Informed Comment has an astute analysis of the possible impacts of the latest Bin Laden videotape. It is wonderful (despite the darkness of the subject matter) to find a truly three-dimensional view of the Middle East, when all the U.S. media usually gives us is cartoony allegories masquerading as news. I truly believe that the situation in Iraq is more complicated than either the Dems or the Repubs truly wish to admit. A clear examination of the issues is not in the interests of either party – for the Repugs, it would highlight not only that the insurgency does have significant popular support, it would underscore that we shouldn’t be there at all. The Dems, on the other hand, would rather not address the fact that a good portion of the insurgency there is composed of radical terrorists who are killing more Iraqis than Americans.
In this entry is also mentioned a rather interesting change for al-Qaeda, as Zarqawi has just changed the name of his group to “Mesopotamian al-Qaeda” and pledged fealty to bin Laden. Truthfully, apart from noises of solidarity made among like-minded groups after 9/11, I don’t recall hearing about a solid statement of fealty to al-Qaeda from anyone before (then again, I live in the Middle East news vacuum that is the U.S., so who knows). It will be interesting to see if Zarqawi’s pledge is only one of political convenience, since according to Cole’s article, they can only do damage to the reputation the other has with the world at large, and Iraq in particular.
Yes, I know I’m speaking of fundamentalist Muslim groups and the topic category icon has a Christian emblem. Perhaps it would explain things if I told you that the icon is also the logo of an excellent punk band named Bad Religion. [SB 1/18/05 – this refers to when the entry was on the PHPNuke site] Speaking of which, I reccomend you go to their site and pick up a copy of the lead singer’s PhD Dissertation!!!!