Monday, March 27, 2006

Scheuer speaks

This Sunday's AJC had a very important commentary in their @issue section, but unfortunately it's not online. (???) Nor is there any mention I could find of it being published anywhere else, at least per GoogleNews.

It's surprising to me how fast Michael Scheurer has fallen out of the public eye, since he spent most of his career in the CIA studying Osama bin Laden. Because of that, I tend to sit up and pay attention whenever he writes and this commentary was a real eye opener. I found a similar article where he speaks of how Osama has been laying the groundwork for another attack.

CP: Getting back to what you said a moment ago about the importance to bin Laden of offering the U.S. a warning, didn't he in fact get in trouble in a lot of Islamic circles after 9/11 for failing to provide a warning

Scheuer: Yes that is, for failing to provide enough of a warning. The prophet's guidance is that you go the extra mile to warn your enemy. Bin Laden was called on the carpet by his peers in the Islamic militant movement for three things. One was that he didn't give us enough warning. He's now addressed the American people on five separate occasions since 2002. So he's taken care of that one. He was also called on the carpet for not offering us a chance to convert to Islam. He's now done that three separate times, and Zawahiri has done it once. So they've covered that angle. The other thing they were taken to task for was that they didn't have the religious authority to kill as many Americans as they did. In the summer of 2003, he got a religious judgment from a very reputable Saudi cleric that he could use weapons of mass destruction, specifically nuclear weapons, to kill up to 10 million Americans.

After 9/11, he had several very important loose ends to tie up, in religious terms, before he could attack us again. He's done all of those things. It's interesting, because he spoke on the eve of our presidential election, and he said, This is the last time I'm going to warn you. In his speech last week, he said, I was not going to talk to you again, but your president is lying to you. I wanted to give you one more opportunity to hear the truth. He again warned us about the impact of our policies, and then offered us the truce. But you were right at the beginning. He's very much speaking to an Islamic audience as much as to an American [one].

CP: How do you read the offer of truce, that being the unique element in this communiqué?

Scheuer: I think he's very serious about it. I don't think for a second he believes we'll take him up on it. But he's kind of done as much as he can do to make sure there's no further bloodshed between us and the forces he represents.

This is some pretty scary stuff here. Festus has lulled us into a sense of complacency that he's got all the bases covered, but I've yet to read anything where he's acknowledged that we're enmeshed in a religious war and we don't seem to be addressing it as such.

Osama likes anniversaries, how's 9/11/2006 sound?