Thursday, August 14, 2003

The AQ Tries a Comeback as the Left Cheers On

A recent flurry of activity from the Al Qaeda, including:

suggests that the Al Qaeda has started its counteroffensive against the United States. Too bad the Americans are counterpunching before they can set up. That is yet another reason for the Left to get Howard Dean into the White House, or require the American President to obtain a Presidential Finding before turning the Special Operations Forces loose on them. This surge of action corresponds roughly to the increase in tempo prior to the original attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. That earlier burst of activity included attacks on two American embassies in Africa and on the USS Cole.

In the eyes of the Left, terrorism cannot really exist. Or if it does, the phenomenon is confined to a few misguided individuals who can easily be corralled by Interpol and the United Nations. The case for terrorism has really been "sexed up", in the immortal words of the BBC's Andrew Gilligan. And if terrorism really does exist, it is better to pretend that it doesn't, because then it might succeed in accomplishing what the Left failed to achieve in its historical mission.

The uptick in activity conveys three things about the changed reality since September 11. First, the capability of Islamic extremism has been greatly reduced. Second, the will of the extremists remains unbroken, and if possible, more resolute than before. Third, Western will, by contrast has wobbled considerably since the attack on Manhattan, due the efforts of the Left. The principal problem, for many in the Western Left, is that since the predicted military defeat of America did not come, a means must now be found to turn victory into defeat by political means. But therein too, lies the danger. In the nature of things, one of the Islamist outrages is bound to eventually succeed. Then the cream pie will come straight back into Leftist faces and they must begin their sneering and denigration anew, but this time from a lower and more discredited base.

At no point since 1940 has the Left been forced to into such an absurd position. Just as Hitler and Stalin had to be portrayed as beneficent when they were patently predators soley to satisfy ideological requirements, the Left must project the simultaneous image of an omnipotent and helpless America; of a War on Terror at once unwinnable and yet too easily won by a bullying United States. The Islamic "militants" must be portrayed as both supermen and victims, and the Left the soul of reason. But absurdities are familiar friends to true believers; and the Left are the neediest of all the faithful.

But whether the AQ is shattered in its counteroffensive, as is probable, or whether it gains a signal success, the Left will have been its principal victim. The Marxist church has been bleeding adherents to Islam for a decade now. By attempting to maintain its presence as a political player by hanging on to the coattails of Islamism, Marxism will be diminished by either an Islamic success or an Islamic defeat.