"Let nothing human be alien to me"- Terence

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Disease and Antidote

The Wall Street Journal has an op-ed piece by Con Coughlin chastising the West for its naivete regarding several key AQAP players, most importantly Anwar al-Awlaki.   It does not, of course, offer other tactics that could have been used, just shame and fear.  Since this article is as stupid and as guilty of over-blowing Awlaki as anything, this is a good time to link to this: Aaron's takedown of the Awlaki hype.  My kind of writing- both angry and informed.   Hold on to this and read it anytime you see the words "AQAP mastermind" or "the new bin Laden." 

We'll see who wins this battle: the weight of popular opinion or a few ill-tempered and unshaven (presumably) bloggers?   I'm guessing the former.


  1. Coughlin neglects a great deal of history - AQ in Yemen as led by Nasir al-Wihayshi - the same guy who leads AQAP, pre-dates both al-Awlaki and the Gitmo guys.

    On the Guantanamo Bay detainees, Coughlin needs to get an up-dated list of AQAP members. Muhammad al-Harbi, also known Muhammad al-'Awfi hasn't been a member of AQAP since February 2009.

    Fact check, page A 20.

  2. I think you're making a bold assumption that there will be a popular opinion on this. AQAP? Anwar al-Awlaki? You really think those are going to stick with the press (unless they pull of something that this Blog seems to regard as out of their/his reach?)? Bin Laden was connected to two high-profile bombings and was little more than a blip to the national media and its audience before 9/11. I remember numerous newscasters not knowing how to pronounce his or his organization’s name! A “potential bombing” or whatever you want to call last week was pushed not just off the front page, but out of the news by midterm elections- even by the Chicago press, the supposed target! I find it hard to believe that popular opinion will weigh in much on this issue until, unfortunately, it blows up in our face.
    Now, all that being said, I also don’t think “a few ill-tempered and unshaven bloggers” have much of a chance of winning the battle of public/government opinion, either. Too swarthy a bunch.