|By Rami G. Khouri|
The really shocking recent development is not Al-Qaeda’s alleged plans to attack foreign missions this week – that is old news – but rather the steady expansion of Al-Qaeda-inspired or – linked local groups in the past decade all across the Arab-Asian region. This robust global growth in deviant and criminal behavior primarily reflects the last two reasons I mentioned earlier: corrupt, dictatorial, inequitable and dehumanizing policies by indigenous governments, combined with aggressive and deadly policies by foreign governments that mostly treat the peoples of these regions with disdain.
The motivating forces for the continued expansion of local Al-Qaeda-like groups have changed radically since the seminal Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, followed by the deployment of American troops in Saudi Arabia, Israeli aggressions against Arabs, the actions of corrupt and uncaring Arab regimes, and others. The reasons why young men join such movements evolve and expand every few years, and now include virulent anti-Shiite and anti-Iranian racism. But the young men keep coming, in larger and larger numbers, and the Arab and foreign governments keep up their violence and thuggery.
Closing embassies, supporting Arab and Asian autocrats, invading foreign countries, and using more drones are among the core reasons why we find ourselves in this situation today. Arabs, Americans, Asians, Israelis, Europeans and others who wonder how we will defeat the Al-Qaeda threat should stop asking questions about a bunch of bearded lunatics in perpetual hiding in Asian transborder mountains, and start asking questions about how their own policies in Washington, Tel Aviv, London, Cairo, Riyadh, Damascus and other capitals have contributed to this colossal collective failure of policies.
Al-Qaeda really is a problem, but so are most of the rest of us who helped bring it to life."