I was wondering why we hadnâ€™t heard anything from the loony bunch from the caves. Almost on cue comes another al-Qaida message:
â€œOsama bin Laden’s deputy issued a worldwide call today for Muslims to rise up in holy war against Israel and join the fighting in Lebanon and Gaza, until Islam reigns from “Spain to Iraq”.
In a video tape broadcast by al-Jazeera, the Egyptian terror leader said: “How can we remain silent while watching bombs raining on our people? Oh Muslims everywhere, I call on you to fight and become martyrs in the war against the Zionists and the Crusaders. ”
He said that the weapons being used by the Israelis were from the “crusader coalition” and added that “every participant will pay the price”.
Zawahiri, wearing a grey robe and white turban, and speaking in front of a picture of the World Trade Centre on fire, said al-Qaida now saw “all the world as a battlefield open in front of us”.
He said: “The war with Israel does not depend on ceasefires …. It is a jihad for God’s sake and will last until [our] religion prevails … from Spain to Iraq … We will attack everywhere.â€ [The Guardian]
Sound familiar? It should do, itâ€™s the mirror image of another loony (although this one doesnâ€™t reside in a cave somewhere along the Afghan/Pakistan border):
â€œThe civilized world stands balanced between victory and defeat.
The long road to victory begins with the free world helping the Lebanese democracy defeat Hezbollah, expelling the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and removing all of the 10,000 plus missiles aimed at Israel from Lebanon. Then we must create the circumstance where the Lebanese can control their own territory and thus end the mortal threat to Israel.
The nature of the threat – with Iran at the epicentre – is at its core ideological. The ideological wing of Islam that is irreconcilable to modern civilization. And while not operationally connected, the events of just the last seven weeks throughout the world share the common strategic goal of defeating the West and its values. It could be accurately described as a third world war.â€ [Newt Gingrich]
So, there we have it, its World War 3 folks and only fundamentalist nutjobs need apply. The rest of us will play the role of victims as two sets of lunatics attempt to re-configure this growing conflict into a global narrative of war. Maybe theyâ€™ve watched Star Wars too many times and itâ€™s gone to their heads? Perhaps the BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares was less a history lesson than a portent of things to come?
Either way, this latest message from AQ serves nicely to distract from the growing anger at Israelâ€™s aggressive â€˜defenceâ€™ of its ever shifting borders, the rising body counts on both sides and the actions of Iran (and probably Syria) in support of Hezbollah.
There are no easy solution in this situation but thereâ€™s no chance of one when extremists like the above wish to divide us all into â€˜Us vs Themâ€™.
Update: Informed Comment views this as an “historic about face” by AQ.
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