There is no doubt that for the United States of America to elect a man by the name of Barack Hussein Obama for President of the United States and then a man of color rings and says VOLUMES to the international community, it states not only change, but NO MORE OF THE SAME.
So, for al-Queda the step, issue for them is how to deal with Barack Obama? A man who spoke directly to the Muslim world on his inaugural day:
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those...(APPLAUSE)To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
What is al-Qaeda's argument? Oh, we fully understand that they have a serious beef with the United States and its involvement in the Middle East, but the most powerful weapon they owned was public perception, the media in that part of the world. How do you recruit in Africa, which is a hotbed of recruiting, when they view, see one of their own from Kenya become President of the United States? Again, public perception. When the new president puts out a stern olive branch to work with you if you put your terror techniques down to make peace, again public perception. So, this is what al-Qaeda says:
Soon after the November election, al-Qaeda's No. 2 leader took stock of America's new president-elect and dismissed him with an insulting epithet. "A house Negro," Ayman al-Zawahiri said.
That was just a warm-up. In the weeks since, the terrorist group has unleashed a stream of verbal tirades against Barack Obama, each more venomous than the last. Obama has been called a "hypocrite," a "killer" of innocents, an "enemy of Muslims." He was even blamed for the Israeli military assault on Gaza, which began and ended before he took office.
"He kills your brothers and sisters in Gaza mercilessly and without affection," an al-Qaeda spokesman declared in a grainy Internet video this month.
The torrent of hateful words is part of what terrorism experts now believe is a deliberate, even desperate, propaganda campaign against a president who appears to have gotten under al-Qaeda's skin. The departure of George W. Bush deprived al-Qaeda of a polarizing American leader who reliably drove recruits and donations to the terrorist group.
What is going on with al-Qaeda now? Are those who funded them simply by the "we versus them" mentality of George W. Bush, now stepping back and taking a "wait and see attitude" with Barack Obama? Maybe this is, what is happening with al-Qaeda.
We also are observing an avalanche of tapes, audio denouncing Barack Obama, while in the same breath still making the argument that al-Qaeda is still relevant. Don't get me wrong, al-Qaeda is relevant but the election of Barack Obama is making many in the Muslim world take pause to see what he will do or attempt to do with diplomacy and it starts with the Israelis and the Palestinians. If we can make serious progress in diplomacy, what is the new argument for al-Qaeda? The Palestinian, Gaza Strip has been the center of their argument going back to 9/11, if we make progress this is ammunition that is stripped from their argument.
Friday, a new al-Qaeda salvo attempted to embarrass Obama, a day after the new president announced his plans for closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Appearing on the videotaped message were two men who enlisted in al-Qaeda after being freed from that detention center.
"By Allah, imprisonment only increased our persistence in our principles for which we went out, did jihad for and were imprisoned for," said Abu Sufyan al-Azdi al-Shahri, who described himself as a deputy commander for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The translation was also provided by the Site group.
Site founder Rita Katz said the messages show "just how much al-Qaeda is intimidated by Obama."
"The leadership of al-Qaeda is very concerned about the wide support that Obama has been receiving from Arab and Muslim countries," Katz said. "To combat this threat, al-Qaeda has embarked on a propaganda campaign against Obama, not only by linking him to the policies of the Bush administration, including the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, but also by accusing him of actions in which he had no part."
Barack Obama is garnering support in the Muslim world, they too, as we want peace. al-Qaeda's argument is weak attempting to link Obama to Bush, when his actions are clearly the reverse from Bush.
The Muslim world is watching Obama closely, they already applaud him for closing Guantanamo Bay, they are waiting for the US to be removed from Iraq and watching how he will handle Afghanistan, but seeing if peace and fairness can emerge between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
If all goes well, if we can succeed, what is the next argument for al-Qaeda? America, again, we made the right choice for a President to lead us out of the mess that George W. Bush's polices have left us all over the globe. In the end, we too, want peace and our military men and women home, hopefully for good.