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It seems clear, however, that there is a greater rapidity of change, accompanied — inevitably — by the passing of the leaders of the old order. This is particularly clear in the Middle East, where seven key figures have been struck down in the past six years: King Hussein of Jordan in February, 1999. King Hassan of Morocco in July of the same year. Syrian dictator Hafez al Assad in June of 2000. Yasser Arafat of the PLO in April, 2004. King Fahd of Saudi Arabia in May of last year. Ariel Sharon of Israel was incapacitated by a stroke in early January. And, according to Iranians I trust, Osama bin Laden finally departed this world in mid-December. The al Qaeda leader died of kidney failure and was buried in Iran, where he had spent most of his time since the destruction of al Qaeda in Afghanistan. The Iranians who reported this note that this year's message in conjunction with the Muslim Haj came from his number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri, for the first time.
If true, it would explain why Osama passed up the chance to make the address that Zawahiri made, but would press the Bush administration to escalate its confrontation with Iran. After all, a key part of the Bush Doctrine was to go after those nations that harbor our enemies, and none was bigger in a symbolic sense than Osama. On the other hand, if he's dead now, that may actually play against action against Teheran to a limited sense, although no one doubts that their technical and monetary support for Islamofascist terror groups like AQ and Hezbollah will suddenly dry up anytime soon.
The article finishes with this summation:
The architect of 9/11 and the creator of Palestinian terrorism are gone. The guiding lights of our terrorist enemies are sitting on cracking thrones, challenged by young men and women who look to us for support. Not just words, and, above all, not promises that the war against the terror masters will soon end with a premature abandonment of what was always a miserably limited battlefield. This should be our moment.
Only if we have the will and the courage to grasp it...Sphere It View blog reactions
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