Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Devil We Don't Know

With the death of Osama Bin Laden and recent news of intelligence on al Qaeda from Bin Laden's computer records, it appears we've struck a major blow to international terrorism. Yet, when taken as part of the totality in the Middle East, we may be looking at a vastly different and much more dangerous landscape soon.

If what I've heard recently is true, al Qaeda may have split in half on religious grounds with a more radical faction ignoring Bin Laden's leadership. If so, this is consistent with what we've seen in Egypt and Libya, where more radical factions have pushed for the removal of less strident or weaker leaders. Even more radical Islamic regimes, such as Iran, could be moving in that direction.

Whether international terrorist groups are leading the charge or going with the flow is immaterial. The real issue is the further radicalization of the Middle East and its impact on the war on terrorism. Dealing a death blow to al Qaeda (or a portion of it) is good, but if we leave it at that, we're setting ourselves up for failure yet again, a failure that could dwarf 9/11.

So, what are we doing about it? From what I'm seeing, not much. President Barack Obama can do as many victory laps as he wants, but he's already come out supporting the forces in Egypt and Libya, both of whom have clear ties to radical Islam. Even former President George W. Bush took his eyes off the ball in the war on terrorism by not following through once Iraq and Afghanistan were more stabilized after our military interventions. Sure, waterboarding and Gitmo worked to nab Bin Laden, but we've wavered on those as well.

Also, doesn't it bother anyone else how quickly the Obama Administration sided with the more radical elements in Libya and Egypt? It's not like those elements have hidden their agenda or their hatred of America, either. Yet, we're content to let them do the dirty work in getting rid of leaders we no longer "need" in power. If they succeed, something will have to fill the vacuum, and I don't think it's going to be filled by Muslims who want to peacefully co-exist with the West.

Although we can breathe a sigh of relief at Osama Bin Laden's death, the war on terrorism isn't over by that one act. There is a bigger storm on the horizon, and if recent history and current events are any indication, we're not ready for it.

No comments: