One thing that has emerged in the Iraq conflict is that the fanaticism of al-Qaida can work in our favor. They are making some serious strategic blunders in regards to winning the hearts and minds of Middle Eastern Muslims. Today we learn that the wife of one of the Iraqi suicide bombers in Jordan was unable to set off her bomb, and she has now been captured by Jordanian authorities. Here was the couple’s plan:
Al-Shamari and his wife, both dressed for a party, entered the ballroom where hundreds of guests were celebrating a wedding. They were wearing explosives belts under their clothes to “inflict the largest number of casualties,” Muasher said.
Going to a wedding party to blow up people is not exactly the best way to win the hearts and minds in any country. Acts of wanton violence like this will have repercussions throughout the Middle East. Let’s see, people will reason: our choice is democracy & freedom … or let these people from al-Qaida people run things. Hard decision.
But I am oversimplifying, right? They could choose a path other than democracy and freedom; they do not have to follow the path of Western nations. Okay, if not al-Qaida, then what? Keep going with the local dictator? That is no long term answer. Maybe promote the local Mullahs to run things? That hasn’t worked out too well in Iran. Once they cross off all of the options on the list, there is only one left: Democracy & Freedom.
Democracy and freedom, when coupled with a well-administered rule of law and a robust respect for property rights, is the way to peace and prosperity. The countries in the Middle East are on a path to discover this, one by one, whether they like it or not. And the al-Qaida bombings in Jordon have just given another shove in that direction.
Update: Hmmm, you don’t think that Karl Rove has taken charge of al-Qaida now too, do you? Naaa. … But then again, this is the guy with that CRAWFORD machine.