Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Bin Laden's last stand?

Is Iraq to be bin Laden's last stand?

Routed from Afghanistan and on the run he has been unable to mount any attacks on the US. Even his latest attack on the US consulate in Saudi Arabia ended in a debacle. Now in an attempt to maintain what little influence he has left, bin Laden has decided to make Iraq his last stand. And it will be his last stand.

The recent elections in Afghanistan are the beginning of the end for bin Laden. He cannot survive as the leader of Al Qaeda when Iraq holds similar elections. He will lose all credibility and be seen as the loser that he is.

All the cheerleading by Al Jazeera and the Associated Press will not save bin Laden. In this article, The AP, try to shore up bin Laden's influence but reach the wrong conclusions.

In his most recent audio tape, Bin Laden urges Iraqi Sunnis to boycott the upcoming elections in Iraq. Something they had already indicated they would do months ago. How pathetic is that?

How desperate is bin Laden? Well the AP reports that he has accepted Zarqawi's offer to join Al Qaeda.

Bin Laden could benefit from allying himself with an anti-American fighter who gets daily publicity. Al-Zarqawi may get more financial assistance and support from bin Laden's backers, the experts said.

The AP misses or more accurately over looks the point here. Bin Laden "needs" Zarqawi because of bin Laden's impotence. While bin Laden has been failing to kill Americans, the US consulate in Saudi Arabia for example, Zarqawi has been killing lots of Americans in Iraq. Zarqawi is "succeeding" where bin Laden is failing. Zarqawi releases bombs while bin Laden releases tapes.

"Bin Laden gets the benefits of Zarqawi's notoriety," said Vince Cannistraro, former CIA counterterrorism chief. "He (al-Zarqawi) has got the pre-eminent insurgency in Iraq. He's the one who is the bloodiest, who carried out the most dramatic and public suicide bombings."

While bin Laden plays the ghost of Christmas past. Bin Laden needs the benefit of Zarqawi's notoriety? I thought bin Laden was suppose to be the devil himself? So the devil is in need of some "notoriety" and publicity now? Sounds more like the Wizard of Oz than the devil.

"I think bin Laden wants to leverage off of Zarqawi's cachet and popularity amongst radial jihadists," he said. [...]

Which would indicate that bin Laden can no longer command the following he once did. The Afghanistan elections are proof of that.

And yet the AP continues to draw the wrong conclusions.

Ben Venzke, president of the private IntelCenter in Alexandria, Va. and a consultant to government agencies, said the alliance does not demonstrate any weakness by bin Laden. Rather, it enhances his public message.

Actually it highlights bin Laden's weakness; he needs Zarqawi, that is a weakness. Bin Laden needed the Taliban and the US defeated them. Now he needs Zarqawi and the US will defeat him. How long will jihadists continue to follow a loser?

"Al-Qaida is very savvy when it comes to understanding public perception, its media campaign and messaging and its image," he said.

Yes they are and the world press are happy to wage jihad with them.

In calling for a boycott of elections, bin Laden appears to also be speaking as a political leader, not just a terrorist going into battle.

But calling for the boycott after the Sunnis had already said they would boycott the elections, bin Laden is seen more as a follower than a leader. And a recent poll of Iraqis showed that 80% of the people were in favor of holding the elections on time, which shows the people of Iraq are already ignoring bin Laden.

The AP let the mask slip a little with this bit.

"If he can show he's more than just a rank-and-file terrorist, that will help his message."

So the AP admit that bin Laden is no longer the worlds number one terrorist, he is reduced to a "rank-and-file terrorist".

The AP sums up with the overall wrong conclusion.

With the release of still another bin Laden tape, Bergen said, "The tapes are coming thick and fast, which means they (the terrorists) are feeling secure."

No, it means they are desperate, very desperate. The fact that bin Laden and Zarqawi need each other is proof of that. When the war in Iraq is finished, bin Laden will be finished to. Make no mistake, like any wounded animal about to die, he will be most dangerous at this point but he will be finished.

Bin Laden should have learned from Admiral Yamamoto and not awakened the sleeping giant. It's ironic, but because of bin Laden's hate for America, Afghanistan and Iraq are now free from dictators and tyranny. Like a TNT blast that blows up rock to allow water to flow, bin Laden's destructive force blasted America awake and allowed freedom to flow.

UPDATE: 16:49 28 Dec 04

Seems I was right and surprisingly this comes from Al Reuters.

But Iraqis dismissed the Saudi-born militant's threats as outside interference.


"Bin Laden knows nothing about Iraq; he is an extremist who lives in caves. He lost 75 percent of his support in Iraq by making everyone who votes in elections an infidel."

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