Day By Day

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Weak Horse

It has often been asserted that the global war against terror is, at heart, a war of ideas pitting Western liberalism against Islamist theocracy. One of the charges leveled against the West by the Islamists is that we are corrupt and weak, unable to sustain an effort in the face of determined aggression. Al Qaeda, it is asserted, will emerge as the "strong horse."

But it is al Qaeda that is showing signs of weakness. Recently al Qaeda in Iraq put out a contract on the Danish cartoonist who was judged to have disrespected Mohammed and on his editor. In case you are hard up for cash, the payment is $100,000 for the kill and an additional $50,000 if the cartoonist is "slaughtered". This offer led Walid Phares to note that now al Qaeda is having to offer financial inducements for the commission of acts when in the past ideological zeal would have sufficed. Phares also wonders why al Qaeda in Iraq is messing around in Danish domestic affairs.

Read Phares commentary here.

Then there is the announcement by al Qaeda in Iraq that it will begin assassinating Sunni tribal leaders who cooperate with the US forces [here]. The first such assassination was carried out on Thursday and the Sunni response was a vow to kill all al Qaeda members [here]. Clearly the Jihadi message doesn't carry the cachet it once did.

Thanks to President Bush's determination America has not faltered in Iraq or Afghanistan as it earlier did in Sudan, Lebanon and Iran. Instead it is al Qaeda that is increasingly looking like a "weak horse."