Don’t fight back! If you just lie down and let yourself be conquered and subjugated, all will be well. That’s essentially the message here. And the views expressed here are by no means unique to the Arabs; they are quite common in the U.S. also. Rashwan’s statement, “Al-Qaeda has changed from a medium-sized group to a big network; it has become a franchise and a model for potential self-recruiting terrorists,” is absurd on numerous ways. For one thing, the group already demonstrated in the 1990s a capacity to attack on an international level. But even worse is the idea that the U.S. response to 9/11, being responsible for a buildup, is therefore wrong in itself. Certainly, as we have often argued here, it has not been pursued as it should have, but the answer is decidedly not to make no response at all. Imagine an article in 1943 tut-tutting that the U.S. response to Pearl Harbor had led to the Japanese Navy growing from a medium-sized to a large force.
By Samia Hosny for DPA (thanks to all who sent this in):
Cairo – Some six years after the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, many in the Arab world say the US-led “war on terror” is spurring terrorism everywhere and that the world is less safe as a result.
The resurgence of al-Qaeda is blamed by many Arabs on the United States, with recent foiled bomb plots in Germany, deadly terror attacks in Algeria, the latest video release by Osama bin Laden as well as the undiminishing daily violence in Iraq and Afghanistan winning yet more converts to this viewpoint.
“The world is much worse than it was before the war on terror,” said Egyptian terrorism expert Dia Rashwan. The US-led campaign “created two main hotbeds for terrorism: Iraq and Afghanistan,” Rashwan says.
According to Rashwan, the war on terror has given the al-Qaeda network and its ideological brethren ammunition to legitimize their terror ideology and continue their media campaign for the hearts of Muslim youths.
“Al-Qaeda has changed from a medium-sized group to a big network; it has become a franchise and a model for potential self-recruiting terrorists,” Rashwan says.
The apparent failure of US strategy in Iraq combined with a comeback of the Taliban in Afghanistan are creating a general feeling of “schadenfreude” in the Arab world.