I remember when the
The recent suicide bombing attacks in
In short, the bombings revealed to me that the war between al Qaeda and the West is not only about oil, nor is it only about “infidel” troops on “holy” land. Rather, the Americans, British and the French are fighting tooth and nail to protect nothing less than the Sykes-Picot Agreement itself (the agreement that signifies the birth of the Middle East as we know it today).
Why the Islamic Umma May Win where the Arab Umma Failed
It is no big secret; the legitimacy of most “Arab” states is, in the best of circumstances, precarious. Throughout its modern history there has never been a shortage of “pan-something” ideologies & identities in the region! Yet, with the brief exception of Nasser’s Pan Arabism (prior to
Considering the absolutely miserable performance of secular “pan-something” ideologies, why should we be concerned about the threat that Islamic Fundamentalism poses on the Sykes Picot Agreement? Is it not simply another manifestation of previous failed initiatives?
The main reasons I worry are as follows:
- the Pan Arab ideologies were state-sponsored and did not have a non-state champion with the popularity and destructive power of al Qaeda
- there was never a united counter-elite that spanned the entire world similar to al-Qaeda – an organization that utilizes the internet and other technologies that were not available in the mid-twentieth century to spread its message and coordinate “military” activities on a global scale
- al Qaeda is using Islam as a much more effective political tool than Pan Arabism could ever be used. Islam is an established religion; Pan Arabism was a hollow “quasi-ideology.” It can be argued that it has more of an appeal.
- Arab regimes, such as
’s are inadvertently assisting al Qaeda by conceding ever more ground to religious fanatics in the hope of increasing their legitimacy. Why should Mullahs bother to criticize the regime when they are indirectly undermining the legitimacy of the state itself through their political sermons? Egypt
- Finally, and most importantly, al Qaeda is targeting what it perceives to be the Western “pillars” of not only the region’s regimes, but the actual states created by Sykes Picot. Could the Saudi regime survive without the support it receives from the
? The first Gulf War proved that it could not. Could the Saudi state, (as it is defined by its current borders) exist without US support? The Iraqi precedent, which is taking place as you are reading these words, proves that it will not. The same applies to all of the other states in the region. United States
Is al Qaeda Winning?
Yes. If you go to any bookstore in the
Even in military circles, the notion of a “Muslim Army” that fights wars in
Today’s war between al Qaeda and “the West” is a war over transforming that “virtual Caliphate” into a real Caliphate. It is a fight to the finish because everything in the Middle East is at stake – not just
The suicide bomber is al Qaeda’s nuclear option. It terrifies the West because conventional armies, no matter how well equipped or trained, can do nothing about them. If countries like