Friday, February 29, 2008

The Fading Jihadists

This is a really good column in the Washington Post on a new book out entitled "Leaderless Jihad." The author of the book theorizes that there are three generational waves of terrorists. The first two, Bin Laden and his leaders who formed in the 1980's, and the ones who trained in the Al-Qaeda camps in the 90's, are headless and on the run. The third wave are a "hodgepodge of terrorist wannabes" in their early 20's, who band together in chat rooms. They're "closer to urban gang members than to motivated Muslim fanatics."

In the minds of many, terrorism's appeal to effect change is limited. As the columnist states, we'd be better to leave it alone and let it fade away. What we're doing in Iraq is really like "taking a fire that would otherwise burn out and pouring gasoline on it."

I wish I could be that elequent, although I do agree. In the end, 9/11 happened, they came over here, because we've been over there. I never understood how expanding our presence, particularly in the Middle East, would have reversed that. As long as we keep this war going, and egg on the terrorists, we'll always be living with one eye open.

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