Saturday, November 22, 2008

Al Qaeda Concerned

Did Al Qaeda want Barack Obama to be elected President of the United States?

Evidently, the McCain-Palin campaign thought so. A comment posted in October on a website linked to Al Qaeda called for the election of John McCain. ABC's Jake Tapper reported on his blog on 10/23 that Randy Scheunemann and former CIA chief James Woolsey and Randy Schuenemann responded by suggesting that Al Qaeda preferred Obama. Woolsey asserted "it is ridiculous to believe that in its heart of hearts Al Qaeda wants John McCain to be the President. And it is ludicrous." Scheunemann, one of McCain's foreign policy advisers, claimed "only Senator Obama has advocated withdrawal and surrender to Al Qaeda in Iraq when Al Qaeda was at the peak of its power."

On November 19, Al Qaeda's no. 2 leader posted a statement on numerous militant web sites. In his 11 minute, 23 second video, Ayman al-Zawahiri emphasized "America has put on a new face, but its heart full of hate, mind drowning in greed, and spirit, which spreads evil, murder, repression and despotism continue to be the same as always." He called Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, and President-elect Obama "house negroes" and claimed

You represent the direct opposite of honorable black Americans like Malik al-Shabazz, or Malcolm X (may Allah have mercy on him). You were born to a Muslim father, but you chose to stand in the ranks of the enemies of the Muslims, and pray the prayer of the Jews, although you claim to be Christian, in order to climb the rungs of leadership in America. And so you promised to back Israel, and you threatened to strike the tribal regions in Pakistan, and to send thousands more troops to Afghanistan, in order for the crimes of the American Crusade in it to continue.

Al Zawahiri appears to fear his "brothers" will not understand that Americans "continue to be captive to the same criminal American mentality towards the world and towards the Muslims." He finds a need to explain the "criminal, trespassing Crusader, continues to be the same as ever." He seems to be angry that the U.S.A. has chosen as its leader someone who will not incur the enmity in the Muslim world as President Bush and that his co-religionists throughout the world now have a more benign view of our nation.

And what if an Al Qaeda official had delivered this vicious, hateful, bigoted message prior to the election? Almost certainly it would have evoked great sympathy- and empathy- for Barack Obama, a sense that the mission of the Illinois senator is the same as ours. Referring to the Democratic nominee as a supporter of Israel, a Christian, and, especially, as among "the enemies of the Muslims" would have allayed a few of the concerns of voters. His victory would have been almost assured and his winning margin of 6.8% enhanced. It's likely Al Qaeda understood the likely impact of such an attack and wisely (though without avail) held off its denunciation until the election of Barack Obama, an event which appears to have alarmed the terrorist organization.

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