A Small Part of a Smart Column

from Fareed Zakaria:

“Some in Spain have argued that if an Islamic group proves to be the culprit, Spaniards will blame Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar. It was his support for America and the war in Iraq that invited the wrath of the fundamentalists. But other recent targets of Islamic militants have been Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, not one of which supported the war or sent troops into Iraq in the after-war. Al Qaeda’s declaration of jihad had, as its first demand, the withdrawal of American troops from Saudi Arabia. Osama bin Laden does not seem to have noticed, but the troops are gone — yet the jihad continues. The reasons come and go, the violence endures.”

The rest is here.

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About Doug Merrill

Freelance journalist based in Tbilisi, following stints in Atlanta, Budapest, Munich, Warsaw and Washington. Worked for a German think tank, discovered it was incompatible with repaying US student loans. Spent two years in financial markets. Bicycled from Vilnius to Tallinn. Climbed highest mountains in two Alpine countries (the easy ones, though). American center-left, with strong yellow dog tendencies. Arrived in the Caucasus two weeks before its latest war.

4 thoughts on “A Small Part of a Smart Column

  1. I am not at all impressed by the smartness of this part of the column. And that’s an understatement.
    He leaves out Karbala too !!!!!!
    The reason why OBL wants the US out of Saouda Arabia is that he wants power there. Stop treating political movements that mention god or allah like other political groups who don’t.
    The main goal for the radicals is NOT to extend their influence outside the countries where live many Muslims: to want power in these countries.
    Turkey: put “the fear of god” in the moderate Turkish.
    Morocco: stimulate hatred between Jews and Muslims.
    Saoudi-Arabia: same as Turkey.
    Bali: get the (Australian) tourists out of there and put a threat on the moderate Muslims there. Stimulate war between christians and muslims (Moluccas).

  2. “But other recent targets of Islamic militants have been Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, not one of which supported the war or sent troops into Iraq in the after-war. ”

    Crikey. I think the West would have lost WWII if there’d been this shoddy an analysis of the various rivalries. Just like not every anti-Nazi group was motivated in the same way and all part of the same ideology — De Gaulle and French Communists were hardly after the same ultimate goal, neither were Stalin and Tito — so there is no grand unified “Islamic militants” driven by exactly the same worldwide agenda and all taking identical orders from a cave in Pakistan. Of course groups will occasionally work together — just like De Gaulle might have shared occasional intelligence or even fed arms to the French communists; to infer beyond that anything but that both groups see value in occasional tactical partnerships is STUPID STUPID STUPID.

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