Tuesday, May 04, 2004

A thought on recent developments:

The invasion of Iraq was, as some foresaw, somewhat helpful to al-Qaeda, eliminating one of their enemies within the Arab world, and playing into their own "clash of civilizations" rhetoric. More recent news has been a boon that bin Laden, in his wildest dreams, would scarcely have dared to imagine. The torture photographs could not have been calculated to make us look more like brutal conquerors. (I might have said barbarians, but you have to think a bit about who you slap that label on. The Romans did this sort of thing, too -- they just weren't hypocrites about it). And between that, the blatant corruption of the omnipresent contractors like Halliburton, our steady opposition to Sistani's call for elections, and our attempts to make the "sovereign government" which we create on June 30th a powerless shell, the old Iraqi democratic opposition itself is saying that "democracy is dead in the United States, but its facade is being kept in place by the American administration." Can anyone doubt that when bin Laden looks at this, he sees the hand of divine providence?

And on the other side of this conflict, Dubya also believes that divine providence had a hand in his... selection. He's said so more than once. And between his views and bin Laden's, Westerners might perceive a contradiction. But bin Laden might not. To him, all things happen according to the will of Allah, and it is the will of Allah that this man, at this time, be the resident in the oval office. It is a sign of the arrogance of the West, he might say, that we think we can compass the purposes of the divine will in making that choice.

Perhaps the divine will he purports to serve is having a little joke at our expense...


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