Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Memo to Osama

Peace be unto you and Allah willing may we tread on the bones of our enemies in final triumph. You have asked me to examine, in as frank a way as possible, how this final victory is to be achieved. Permit me to retrace the old ground, familiar to you, which contains certain aspects which yet bear on the problem and have never been resolved.

Victory for the Jihad in operational terms means engineering the collapse of the infidel West. The alternative strategy, that of overtaking them in temporal power, was attempted in the 1950s and 60s by those among us who became enamored of Marxism. They believed Kruschev when he said, "we will bury you", and like Nasser, imagined that by building a few dams, some factories and dispatching a few dozens to study at Institutes in Moscow, we could surpass them in science, industry and wealth. But we found it was Ronald Reagan and not the Kruschev who did the burying. Still, while the House of Islam could not overbuild the House of the Infidel, if the world of the enemy could be reduced to ashes then it would be brought low; and we, while not growing a single inch in stature, would nevertheless grow high by comparison.

You were among the first to understand how possible this bold strategy was, that of bringing the West low, seemingly improbable to those overawed by it gleaming cities. Indeed, you understood how natural this strategy was. Having lived among them and killed many of them, peace be unto you!, you understood that the West on three occasions just barely escaped destroying itself. Whether in the muddy trenches of the Great War; or in the global bloodbath of the Second World War; or the Cold War, lived in the shadow of thousands of nuclear warheads, you understood the West was like a man who had escaped suicide thrice only through great good fortune.

This yearning for the death of the West comes from Shaitan himself and is proof of their accursed nature, and explains why we will eventually be victorious despite our material weakness. The desire for self-death is embodied in what is called the Left, the unnamed shadow motivating the carnage of the last century. We must remember its name, for we will invoke it again when deciding on how best to pursue the Jihad.

But if the West is like a stone balanced on a precipice, wanting to fall yet held back by those among it who wish to live, still its final plunge requires a lever, some instrument of power which by tipping it the decisive inch will unleash the self-destructive tendencies of the infidel; let them yield to the spirit that haunts them, "the spectre haunting Europe" and like the Gadarene swine of their scripture, hurl themselves into the precipice. That lever will be provided by Islam.

Our experience in Afghanistan brought us to a choice of ways. We could, on the one hand, focus our energies upon expanding the idea of Jihad throughout the Muslim world, enlarging our forces without provoking a final confrontation with the most dangerous remaining element of the West, the United States. Or, we could on the other hand, use the forces already at our disposal to tip the rock over the cliff. Since you have instructed me to be frank, I will say Brother Osama, killer of many infidels, peace be unto you, that you were mistaken in your appraisal of American weakness. The lever that we had, the special operation sent to destroy three precious enemy targets in his heartland on September 11, was not enough to move the stone. We would have been better served had we waited patiently, until the network of brother A. Q. Khan had disseminated the P2 centrifuges to a number of Muslim, I will not say Islamic, states. In retrospect even you will agree that had we focused our energies on seizing Pakistan or even Saudi Arabia and acquired nuclear weapons during the time America slumbered, for Europe was always asleep, our position today would have been immeasurably stronger! For one, America even had we attacked them like September 11 would not have dared invade Afghanistan, any more than they would hazard invading North Korea, which has but a handful of fission devices.

We overreached and in a far more fundamental way than America is being accused of overreaching in Iraq because our actions on September 11 irretrievably committed us to the fork in the road that we now wish to forsake. It bars a return to the crossroads where we might choose the road not taken, the road that we now know leads to victory. But if that is impossible then we must discover victory on the road we are on. Here I will examine the prospects in both directions and point out the pitfalls and promises of each.

The fundamental problem preventing a revival of the strategy of consolidating our strength within the Islamic world is the American occupation of Iraq. It presents a dual threat. First, it serves as an object lesson to those Arab states who would shelter us. Do this and you share Saddam's fate. But second, and most important, it has given the United States possession of a great Arab state, perhaps the greatest of them all. It is not the money they care for. You know the statistics. The gross national product of all the Arab states combined do not amount to that of a single medium-sized European country. What they covet is the human resource that Iraq provides. Its Mukhabarat, its limitless pool of Arab-speaking potential traitors, its secret files whose contents not even you, O Osama, may know. What they covet is its central physical location which makes it possible to project secret teams all over the Arab world.

But as you know, our successes in Iraq have been entirely inflated by the press. Objectively speaking, we have endured an unbroken string of defeats. We could not get the UN to stop the American attack; we persuaded Turkey to withhold cooperation, but it did not matter. The country fell to the invader and although we have called every Jihadi at our disposal into the theater, with Syrian and Iranian help, we have not been able to delay the American timetable of handover by June 30 so much as a single day. But worse, it has forced us into coalition warfare. I know how sick you are, as I am, of the Persian apostate mullahs and the greedy Syrians. The Americans can kick their ally France like a dog, but we alas, must endure the humiliations of dealing with the Assads and the Ayatollahs with a smile. It must now be accepted, than even if John Kerry wins, that we will not be able to seize a state like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or even Afghanistan again within a five year horizon. The return to the crossroads is barred, at least for the foreseeable future. It is sad, but a fact.

That leaves us with this tantalizing question. Having gone so far on September 11, can we not go further? Will one more push topple the rock? The answer is yes, but only if the push is sufficient and it leaves the Left which is the spirit of suicide, in control. This latter condition is essential. The fundamental fact is that the triumph of the Jihad must be momentarily preceded by the ascendance of the Left. Only the Left will pick up the gun, put the barrel to the temple of the Western mind and pull the trigger without hesitation. But their ascendance will only be momentary, and I for one delight in imagining how we will kick them as they squeal about their rights and their sexual entitlements once there is no one left to protect them.

In this respect, I must warn our brothers against wooing the Western Left too ardently. For it is the reality that the average Western man still recoils from the sight of the bearded believer or the veiled woman. He would much rather trust the eccentric English professor in rumpled tweeds with bad teeth. We must ensure that these types are always in ample supply. Already the Jihad is siphoning away their younger members, those who have grown tired of Solidarity Marches and dancing in the streets without their trousers, and who want action of the sort that the Left can no longer provide. It is useless to remind them that their physical contribution to the fight will be paltry. It is their propaganda they do best and we should leave them alone to imagine us innocuous, misunderstood and exotically dressed victims even while we prepare to kill them in their millions. The Left will find a way to blame the dead themselves, a job at which they are surpassingly brilliant.

The hard part then, is to kill those millions. The Al Qaeda has survived the onslaught by decentralizing itself and relying on what Western analysts prefer to call 'affiliates' -- local groups of brothers, underground societies in individual countries -- allies really, for they must be controlled by cajolery, bribery and intimidation, rather than explicitly follow orders like brother Mohammed Atta of old. But relying on affiliates has also meant a lowering of our operational standards. None of our actions since September 11 has come close to matching its technical sophistication. The operation against the Oasis apartment in Riyadh is, professionally speaking, a botched job. Killing Indian janitors, Filipino cooks and Sri Lankan utility men is not exactly what fighters in the top class can do. Our cell in Madrid merely got lucky. In truth, they were a bunch of released detainees with a history of petty crime. We will need much higher caliber professionals, a secure base for rehearsal and deep penetration American support cells to deliver a devastating blow to the United States before this fall.

Excuse me, as there is a knocking downstairs at the door, probably Achmed, who I sent out for supplies. He may arouse suspicion if I do not answer it immediately. I am dispatching this email now and will dispatch the second part later.