Recently, Israeli Major-General Eyal Eisenberg predicted an “Arab Winter” in which the revolutions taking place around the Arab world culminate in a multi-front general war against Israel. While it remains to be seen if that’s the case, I take a very dim view of what’s happening in places like Egypt and Libya. Not surprisingly, many on the Left are overjoyed at the Arab Spring. To them, it’s about Muslim hippies fighting The Man. At an intellectual level, they may sense the guile and will of Jihadist Islam, but they willfully ignore this in favor of Coke and a Smile in Muslim lands.
The Arab Spring fits quite nicely into the Global Insurgency theory of modern terrorism. This theory posits that Islamic Salafists (those holding to rigid, medieval views of Islam and life in general), are not only working in local insurgencies, but hope that various uprisings around the world will eventually coalesce into a greater Islamic state. It is similar in ways to Mao’s and Lenin’s doctrines. The local fighters of course do not think at this level, worrying only about their immediate needs. But people at the top of al-Qaeda and similar terrorist organizations do think about the big picture.
We must also consider how clever al-Qaeda’s masterminds are. Jihadists, for instance, have actually studied the homosexual movement in America in order to find out how such a small group can cause so much change on its behalf. I believe that many in the jihadist movement came to recognize the Western mind’s affinity for a popular uprising. In stead of a “top down” jihad, with men like bin Laden and Abu Zarqawi getting lots of media attention, the jihadist movement is now trying to put a grassroots face on its global insurgency. And it’s worked brilliantly. There’s very little to indicate that those who’ve seized power in Egypt and Libya know very much about running a country, but al-Qaeda got what it wanted: the removal of secular Arab leadership from the Sinai Peninsula with all the trappings of state power left intact and with no Western troops on the ground to make sure things turn out the way the West would prefer.
The Palestinian cause represents the great Red Herring for al-Qaeda. Arab despots and terrorist groups need the Palestinians because it keeps the worlds eyes off what those Arab leaders are really doing. No mater what happens, they can keep pointing to Israeli “oppression”, which is why Palestinians never really want to come to the discussion table and cut a real deal; they’re being manipulated and funded by terrorists in order to maintain pressure on Israel. The Palestinians are being used as a classic, global insurgency agitation tool. The Palestinians will continue to sucker-punch Israel. Al-Qaeda et al hopes that Israel will respond in a way which negatively changes world opinion against the Jewish state, thus opening Israel to attack by Arab states without Western intervention.