Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Tactical Victory for Al-Qaida?

There's been a lot of electrons shuffled about by folks with opinions about the Spanish elections. Oliver Kamm is disagreeing with an Andrew Sullivan piece about whether the election result is a victory for Osama BinLiner and Al Qaida. Oliver takes the position that it was not a victory for the scumbags, while Andrew Sullivan considers it to be a major one.

As far as I understand it, Oliver's position is that since the jihadis are not interested in anything other than killing off the infidel, that Al Qaida wasn't interested in influencing the Spanish election. I'm going to side with Mr. Sullivan on this one. The reason is that I think these lowlifes are basely intelligent enough to try influencing elections to gain a tactical advantage. Their long term strategic goals don't change, but there is nothing stopping them from displaying some tactical flexibility. If one of their long term goals is re-conquering Andalusia for Islam, they may very well be wiling to temporarily lay off (or promise to do so) if they can drive allies away from the Great Satan with the effect of weakening their main enemy. They may very well believe that Europe can be put to sleep via a temporary truce (a hudna?) and defeated later. In some cases (like France) they may believe that demographics (i.e., a growing unassimilated Muslim population) is a winner for them. The conflict with the United States, however, is a fight to the death.

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