web counter Media Lies: Is bin Laden running scared?

Monday, January 03, 2005

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Is bin Laden running scared?

A very interesting article in the Washington Times argues that bin Laden is terrified of the upcoming elections in Palestine and Iraq.
Bin Laden realizes that a successful election in the Palestinian territories would be the beginning of an irreversible process. He also knows that with democracy -- no matter how weak it is, it is bound to grow, and his chances at emerging as the leader of the "Umma" "the community of believers," diminishes.

All indications at the moment lead to the belief that the Jan. 30 elections in Iraq will be half-baked and plagued with violence to the point where the results may well be questionable. However, a successful election on Jan. 9 in the PA is beginning to really frighten bin Laden. All the more reason the PA must be given every support by Israel, the United States and the international community to allow it to pull off fair and equitable elections. It will be the start of something positive in the Middle East.
The writer bases his opinions on a analysis of the full 60 minute tape recently released by bin Laden.
The one-hour long tape (translated into English by the Middle East Media Research Institute) reflects a feeling that elections, and with the electoral process the germination of the early stages of democracy that could ensue, would marginalize bin Laden's philosophy purporting political Islam over any other form of government.

Adherents of political Islam are traditionally referred to as Islamists. That would support the theory that bin Laden believes he can reconstitute the caliphate, a united political-military-religious entity that had been created after the death of the Prophet Mohammad. It also gives more clarity to his referring to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the man taking credit for much of the mayhem in Iraq, as the "Amir" or prince of al-Qaida in Iraq. The caliphate was governed by the caliph, the ruler who governed after the Prophet's death with the help of his legitimately appointed representatives, the amirs. Zarqawi has been consistently targeting voting officials in Iraq.
If this is true, then Bush's policy of introducing democracy to the MidEast will seem prescient, won't it?

Perhaps my prediction that Bush might win the Nobel Peace Prize wasn't as fanciful as some thought. If Palestine institutes an elected government next week and Iraq follows at the end of the month, then four years from now who knows what the MidEast will look like? (Hat tip to Captain Ed.)