Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fear-baiting Republicans won't want to hear this...but....

These Guantánamo files undo the al-Qaida myth machine

From the detainees' details it is clear that the west wildly overstated the reach and capability of Bin Laden's terror group

EXCERPT: The events of this spring have shown that Bin Laden and his cronies are definitively drifting to the geographic, political, cultural and ideological margins of the Islamic world. Their attempt to radicalise and mobilise hundreds of millions of people has failed. Crowds shouting slogans of democracy, not of violence, have succeeded in forcing the departure of two dictators and shaken several more. The Arab spring started with a public self-immolation, an act of spectacular violence which impressed because it harmed no other and was thus a clear repudiation of the suicide attacks of the last decade. The few statements from al-Qaida's leadership or affiliate groups have sounded tired and irrelevant.

One reason for the group's current weakness is the gradual unpicking of the myths that contributed to the fear al-Qaida once inspired and the aura it had for the alienated and the angry of the Islamic world. Happily, it is unlikely those myths can be rebuilt.