Tuesday, June 17, 2008

America’s great mistake was to make too much of al Qa’eda

By Tony Karon

"Following the manic preaching of Ayman Zawahiri from his far-off cave, it’s hard not to think of Leon Trotsky. It’s not just the beard and the granny glasses, or the feverish fantasies about the imminent collapse of his enemies and the “betrayals” by those in his own camp.

Trotsky, with his insistence on ideologically pure “world revolution” in contrast to the more nationally based communism adopted by Joseph Stalin, found himself holed up in Mexico City by the 1930s, frenetically firing off communiqués inconsequential to the actual unfolding of events. He had become irrelevant.

Like Trotsky, Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden have become irrelevant to the unfolding of events in the Middle East, even at a moment when US hegemony faces an unprecedented nationalist-Islamist challenge throughout the region. (That may be the reason Zawahiri reserves so much bile for the likes of Hamas, Hizbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood over their participation in democratic elections, and their willingness to consider truces with their enemies. Vintage Trotsky.)......."

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