Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Somewhere in Waziristan...

For the majority of the past six years, one of the things that I've been saying, pretty consistently, is "somewhere in Afghanistan/Pakistan/Waziristan, Osama is laughing his ass off."

Just to be clear: I'm not.

Osama Bin Laden attacked the United States on 9/11. He did it, and did it effectively. He pretty much managed to accomplish what he sought to do: he disrupted the United States, emboldened the Jihadist movement around the world, provoked the United States into foolish moves of vengeance... and most importantly, he got away with it. For six years, now, he's gotten away with it. Sure, Al Qaeda was hit in Afghanistan, but I honestly doubt that Osama expected anything else. Yes, yes, the Powers That Be insist that he thought the United States was too "weak" to respond, but I don't buy it and never have; there is a difference between defending your interests abroad and responding to a domestic attack, and Osama almost certainly understood that. After all, his own hosts became the Muhajedeen in the first place because they were defending their homeland from the Soviets; why would the Americans be so different?

He knew there would be a response, and got the hell out of dodge before the United States and its allies could catch him. He went to what was, perhaps, the one place in the world where the United States could not catch him, and he's watched as "The Base" was turned into a global brand as effective and well known as Nike or Sony. He lost direct control of the organization, true, but now it's something even more effective, and will be enormously difficult to get rid of. He created this thing, and he got away with it, in a way that even the most brilliant Bond villian never could.

And every time someone on television, whether part of the administration or not, says "he's irrelevant" nowadays? Well, that's them throwing up their hands and admitting that he clean got away with it. That he knew that there was no way that the United States could seriously move into Waziristan without bringing down Pakistan, and the United States cannot tolerate the collapse of the Pakistani government, because they've got nukes that they'll never, ever give up as long as India has nuclear weapons as well. If the government did collapse, it's almost certain that his allies would end up controlling that country, and those nukes, and he'd still have won because there's no way they'd give him up to the United States and there's no way the United States could invade and conquer Pakistan, especially not now.

Oh, and on top of the whole thing, secular Arabic nationalism has been pretty much completely discredited thanks to Saddam's quick fall, and the Iranians (religious heretics that they are) are likely to end up on the business end of American bombs, which means that they won't be serious competitors against the Salafists on the Arab street, and the "Shiite crescent" won't threaten Sunni dominance.

Even if he dies tomorrow. Even if he's already dead. Even then, he got away with it.

Thanks, Dubya.

Here's hoping the next guy's better. (Or girl. Whatever.)

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