by Michael Scheuer
"Most damaging for G-8 leaders will be this week's validation for Muslims of bin Laden's assertion that the West considers Muslim lives cheap and expendable. They will see that three kidnapped Israeli soldiers and several dozen dead Israelis are worth infinitely more to the West than the thousands of Muslims held for years in Israel's prisons, the hundreds already killed in Lebanon, and the eradication of Lebanon's modern infrastructure.
So bin Laden wins without lifting a finger. The G-8 leaders, their Arab allies, and Israel have behaved in a way that will burn bin Laden's words deeper into Muslim perceptions and push more to accept jihad as the only recourse. Western leaders can argue forever that they are honest brokers but, because perception is reality, it will be bin Laden's words, not theirs, that echo long and tellingly in Muslim ears.
The impact of this Israel-Hezbollah round will not stop with the inevitable truce that will be declared after Israel ruins Lebanon. While temporary order may return to the Levant, America, Britain, and the West should not fool themselves. They have again gratuitously picked sides in a fight between two inconsequential nations; the survival of neither is a genuine national security interest for any G-8 state. Led by Washington's absurd, 30-year obsession with the minimal Shia threat to America, and blind to the hatred generated among Muslims by their foreign policies, the G-8 have mightily strengthened the enmity, durability, and resolve of the Sunni extremist movement that bin Laden leads and personifies."