So World Terrorist No. 1 sent a message to Regional Terrorist No. 1: We're losing. We need a different strategy.
Osama is a strategist. He may not be a very good strategist — he called the after-effects of 9/11 utterly wrong. But he thinks in global terms, in time-frames that look decades into the future and centuries into the past. He's a big-picture guy.
Zarqawi is a hit man. He thinks tactically. Faced with the humiliation of 8 million Iraqis defying his threats and lining up to vote, his instinctive response is to lash out, to punish, to kill without stopping. Monday's bombing in Hilla took 115 Iraqi lives. It was a classic Zarqawi operation.
Even in hiding, Osama has managed to build an accurate picture of events in the greater Middle East, where his cause is on the ropes. He's realized that Zarqawi's program of videotaped beheadings, suicide bombings against civilian targets and the assassination of teachers, doctors and local officials hasn't won hearts and minds.
Osama's real message to Zarqawi isn't Hit America instead. It's Stop what you're doing, brother.
Our homeland will be hit again. By someone. Sooner or later, the bad guy lands a punch. Meanwhile, we should take heart from the latest evidence — delivered by Osama himself — that the cause of freedom is even more powerful than we thought, that democracy is contagious.
Osama's message to Zarqawi was one of despair — and a tribute to the millions of Arabs who are turning against his kind.
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
Ralph Peters at the NY Post has an interesting take on OBL's appeal to fellow butcher Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi to target Americans.