Posted by Joshua on Saturday, January 19th, 2008
It's al-Qaeda, Stupid! By Bilal Y. Saab at PostGlobal
This time in Middle East relations, it is crucial to get it right and fast. Why? Because the stakes are so high.
Failure to have comprehensive peace between Arabs and Israelis is going to have consequences and repercussions of a magnitude we have never seen before. In other words, failure, at the risk of sounding too cliché, should not be an option….
By spilling over from Iraq into neighboring countries and gaining new safe havens, al-Qaeda could start working on its tactical and strategic objectives. On the tactical level, al-Qaeda would work on triggering wars between its adversaries and has already begun trying. The recent firing of rockets by al-Qaeda in Iraq from southern Lebanon into northern Israel is only one example. We have seen that scenario before, only with different actors: the 1978 and 1982 Israeli invasions of Lebanon were largely in response to Palestinian attacks from southern Lebanon. At the same time, al-Qaeda would assiduously work on causing a war between Syria and Israel and a round two between Hezbollah and Israel. The biggest prize for al-Qaeda, obviously, is to ignite a war between Iran and the United States – something al-Qaeda's Iraq leader, Omar al Baghdadi, has talked about in a recent message. On the strategic level, al-Qaeda would start planning for one of its most precious goals: taking the fight to Israel's backyard by actively supporting Palestinian radical jihadists in their war against the Jewish state.
So how do you stop these terrible scenarios from happening and how do you reverse the powerful trend of radicalization? Through peace. …At Annapolis, the Bush administration got it mixed up. There is nothing wrong in rallying the pro-U.S. Arab states to better contain the long-term threat of Iran, but the real and more imminent danger is not the Islamic republic, it is al-Qaeda.