Missing the message

Michael Scheuer, the former top CIA official who once led the US hunt for bin Laden, explains the ways in which the Bush administration and its client states fail to understand the latest Bin Laden message:

“‘You ought to take the measure of your enemy and we’re not doing that,’ he said, adding the truce call would resonate positively in the Muslim world.

“‘U.S. officials continue to describe these people (al Qaeda) as a small bunch of gangsters and crazy people. They have no apparent conception that so much of the Islamic world is angry with America, not because of our freedoms or liberties but because of our foreign policies,’ he said.”

It serves the political cause of leaders like Bush, Blair and Howard to maintain the illusion of a diminished and irrational terror leader. Robert Fisk rightly explained the West’s (deliberate?) failure to understand al-Qaeda:

“The irony, of course, is that Bin Laden is now partly irrelevant. He has created al-Qa’ida. His achievement – that word should be seen in context – is complete. Why bother hunting for him now? It’s a bit like arresting the world’s nuclear scientists after the invention of the atom bomb. The monster has been born. It’s al-Qa’ida we have to deal with.”

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