John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday about the move by Al Qaeda to rebrand itself to make itself more popular. Evidently the documents seized when Osama bin Laden was captured show that this was something on his mind. There are a lot of really bad jokes that come to mind when you read the first sentence of this article, but this is a serious matter that could have major repercussions in the Middle East.
As much as I would like to say that the courage and bravery of the American soldier has been totally responsible for the decline of Al Qaeda, that is only part of the story. The article at Power Line points out:
“…When al Qaeda issued a call for terrorists from around the world to go to Iraq and fight, some argued that this broadening of the war showed the folly of the Bush administration’s Iraq policy, others that it offered an opportunity for a decisive victory over al Qaeda. What actually happened was that foreign terrorists were so brutal and indiscriminate in their mass murder that they decisively alienated not just the Iraqi population generally, but leaders of what had been the Sunni resistance to American occupation. Many of those Sunni leaders joined forces with us and our allies, which allowed the eventual pacification of the country. Meanwhile, as bin Laden conceded, the same brutality that alienated Iraqis put off other Muslims around the world. This, combined with the fact that al Qaeda was defeated in Iraq, thereby proving to be the weak horse rather than the strong one, probably did play a key role in the continuing decline of that organization.”
This is an interesting observation for a number of reasons. Remember the Democrat Congressmen and Congresswomen who screamed that the war in Iraq was not related to Al Qaeda or that Al Qaeda was not in Iraq? Also keep in mind that the Sunni awakening played a large role in the success of the military surge in Iraq. The other part of the success of the surge was the tenacity of President Bush, who was willing to go against public opinion to get the job done. Unfortunately, we currently have a president who would not be willing to do that.
I am glad that we managed to kill bin Laden before he had a chance to launch his public relations campaign. I am not sure it would have been successful, but the thought of having to write “Monotheism and Jihad Group” every time I want to say Al Qaeda makes my head hurt.