Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Hitchens Hears the 'desperation in Osama's voice'

Writing in Slate, Christopher Hitchens (still a liberal apostate, despite his recent backsliding) puts forth the view that Osama and al Qaeda are on the ropes; desperate:
Now, Afghanistan is lost to Bin Laden and Pakistan has had, at least officially, to modify its behavior considerably. The A.Q. Khan network has been shut down. The Saudi ruling class identifies its state interest with a repudiation of al-Qaida, inside and outside its own borders. And the one remaining regime that openly preached holy war and helped train jihadist forces like the "Fedayeen Saddam"—the pseudo-secular terror state in Iraq—has been irretrievably smashed. Wherever Bin Laden is now, it cannot be where he wanted or hoped to be four and a half years ago.
All inarguable points, leading to the inevitable conclusion:
Given the utter discredit and isolation of its forces in Iraq, who would still say that the fighting there is a "distraction" from the hunt for al-Qaida? They have taken tremendous casualties, obviously in the hope that their atrocious tactics would swiftly dissipate coalition morale and coerce Iraqi support. And it seems as if they haven't learned from their mistake.
Who indeed? Well, pretty much anyone who hates President Bush. And Joel Stein, who hates himself.