Osama bin Laden is dead. A measure of justice delivered; a promise kept. SEAL Team Six is among, if not the best special operations team on earth, the true tip of the spear; their competence and courage has, again, served us exceptionally well. CIA ran the operation and kudos to those fine folks as well. However…………………..
It is incomprehensible that portions of official Pakistan were unaware of bin Laden’s presence. The overt presence of bin Laden in Pakistan reinforces what we know about al Qaeda and Taliban influence in the Pakistani Military and security services.
The Pakistani Taliban lost no time in threatening President Zardawi and the U.S. The fence that the Pakistani’s have been occupying just lost a post and no doubt finding a new balance point will be difficult at best in the short term. Pakistan has suffered regular terror violence from the Taliban and no doubt and more is sure to come. The violence may push Pakistan off it’s fence but which side they fall on is in question.
The Muslim Brotherhood released a tepid statement expressing no significant regret over bin Laden’s death. The Brotherhood is the nexus of the theology that motivated bin Laden, his followers and a significant population of extremists worldwide. The Statement is the Brotherhood’s message that their focus is political power to be achieved on the back of unrest in the Middle East. It is another tactic applied in the pursuit of “soft Jihad”.
Al Qaeda franchises sworn to allegiance to bin Laden will fracture and look to the next point of leadership. The political struggles within al Qaeda will accelerate. The Egyptian and Yemini factions will vie for leadership as the next philosophical leader of extremist Islam emerges; Ayman Zawahiri or al Awlaki.
Independent groups committed to al Qaeda’s goals but under no central al Qaeda control may seek their own measure of vengeance. Small ball terrorism will accelerate as groups attempt to make their own statement in support of a deceased bin Laden.
Zawahiri will surface with yet another call to violence as will the Yemini faction. The world of terrorism on the web will extol fresh action against Western interests. The message will be repackaged in the context of the death of bin Laden and NATO action in Libya.
In short, nothing will change on a fundamental level. The dynamic, however, can be changed when we decide that what truly need suffer the death gurgle are the ideas that exist in support of radical Islamism. Terrorism is a tactic; the real war is a war of ideas, values and will. We’ve appeased radical Islam in that fight focusing on the tactics of terror as opposed to the infrastructure of philosophical and religious thinking in support of al Qaeda, the Taliban and, most critically, the Muslim Brotherhood.
The war of ideas is waged when we embrace, support and elevate our values; when we abandon the appeasement of relativism and recognize the simple fact that there is evil afoot and defend those values against that creeping evil.