandos (the U.S.â€™ Navyâ€™s Seals), then, moved in for the â€œkill.â€ (The American public has always shown a prejudice against Islamabad due to Indian propaganda while the regime(s) in Washington has (have) strongly relied upon this Islamic country to defend their mutual interests. Osamaâ€™s domicile in the Punjab Province was due to rogue elements [possibly with connections to that Government whose seat is only down the road from Osamaâ€˜s home], but it was not the South Asian nationâ€™s Administrationâ€™s policy [or knowledge] to have him there as a â€œguest!â€)
Bergenâ€™s background includes the Directorship of the National Security Studies Program at the New American Foundation. He is, also, CNNâ€™s (the Cable News Networkâ€˜s) national security analyst and a fellow at New York Universityâ€™s Center on Law & Security, too.
Peter Bergen has reported extensively on al-Qaeda, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and counterterrorism in the past. In fact, he was of the few news commentators to have actually have interviewed bin-Laden himself.
As your author here has written on these pages in the past, and now Bergen has confirmed to this impressive and imposing assemblage that â€œAl-Qaedaâ€™s ideology had already [started] to be slashed by the blossoming Arab â€˜Spring.â€
The Arab â€œSpringâ€ has become a problem for Al-Qaeda in that it has invalidated their violent techniques to most of their â€œfellow-travelers,â€ and their â€œTrue Believersâ€ that the â€œBaseâ€™sâ€ methodology is redundant; and, therefore, its support has dwindled as Arab democracy has asserted itself!
Egypt had always been troublesome and hostile to the (violent) Jihads. Now, with the reforms, hopefully, democratic change, if it is a finely-tuned, will discourage, the necessity for violently overthrowing the State. So far, the Arab â€œSpringâ€ — in the areas of its success — has largely chased gratuitous aggression from those regions of the Middle East.
Al-Qaeda was formed at a meeting during September of 1988. A sub-national (not even that, but an organization that advocated bloodshed to those who did not believe as they — in essence, Takfrs. Their odium was strongly against the majority of Muslims whom they considered heretics while the majority of Islam considers their movement as heterodox.) â€œbin-Laden was the commander of the violent Jihadi clusterâ€. Bergen concludes that there is no one to replace him. Something that your reporter is not so sure, but Peter Bergen, who had conversed with Osama before his death, conjectures that currently â€œAfter the commanderâ€˜s demiseâ€¦[Al-Qaeda will] never [be able] to unite as a popular resistance!â€
Further, â€œbin-Laden orders and strategy [for post-his-extinction] are well-known.â€ Al-Qaeda is immigrating towards the African country of Somalia. Bergen felt, alas, his death would be â€œâ€¦a positive [change in the chance] for Israelâ€™s survivalâ€¦The longest War just got shorter!â€
United States intelligence from Quetta and Karachi expose a robust anti-Americanism a over the expanse of the Pakistani State, but â€œThe Obama Administration has handled the state of affairs well.â€ His indictment of the Bush Regime was as an appalling aberration. â€œThey refused to look at dispute as it actually was.â€ W.â€™sâ€ Bush assertion of WMDs within Iraq was based on his willful imagination. â€œThe District of Columbia became a self-correction agency [i.e., state]! Obama, now, is trying to make changes in foreign policy. Peter Bergen deems that he has Afghanistan and Libya correct since, as he believes that â€œKhadafy is the worse mass murderer in the Middle East!â€
In the Hindu Kush where the Taliban thinks more in national terms whereas Qaeda looks into an international vista, it is a rural, therefore a more effective, insurgency where the fighting season is demarked between the end of the poppy and the beginning of the marijuana harvest.
The Afghan (National) Army is a reconfiguration of the old Northern Alliance. Military service has become more economically attractive, and, thus, a more credible fighting service.