Friday, July 08, 2005

Some comments on the Cole interview

Juan Cole has posted excerpts from an interview he took part in. I have some nits to pick:
  1. Even if the Madrid bombings didn't directly lead to Spain's withdrawal from Iraq, they definitely hastened it.

  2. Regarding the purported powerlessness of the terrorists:
    What do you do if you're a tiny fringe who is completely right and indeed only if your plan succeeds is the world saved? And you're opposed by all of these massive states and powers?
    I don't think the terrorists are as powerless as that. There is a broad swathe of support for them (if not for their actions, at least for the causes they espouse and the injustice they strike out against) in the Arab/Islamic world, fuelled by things like the treatment of Palestinians (and, in our own country, the Gujarat pogrom).
On a related note, I am veering more and more to the view that al-Qaeda is like a McDonalds franchise, with sundry local groups all over the world using it as a label to claim brand recognition for their activities (Update: click here for a old, but nonetheless relevant, article on this).