Unholy Warrior

(Tablet) Lee Smith - The assassination of bin Laden is a major achievement, but there is also no mistaking that all it amounts to is a parade celebrating a victory in the last war. Ten years ago with the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, al-Qaeda seemed to be at its height, but looking back it is clear that by this moment it was breathing its last significant gasp. There were to be no more spectacular attacks, and bin Laden's field officers were hunted by the U.S. and its allies around the world. The group's influence extended as far as inspiring disaffected young men to strap bombs on themselves - a tragedy for their victims from Madrid to London and Baghdad to Kabul, but al-Qaeda's geostrategic weight was nothing in comparison to Hizbullah and Hamas. Most important, we've known now for a decade that the real problem isn't shadowy networks of rogue operators, or superteams of comic-book villains like Bin Laden and associates, but the Arab and Muslim states that sponsor terror, like Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, whose army and intelligence service appear to have actively protected bin Laden for much of the past 10 years while receiving tens of billions of dollars in American aid. Yet bin Laden's capture also happened with the active cooperation of the Pakistani government.

2011-05-06 00:00:00

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