From the "A-Blind-Pig-Sometimes-Finds-an-Acorn-Department"
I came across this odd little rant from Arnaud de Borchgrave from Cursor. You know, I've been wondering where the co-"mastermind" (with Claire Sterling) of the thesis that "the communists tried to assassinate the pope" theory was skulking about. Incidently, the "commie plot to kill the pope" kind of fell apart when Mehmet Ali Agca, to paraphrase Alexander Cockburn, said the one thing you can't say in the west without everyone thinking you're completely insane--namely, he claimed to be Jesus Christ. "Io sono Jesus Christo," I remember Agca announcing on the first day of his trial.
But I digress: de Borchgrave, showing the kind of insight that only he can muster, has revealed that his keen senses tell him Osama bin Laden will shift his focus from attacking the United States to attacking US interests and allies in the Middle East. Arnaud also has it on good authority that the sky is blue, the grass is green, and the pope is almost certainly Catholic.
Not to be too hard on the man--after all, perhaps the Department of Homeland Security can now move beyond color codes--but I think it's pretty evident to folks with more than four or five functioning brain cells that bin Laden's overall plan involves the Middle East/Central and South Asia and/or Indonesia--the restoration of the Caliphate isn't exactly on the agenda for Taos, New Mexico.
Sadly, indeed, pathetically, de Borchgrave can't let go of the communist menace, asserting that bin Laden is recruiting in "many of the same spawning grounds that provisioned communist parties throughout the Cold War." Well, old habits die hard, I guess. However, he notes, correctly, that Pervez Musharraf is despised in Pakistan, while Osama boasts high approval ratings--which, as far as I can tell, is correct. He further notes that the juhadist strategy will, in his words, seek
to (1) further detach America from its European allies...(2) assist the insurgency in Iraq by encouraging more jihadis to volunteer for suicide duty; (3) stoke public opinion against the royals in Saudi Arabia; (4) stoke public opinion against Musharraf in Pakistan.
This, astonishingly, isn't all that far off the mark (hence, the title of this post). The question will be whether or not bin Laden can accomplish this. And, judging from the events in Iraq, Bush will do everything in his power to assist.