We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
There are signs that the global Islamic jihad movement is splitting apart, in what would be a tremendous achievement for American strategy. The center of the action is in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the very territory which is thought to harbor Usama, and from which Al Qaeda was able to launch 9/11. Capitalizing on existing splits, a trap was set and closed, and the benefits have only begun to be evident.
You mean that since 1993 we have taken attacks from a loosely bound group of affiliates connected through a base organization called al Qaeda and we are only now seeing if we can break them down into a state of disorganization? Say, are there other Islamic radical organizations that also practice this stuff not only as 'affiliates' but on their very lonesome?
Then there is the big question of terrorist attacks before the Islamic sort that also were killing Americans in the ones and twos... they have all had to up their 'game' in the death per incident arena to start even getting close to reaching the second front page or a 15 second mention on any newscast. Apparently they just aren't worth any time mentioning, don't mind the folks ending up dead by *them*, the attacks on US government officials, US military, US citizens and plain old US owned property.
I am really glad that one organization is being addressed, finally. It is unfortunate that al Qaeda is not all of Islamic radicalism and all of Islamic radicalism is not represented by al Qaeda. One does not need to go to the 'hydra' concept as this starts out with more than enough heads on it, each of them snapping a bit here and there. Getting Iraq right may finally end that entire thing, but that will take decades to play out, at best. And none of this addresses the other organizations that actually attack more, but just don't have their kill ratios up... but they have been trying!
Getting Iraq and Afghanistan stable or defensive actions in this war, perhaps creating an ability to actually go on the offensive once a highly virulent form of Islamic terrorism is reduced... the affiliate network and its contacts via other organizations doesn't seem to be addressed.. nor does other forms of Islamic radicalism. Stopping advances by your opponent is *defensive*. That is why Iraq and Afghanistan are critical.
They are not counter-attacks, just defensive 'kill zones' and an attempt to stop the advance of the problem and deny it an easy way forward. The US has not gone on the counter-attack offensive yet against terrorism as a whole, and only on the defensive stabilization against the Islamic sort.
A start? Yes.
A good way forward? Yes.
Addressing the larger problem? No.
My posting on this here: http://ajacksonian.blogspot.com/2007/09/terrorism-good-bad-and-ugly.html