Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Al Qaeda Margenalized?

Al Qaeda Resurgence?

We sweep our gaze across the vast political, sectarian and economic expanse that is the middle east. We ladel in the reality of various regional phenomena of the past year: Sunni states criticize Hezbollah in light of the Israeli/Lebanon conflict, Iranian "secret" bases outside of Damascus, Sunni/Shiite "civil" war in Iraq, Hamas pledging partnership with Iran, the Sauds promising financial support for Iraqi Sunni's. A pattern forms...

For all the US flag burning, "Death to America" rallies and Presidential "aparthied" analogies the Middle East seems to be shifting gears away from the "Imperial" dominence of the west. All eyes seem to be turning inward as a region who previously railed against "Western perversion" seems to be increasingly divided. As Sunni/Shia divisions escalate (and they will) and popular disenchantment shifts from foriegn "devilry" to regional sectarian difference what will become of the likes of al quaeda? As wahabist radcicalism shifts from anti-western to anti Shia, will al qaeda meet their requisite recruitment goals from the newly sectarian and consequently fallow fields of the young and passionate? Or will the worlds leading essentially sovereign terrorist organisation be forced to shift their ideology west to the lost continent?

Somalia, Ethiopia, Eretria, Sudan, etc. the unstable central African nations seem the likely target for AQ's next boiling pot. Given that the entire western world maintains a facade of concern but a general ignorance of events in this area, I'd put Africa out front in terms of AQ recruitment as middle eastern concerns turn inward.

The sad bit is such recruitment will occur virtually undercover. As the worlds attention is focused on the Middle East and unstable oil prices AQ might well find a virtual motherlode of recriuts in central Africa as civil structure continues to collapse. The effect may be a temporary margenalization of AQ and their global effect. However, given enough time and ignorance of African strife the wests myopic view of Africa may result in an AQ resurgence more powerful than ever.