Voice from the Commonwealth Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts
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Iqbal Latif writes that India is ignoring Pakistan's contributions to the War on Terror and obvious turnaround in making the choice to side with the US against the Taliban in order to further its own ambitions in Kashmir. And that this is playing into the hands of the extremists. He has some excellent points and comes up just short of observing that possibly the instability and intensified attacks in Kashmir since 9/11 may be a part within the contingency plan of al-Qaeda.
Take what we know about al-Qaeda. The terrorism has a goal. The eventual creation of a Talibanesque Caliphate that covers (at the very least) the land from Morocco to Malaysia and beyond to Indonesia and the Southern Philippines. There are at least low level comminucation ties between al-Qaeda and every terrorist group operating in this territory (and by extension sympathisers throughout the world) and some groups like those operating in Kashmir have a much closer working relationship with al-Qaeda (many of the terrorists in these groups trained in Afghanistan and were sent on to Kashmir by al-Qaeda). As it was in Afghanistan the best political situation for the injection of this type of thug rule is one of instability and violence.
Now, the attacks on America and the ensuing war to topple the Taliban have failed to rally the 'Arab Street' to overthrow their governments and rally to the call for Jihad. I doubt that al-Qaeda, like Jon Brown charging into Harper's Ferry with no thought of what comes next, have left themselves with no back-up plan. The failure of the US attacks to have a galvanising affect and the necessity of scattering in the face of overwhelming US power, heightened security (not as high as it could or should be but heightened nonetheless) and the intelligence sucesses (Singapore, France, Germany and others) have ruled out (for the time being) centrally plotted large scale terrorist attacks on the US as unprofitable. Rather, by provoking, directly or not, numerous areas of concern (the attack in Russia, escalating tension between India and Pakistan, intensified attacks in Israel, increased violence in Indonesia, unrest in Europe etc.) al-Qaeda would be dispersing the pursuit as well as setting up situations where they or their supporters could find themselves within reach of power.
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