Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Al Qaeda's key fallacies - 1

By means of understanding the precepts upon which Al Qaeda derives its motivations, we can get a better sense of the steps they will take in executing their war.
The foundations of Al Qaeda spawned from the mujahedeen's expulsion of soviet forces from Afghanistan in the '80s. This apparent success, as many other apparent successes have done before, falsely emboldened those who innappropriately felt responsible for that success.
It's much like the lucky dotcom receptionist-turned-millionaire, who became rich for no other reason than accidentally being in the right place at the right time. As many of those lucky millionaires found out later, after many unsuccessful business ventures draining their luck-money, it was not their skill or competence which brought them that initial success.

Similarly, the mujahedeen did not succeed in Afghanistan by themselves. They were openly supported by Pakistan's ISI, which was further funded by the CIA. This provided them a base of support by which, when combined with the mujahedeen's 'commitment to war', leveled the playing field against the russians.
However, some leaders and participants of the mujahedeen saw their victory in Afghanistan as a sign from Allah.
Years later, the initial bumbling russian failures in Grozny further enhanced the mujahedeen's false sense of competence. Thus, it was really no surprise that the mujahedeen felt they would succeed similarly in Fallujah and greater Iraq.
However, the mujahedeen has never before fought with so few allies. Even the Saudi royals are unwilling to assist them overtly now. The mujahedeen finally found themselves overmatched by their enemy to a point where the 'commitment to war' factor does not level the playing field. Barring the entrance of another major power to support the mujahedeen, their plans for Iraq are doomed.

The key fallacy here is that success must be attributed appropriately in order to retain a realistic sense of your own capabilities. This is but one of many fallacies within Al Qaeda (and similar movements) still to be explored.

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