Reframing the fight against Islamists

The Bush Administration, with its usual half-measures in making its case - our case - in public, had a very flat, pro-forma response to the most recent videotape of al-Qaeda's number 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri:

Press question at State Department briefing: Do you have any reaction on the speech of al-Zawahiri
McCormack (State Department):

Well, I don't know. I suppose my reaction isn't going to surprise you that much. I mean, he is a representative of an organization that seeks to not only undermine our way of life but attack friends and allies in the region. And what it does is point out to me the fact that there is a common struggle here between -- on one side those who want to use violent extremism to -- for whatever twisted political ends they may have and those who are interested in a better, more prosperous and more free Middle East. Now, you'll have a variety of views on that side of the line, but still there's a very clear dividing line in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia stands on one side of it and violent extremists like Ayman al-Zawahiri and al-Qaeda stand on the other side of that line.
If we had an aggressive strategy to make our case in public - as a complement to the exemplary fighting by our troops - here is how we could have treated Zawahiri's tape:

Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri released his latest dispatch in the current war yesterday (July 6). The war against whom? The war against the umma!

The strategy of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) is to make war on the umma.

Imagine the effrontery. What would the Prophet think of this strategy of making war against the Muslim community in its hearth and home.

Whose side he would be on?

Since Dr. Zawahiri's previous tape, AQI has left babies, children, mothers and fathers dead and dismembered in the streets of Iraq. Some of them may be uncounted. None are unlamented. That is its achievement.

But not its future. The leaders, the sheiks, in Anbar province have had a change of heart and have called their warriors - their young men - to strike down the Moloch that has arisen in their midst.

With his eyeglasses which say that whatever sacrifices are to be made in warring against the umma, he is not going to deprive himself of the comforts of modern technology, Zawahiri issues his blasphemy from his hellish redoubt. With the umma now in rising in righteous rage against the apostate criminals in their midst, Zawahiri is likely to find that by the time he issues his next dispatch, he will be received by silence, broken only by the moaning of his soul in Hell for all eternity.

The Bush Administration, with its usual half-measures in making its case - our case - in public, had a very flat, pro-forma response to the most recent videotape of al-Qaeda's number 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri:

Press question at State Department briefing: Do you have any reaction on the speech of al-Zawahiri
McCormack (State Department):

Well, I don't know. I suppose my reaction isn't going to surprise you that much. I mean, he is a representative of an organization that seeks to not only undermine our way of life but attack friends and allies in the region. And what it does is point out to me the fact that there is a common struggle here between -- on one side those who want to use violent extremism to -- for whatever twisted political ends they may have and those who are interested in a better, more prosperous and more free Middle East. Now, you'll have a variety of views on that side of the line, but still there's a very clear dividing line in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia stands on one side of it and violent extremists like Ayman al-Zawahiri and al-Qaeda stand on the other side of that line.
If we had an aggressive strategy to make our case in public - as a complement to the exemplary fighting by our troops - here is how we could have treated Zawahiri's tape:

Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri released his latest dispatch in the current war yesterday (July 6). The war against whom? The war against the umma!

The strategy of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) is to make war on the umma.

Imagine the effrontery. What would the Prophet think of this strategy of making war against the Muslim community in its hearth and home.

Whose side he would be on?

Since Dr. Zawahiri's previous tape, AQI has left babies, children, mothers and fathers dead and dismembered in the streets of Iraq. Some of them may be uncounted. None are unlamented. That is its achievement.

But not its future. The leaders, the sheiks, in Anbar province have had a change of heart and have called their warriors - their young men - to strike down the Moloch that has arisen in their midst.

With his eyeglasses which say that whatever sacrifices are to be made in warring against the umma, he is not going to deprive himself of the comforts of modern technology, Zawahiri issues his blasphemy from his hellish redoubt. With the umma now in rising in righteous rage against the apostate criminals in their midst, Zawahiri is likely to find that by the time he issues his next dispatch, he will be received by silence, broken only by the moaning of his soul in Hell for all eternity.