Sunday, March 06, 2011

Ex-CIA Analyst Michael Scheuer Offers a Gloomy Forcast about the Revolutions in N. Africa

"The revolts...mean that the United States and its Western allies must take on a far greater share of the counterterrorism operations that they previously conducted with the help of Arab regimes. The days of Mubarak, Saleh, Gaddafi and Ben Ali doing the dirty work for American, European and Israeli counterterrorism efforts are over."---Michael Scheuer

In a Washington Post Op-Ed titled "Why the Mideast revolts will help al-Qaeda" (3-4-11), Michael Scheuer, the former chief of the CIA's Osama bin Laden unit from 1996 to 1999, offers a gloomy prediction about the revolts in North Africa:

The rush in the West to proclaim the advance of democracy in the Arab world has led to the propagation of an ill-conceived and dangerous corollary: that the revolts in the Middle East and North Africa also mark the irrelevance of al-Qaeda and other Islamist militant groups.
"Al Qaeda Sees History Fly By," declared the New York Times. "Uprisings Put al Qaeda on Sidelines," asserted the Wall Street Journal. And Western politicians, academics and even intelligence specialists appear to agree that, with peaceful and pro-democratic change afoot in the Middle East, the world has moved beyond al-Qaeda, leaving Osama bin Laden writhing in the dust.
If only that were true. Since bin Laden declared war against the United States in 1996, al-Qaeda's main goals have included the destruction of the Arab world's tyrannies and of Israel. The events of recent weeks only move al-Qaeda closer to those objectives. [See the full text.]


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