Mattel Inc. has won a nearly complete victory in its federal copyright infringement case against rival MGA Entertainment Inc. over which toymaker owns the original drawings for the $1 billion-plus Bratz fashion doll franchise.
The federal jury found that the creator of the multi-ethnic, big-headed dolls, Carter Bryant, created their characters and the name while he was under contract as a Barbie designer at Mattel.
The decision put Mattel in commanding position going into the damages phase of the trial, in which the jury will determine if the Bratz doll infringes on the drawings Mattel now owns and whether MGA owes Mattel damages as a result.
Other than four drawings that Bryant testified he made in a notebook while on an eight-month hiatus from Mattel in 1998, privately held MGA lost the rights to all drawings and sculpts of the Bratz.
The verdict could be the start of a reversal of fortune for MGA, which grew Bratz from drawings to a multibillion-dollar franchise in seven years as Mattel watched market share for its venerable Barbie line melt away. Barbie's sales troubles have extended into the first quarter of 2008, domestic sales fell 12 percent, while worldwide sales were flat compared with a year earlier.
Grit, determination, an eleventh-hour change of tactics and the Sunni tribal movement helped America to avoid the defeat in Iraq that seemed perilously close less than two years ago. Al-Qaeda is not so much fighting to beat America in Iraq but to survive. Increasingly, say Western officials, foreign fighters now prefer to take themselves to Pakistan.
But counter-terrorism experts worry about the consequences of America's success. Might Iraq now start exporting seasoned veterans, as Afghanistan did in the 1990s? Optimists say the danger is less acute than many fear, for three reasons. First, many of the foreign jihadists went to Iraq on a one-way ticket: to die as suicide-bombers. Second, governments are more aware of the danger of returning jihadists. And third, Zarqawi's death seems to have removed the main impetus behind exporting Iraq's violence.
Zarqawi's decision to bomb three hotels in Amman in November 2005 backfired badly, causing a wave of revulsion, especially in his native Jordan. Among the bombed-out ruins of his hideout, American forces found a letter from a man calling himself Atiyah who said he spoke on behalf of the whole of al-Qaeda's leadership. Written just weeks after the Amman bombs, it warned Zarqawi that his actions were alienating potential supporters. He risked repeating the jihadists' ruinous bloodletting in Algeria during the 1990s when, Atiyah said, "their enemy did not defeat them, but rather they defeated themselves, were consumed and fell."
The savagery of the Algerian jihad took the lives of more than 100,000 people through the 1990s. The worst of the fighting was waged by the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), which denounced democracy and embraced jihad as the only means to power. The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), broke away in 1998. It had always been close to al-Qaeda, with strong links to fighters in Iraq.
In September 2006, thanks in part to matchmaking by Zarqawi, the GSPC rebranded itself as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and introduced suicide tactics, attacking a series of foreign targets, including the United Nations office in Algiers. It also kidnapped Western tourists in Mauritania and Tunisia. The jihadists use the vast expanse of the Sahara to train recruits from across the region.
Other al-Qaeda offshoots have emerged, for instance, in Yemen and Lebanon. Whether these franchises will fare any better than Algeria's earlier kind of jihadism, or than the troubled one in Iraq, remains to be seen. Mr Jazairi, for one, thought the bombings in his native Algeria were "sheer idiocy". Better to fight in Iraq, he said. Still, it may be only a matter of time before AQIM, in particular, leaps across the Mediterranean into Europe.
Posted by: Fred ||
07/18/2008 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in North Africa
Again, 2008-2012 [2016?] Post-Dubya POTUS Period > ITS CALLED PAN-ISLAMIST NUCLEARIZATION + PROTECTING FUTURE NUCLEARIZED-WEAPNZD IRAN AND ISLMAIST CENTRAL ASIA/ASIA AMAP ASAP AFAP ALAP, such that even iff Iran or even Paki is invaded by the US-Allies, RADICAL ISLAM INCLUD ISLAMIST MILITANT-TERR GROUPS + STATES WILL STILL HAVE A GOOD CHANCE OF ACQUIRING OWG JIHAD-WINNING, INFIDEL-DEFEATING NUC/MILTECHS.
MILPOL DIALECTICISM aka DECENTRALIZATION > Iff Dubya = USA doesn't wish to attack and invade Islamist Iran = Persia as per the OSAMIAN-MOUDIAN ISLAMIST APOCALYPSE, RADICAL ISLAM WILL USE THE INTERIM TO REBUILD, REARM, AND STRENGTHEN THE JIHAD FOR FUTURE NEW OPS.
As warned long ago, Dubya's critics are beginning to realize that their Hyper-PC, Anti-WOT and Political Posturings, etc. rants are only PUTTING AMER AT GREATER LT DANGER, NOT LESS.
* "DR. FEELGOOD" Song vv STANGELOVE > HOW I LEARNED TO WORRY BY NOT USING THE BOMB = BY NOT GOING TO WAR, etc.
I'm not holding my breath for al-Qaeda success in the Maghreb. First of all, it's in the middle of nowhere, empty, hostile desert. Any people around are hostile to everyone. You cannot enter or leave without being observed.
And lastly, our Special Forces likes to hang out there, and are just about as hostile as it gets.
AFTER a period of relative lull we notice a recurrence of encounter deaths of alleged criminals in RAB custody.
We mods were just talking about this amongst ourselves earlier in the week ...
We had condemned such killings before and we are constrained to express our repugnance once again.
Come now, green Steve just got his mojo back ...
According to various accounts there have been a few hundred such deaths since the inception of RAB - a phenomenon that would be unacceptable in any country with a modicum of respect for rule of law and concern for justice and fair play.
But this is Bangladesh ...
This will certainly call into question the modus operandi of the elite force in such cases, apart from tarnishing its image.
Um no, in fact no one at all questions the modus operandi of the RAB ...
There cannot be two opinions about the many commendable achievements of RAB since the elite force was launched. It had successfully tracked down the top terrorists and helped in having them convicted and punished. It has preempted terrorist activities by capturing some of the second string leaders and workers of this group, as well as unearthing their arms and weapons cache.
Always at 3 am, too ...
A good deal of hard work has been done in respect of the problem of drugs and narcotics, and by and large many well-known and hardened criminals have been put behind bars because of RAB activity. It had succeeded in inculcating a degree of confidence in the common man.
Who for some strange reason don't seem nearly as upset as you guys ...
But the achievements, regrettably, stand in stark contrast to the dismal record of crossfire deaths. This is indicative of the lack of respect for the judiciary and brings seriously into question the role of the higher authorities entrusted with law and order duties.
But the achievements, regrettably, stand in stark contrast to the dismal record of crossfire deaths.
Then again, the achievements may be precisely due to the crossfires ...
This is indicative of the lack of respect for the judiciary and brings seriously into question the role of the higher authorities entrusted with law and order duties.
What we find rather patently unconvincing is the description of the events leading up to the crossfire death. The pattern is similar in almost every case, which raises the question in public perception whether some of these are not stage-managed in the first place? The explanations appear absurd and cannot be acceptable.
Noticed that, did you? The RAB's twelve-step program for ridding a country upazaila of non-Islamic riff-raff and Biplobis ...
Let us restate the fact that the law must be applied to everyone including those taken into custody by the authorities.
Except for Islamicists, apparently ...
No one can act as the adjudicator of guilt or innocence except the courts of justice, and no one can abridge the course of justice in a society that claims to follow civilised norms of behaviour. They raise serious human rights concern, and allowing such killings with impunity can only sully our national image.
Which has been so shiny to date ...
Justice must be allowed to take its own course.
Don't say that, you'll have Carla del Ponte on your doorstep, and good luck trying to get rid of her ...
No matter what the record of an alleged criminal may be, by resorting to extrajudicial killings -- which these crossfire deaths are construed as -- such law enforcers are not behaving as custodians of law.
"What we find rather patently unconvincing is the description of the events leading up to the crossfire death. The pattern is similar in almost every case, which raises the question in public perception whether some of these are not stage-managed in the first place? The explanations appear absurd and cannot be acceptable."
Obviously the writer never watched a 50's era US TV western; the bad guy always wore a black hat, always threw his empty gun back at the good guys in pursuit, and on the off chance that the bad guy DID get the drop on the good guy, he always stood around bragging about what he did and how he was gonna off the good guys. Just before reinforecments broke the door down and wasted the bad guy in a Colt 44 Cross fire.
seems like stupidity is a inherited trait amongst bad guys and other miscreants.
I DEVOTED six years to carbon accounting, building models for the Australian Greenhouse Office. I am the rocket scientist who wrote the carbon accounting model (FullCAM) that measures Australia's compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, in the land use change and forestry sector.
FullCAM models carbon flows in plants, mulch, debris, soils and agricultural products, using inputs such as climate data, plant physiology and satellite data. I've been following the global warming debate closely for years.
When I started that job in 1999 the evidence that carbon emissions caused global warming seemed pretty good: CO2 is a greenhouse gas, the old ice core data, no other suspects.
The evidence was not conclusive, but why wait until we were certain when it appeared we needed to act quickly? Soon government and the scientific community were working together and lots of science research jobs were created. We scientists had political support, the ear of government, big budgets, and we felt fairly important and useful (well, I did anyway). It was great. We were working to save the planet.
But since 1999 new evidence has seriously weakened the case that carbon emissions are the main cause of global warming, and by 2007 the evidence was pretty conclusive that carbon played only a minor role and was not the main cause of the recent global warming. As Lord Keynes famously said, "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"
There has not been a public debate about the causes of global warming and most of the public and our decision makers are not aware of the most basic salient facts:
The world has spent $50 billion on global warming since 1990, and we have not found any actual evidence that carbon emissions cause global warming. Evidence consists of observations made by someone at some time that supports the idea that carbon emissions cause global warming. Computer models and theoretical calculations are not evidence, they are just theory.
What is going to happen over the next decade as global temperatures continue not to rise? The Labor Government is about to deliberately wreck the economy in order to reduce carbon emissions. If the reasons later turn out to be bogus, the electorate is not going to re-elect a Labor government for a long time. When it comes to light that the carbon scare was known to be bogus in 2008, the ALP is going to be regarded as criminally negligent or ideologically stupid for not having seen through it. And if the Liberals support the general thrust of their actions, they will be seen likewise.
The onus should be on those who want to change things to provide evidence for why the changes are necessary. The Australian public is eventually going to have to be told the evidence anyway, so it might as well be told before wrecking the economy.
Dr David Evans was a consultant to the Australian Greenhouse Office from 1999 to 2005.
JAB, good point. He may want to keep it in a locked, alarmed garage.
You might note this article is from Australia. All we hear about in the US today is the Algore lecturing Congress about the need to address "climate change" and renewable fuels. Note the cultists don't mention warming quite so often; getting ready for the freeze I guess.
The article also mentions 4 items that refute the global warming argument. The following is paraphrased:
1. Greenhouse signature in the atmosphere is missing.
2. No evidence that carbon emissions cause global warming.
3. Satellite measurements indicate the present global warming cycle ended in 2001.
4. Ice cores indicate that atmospheric carbon increases AFTER the warming cycle, not before.
The author agrees with me that the whole carbon emission program of the Labour party is electoral suicide. Labour will be out of power for a generation, when people see how much this costs and that the weather does not change one whit.
So global warmism is a religion that leads to irrational political acts up to and including "suicide." And it has chosen green as it's official color. Copycats.
My sense is that $4 gas has gotten peoples attention to the public policy but the electorate is going to demand nukes and drilling, not massive central planning to provide theoretical support for polar bears based on a model that cannot predict the past let alone the future.
You know the tragedy of it is this. Most people would make changes to their own lifestyle and accept certain costs that businesses charged to help make a more eco-friendly economy. We as a people have no problem with trying our best to do what is right and make the environment cleaner and safer. But the Greens take it way past that, no personal choice, no dissent, no discussion, kill the heretic!!!
The tide is obviously turning on these fruitcakes, the monopoly on airtime is over, the truth will prevail and they are in the process of being discovered for what they are. Fascists of a sort, really nothing more than that.
We even have a probable cause for "climate change" and the news isn't good.
Of course the news is worse for the alarmists because there's not a damn thing we can do about it. So their little power trip is over once the cat is out of the bag, which is probably why they burn the heretics rather than engage in rational scientific discussion.
APS Climate Change Statement
APS Position Remains Unchanged
The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007:
"Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate."
An article at odds with this statement recently appeared in an online newsletter of the APS Forum on Physics and Society, one of 39 units of APS. The header of this newsletter carries the statement that "Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the APS or of the Forum." This newsletter is not a journal of the APS and it is not peer reviewed.
Unless CHUCK HESTON finds a nuclear ICBM underground on a perceived primitive = regressed modern Alien Planet of Apes called Earth, Modern science wasn't around to observe, analyze, record or quantify the Great Epochs-Changes. espec as per THE SO-CALLED "SIRIUS EVENT(S)" WITHIN MY LIFETIME. WE DON'T KNOW WID ABSOLUT CERTAINTY HOW MANY OF THESE EPOCHS ENDED ANDOR BEGAN, i.e. WE DON'T KNOW HOW THE SUN BEHAVED DURING THESE TIMES.
What Obama does not seem to understand is that the Brandenburg Gate is something you earn. President Ronald Reagan earned the right to speak there because his relentless pressure had brought the Soviet empire to its knees and he was demanding its final "tear down this wall" liquidation. When President John F. Kennedy visited the Brandenburg Gate on the day of his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech, he was representing a country that was prepared to go to the brink of nuclear war to defend West Berlin.
Great opinion piece by Krauthammer. I just read it on WaPo and was checking to see if it was posted here yet. TU got it! Good find.
The stench of BO really is his own vanity. Always talking down off the end of his nose. Lecturing and lecturing us on basic aspects of our daily lives. Add the Civilian Defense Force he wants to form (see RB yeserday) and his Govt. may be the most controlling and intrusive Govt. since Soviet Communism.
I keep having visions of the endless TV promos with the daily lecture from BO on screens placed all over the public space. Everyone must stop and listen and bow to the BO. "Words just, Words"
Obama is living a dream of being one with Kenedy. A nightmare for us?
Posted by: Richard of Oregon ||
07/18/2008 12:23 Comments ||
In addition to all the obvious comparisons to JFK and Reagan, I think everyone can agree that NObama is doing this in a shameless attempt to shore up his support within the international community. I suspect that he's hoping that if the rest of the world wants him to be President bad enough, it will push the odds in his favor back home. I guess you could call it global peer pressure.
I think he's making a potentially huge mistake. Let's not forget that in the 2004 election, the rest of the world was seething with rage for President Bush and Kerry was clearly the choice abroad. When he lost, all the cry-baby liberals were whining about all the face we lost with the rest of the world by re-electing that dolt, Bush. Well, I think the American people, being a traditionally independent bunch, don't much appreciate it when the international community pressures us, especially when it concerns our domestic politics. So at best, I think NObama is looking at a zero-sum gain with this stunt, electorally speaking (which makes me wonder why he would do it to begin with but then I remember how much he likes to talk in front of people), and at worst, while it may bolster international support for him, it could backfire on him back home.
Since I have raised this issue twice here, I would like to retract the issue here too.
The image of Barack Obama's birth certificate posted on Obama's Fight the Smear website (posted also at better resolution on Daily Kos) has been analyzed with utmost expertise, and no evidence of alteration has been found. Two expert analyses are here and here.
Anyone who still thinks that the image has been altered should show how the alleged alteration can be done and then can pass such tests. Otherwise this image of this birth certificate should be considered to be unaltered.
There is no good reason to think that the Daily Kos, Jay McKinnon or any other organization or individual was involved in presenting an altered image to the public.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester ||
07/18/2008 07:24 ||
Top|| File under:
I never thought much of the accusations, but legitimate concerns were raised.
Jesse Jackson would be incensed if any of us used the "N-word," but according to the Associated Press, Fox News is now saying that Jackson used the most hated racial slur in American English with some level of impunity in the same conversation where the microphone was turned on and Big Jesse declared his intention to castrate Barack Obama : The Rev. Jesse Jackson used an emotionally charged racial slur during a break in a TV interview in which he criticized presidential candidate Barack Obama, Fox News confirmed Wednesday. In additional comments from that same conversation, first reported by TVNewser, the African-American leader is reported to have said Obama was "talking down to black people," and referred to blacks with a slur...
Don't forget there are the other 'N' pejoratives.
Nazi - anyone who disagrees with my politics.
Nativist - anyone who believes in "We the People of the United States.."
They're hurled with the same intent at their targets.
The truth is that blacks use the N as we use 'dude' or 'jerk' to replace the name in conversation. The fact that they do so with great regularity and yet no one gets offended is proof that the N sin is a rube, a giant strawman.
Now, once you realize that, why in hell should we even notice them or their supposed offending ?
Yet another reason for me to be a racist.
"Obama has spoken thoughtfully and frequently about the racial inequities and social divisions that continue to plague our imperfect society."
Obama has said that arguably the best economic development plan for black America is to convince them to stop throwing trash out of their car windows. It's true. He said that. Obama has said that black people can help solve their generational ills by putting away the Popeyes chicken. This is thoughtfulness in discussing America's racial inequalities and social divisions? No, no, no. These are things that white people say about black people when they think blacks aren't listening. These arguments rest on the worst stereotypes of black Americans. These are racist arguments.
Obama talks down to black people because he is talking over them to the larger white audience. He is saying what white people think but can't say in mixed company. Obama is a tool of the white establishment. Nothing could be more obvious than this. In fact, he is a tool of the new centrism, which is well to the right of progressive democratic politics. Review the facts. He voted for FISA which guts the Fourth Amendment. He supports restrictions on abortion. He supports executing those convicted of crimes in which murder did not result. He agrees with the NRA's interpretation of the Second Amendment. He plans to expand Bush's faith-based program. He should be running on the ticket of the other party.
My analysis sounds smart because it is. I have the guy pegged because my analysis of racism in America is state-of-the-art. The liberal left has been hoodwinked.
For the record, I was never mesmerized by the guy. Obama is a personality cult. Left liberals have jettisoned their principles to fit with the Dear Leader's proclamations. It's an embarrassment for left-liberalism and progressive democratic politics. You guys look just like the Bush zombies after 9-11 over at Jesus Camp. Obama is your messiah.
I don't know, but I think this is another indication that the worm is starting to turn on NObama. At least I hope so.
In a 'sixties article in "Life" Jackson said he would spit in white people's food when he worked in a fast food place. Yah, he was there when Martin Luther King was murdered. And he wanted that presence stressed so much that he wore a shirt with King's blood on it for 3 days. And don't forget when he took his mistress on a tour of the Clinton White House, while he was giving Horny Bill much publicized "spiritual counsel" after the Monica staining.
Why does anyone give this chump air time? He's a frickin' sham, a clown, a withered up old douchebag.
And yes, the word "nigger" is the most overrated strawman today. How much tax$$ and payoffs have we blown due to this stupid two-syllable word? Too much methinx. I think it's retarded when blacks use it - they say it's a form of endearment yet they use it heavily before they down in a fight as well - the whole situation is a load of crap. Whites ought to no better then to use it in front of or toward blacks in a joking or friendly manner because it's tacky & will never come out right.
It's because all wars have two front. The second being the Home Front. While the military culture will address PR in their training at CGSC or the War College, they don't organize for, fund, or fight on that front. Just like the Air Force senior leaderships blind pursuit of more Raptors, the military pursues what it feels comfortable and familiar with rather than fight the war they have. They refuse to acknowledge that MSM is in fact allied with the enemy and that they have to fight that fight. The whole episode of the military blogs and the leaderships response to it demonstrated beyond any question they do not grasp how to take it the enemy. Here they were given a technological weapon to leverage against their opponent and instead of embracing it and exploiting it, they turned around and sought to crippled it. It's one of the problems of 'professionalism' in that it can narrow the focus at the expense of the overall objective. Vietnam should have taught them that you can win all the battles and still lose the war. Never do they cross the line to ask why fight the war you do not intend to win if winning it means having to operate outside of that focus.
The trainees, especially those whod actually been to the wars, complained bitterly about the lack of realism there, crowding around my Humvee at one point to tick off their grievances. The injectsIEDs and sniperswere more typical of Iraq than Afghanistan, they said, where youre more likely to encounter rocket fire from a distance.
The some elements of the 'Iraq' training are still applicable. Which is why (without going into detail), some deploying Marine units are getting training for both environments.
Events in South Waziristan, the largest of the tribal agencies, are particularly worrying. Last month the Pakistani army invited journalists on a rare visit to the area to see how it had dealt with the tribal redoubt of Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Tehrik-i-Taliban, the umbrella group of the Pakistani Taliban. In January the army told some 200,000 people to leave their homes before sweeping through with attack helicopters, artillery and tanks.
A few days after the journalists' visit, Mr Mehsud summoned them back to the region to demonstrate that he remained in charge.
The Taliban leader, surrounded by hundreds of long-haired fighters, said he would not agree to stop cross-border attacks: "Islam does not recognise frontiers and borders."
The Taliban leader, surrounded by hundreds of long-haired fighters, denied accusations that he had ordered the killing of Ms Bhutto, blaming Mr Musharraf instead. He said he would not agree to stop cross-border attacks: "Islam does not recognise frontiers and borders."
Pakistan's prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, insists that his new civilian government must be left to deal with extremism in its own way. He says the government will fight terrorists vigorously, but has to regain the support of a sceptical public. The tribal areas need to be integrated into the rest of the country both politically and economically in order to isolate extremists. Peace deals have already been signed in the "settled" areas of NWFP, but Mr Gilani insists that "no talks will be held with anyone refusing to lay down arms."
All this sounds very similar to what the Americans are trying to do across the border in Afghanistan, yet they are not reassured. It is the army, not the government, that is in charge of the talks, and the Americans fear that it will surrender control to the Taliban and al-Qaeda, as it has done in the past. And the talks will do nothing to improve matters in Baluchistan, the seat of the main body of Taliban leaders known as the "Quetta Shura", that runs the most intense front of the insurgency in the southern provinces of Kandahar and Helmand, apparently untroubled by the Pakistani authorities.
America would like to see Pakistan adopt some of its counter-insurgency methods to strengthen its grip on the tribal areas, and is offering about $750m over five years for social and economic development in FATA.
But the Pakistani army seems reluctant to change its thinking. Having lost about 1,000 soldiers since 2001 and had 250 of its soldiers captured by Mr Mehsud's fighters, it is tired and demoralised.
But the Pakistani army seems reluctant to change its thinking. Having lost about 1,000 soldiers since 2001 and had 250 of its soldiers captured by Mr Mehsud's fighters, it is tired and demoralised. NATO says the number of cross-border infiltrations has risen sharply this year.
One bit of hopeful news was the rout of Islamist parties in NWFP in the recent election, where the winner was the secular Pushtun nationalist party, the Awami National Party, which opposes the militants. But the provincial capital, Peshawar, is surrounded by armed groups, prompting a paramilitary operation to stop the city falling into their hands. The province's chief minister, Ameer Haider Hoti, claims that past Pakistani governments had built up armed factions as a tool of foreign policy. Now, he says, "this monster was created, and nobody knows how to handle it."
This article starring:
Ameer Haider Hoti
Awami National Party
Yousaf Raza Gilani
Posted by: Fred ||
07/18/2008 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Taliban
A VITAL lesson Israeli strategists must draw from this nauseating display of perverted unity: Lebanon and Hizbullah are one. If, heaven forbid, there is another war, the IDF must wage it with ferocity - not on Hizbullah's terms, but across the Lebanese battlefield.
... Salafi-takfiri jihadists cannot build political alliances; they regard even Hamas and Hizbullah, Israel's main foes, as corrupted by politics. And once they start to spill blood, they become ever more indiscriminate: first they attack the "apostate" rulers or their foreign backers, then the ministers, then the security forces, then the civil servants, then anybody who objects to the violence, and so on. Those who recoil at the carnage, or object to the religious strictures imposed at gunpoint, are treated as apostates. At some point, though, local populations turn against their supposed champions.
This cycle of escalation and rejection was demonstrated in Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and, most recently, Iraq. Peter Bergen, the author of several books on Osama bin Laden, suggests that al-Qaeda, in turn, is starting to unravel. "Self-destruction is encoded in the DNA of groups like al-Qaeda," he says.
A Pew Global Attitudes survey last year found that support for Mr bin Laden and suicide-bombings had dropped across a number of Muslim countries. More importantly, even radical ideologues have become critical. Salman al-Oadah, a Saudi sheikh once jailed by the Saudi authorities and admired by Mr bin Laden, last year made a televised appeal for the al-Qaeda leader to change his violent ways.
Another blow was delivered from an Egyptian jail by Sayyid Imam al-Sharif, better known as Dr Fadl, one of al-Qaeda's founders in 1988 and a former leader of Mr Zawahiri's movement, al-Jihad. He had developed much of al-Qaeda's ideology, but at the end of last year he came up with a sweeping revision. "There is nothing that invokes the anger of God and His wrath like the unwarranted spilling of blood and wrecking of property," he wrote.
Jihad had to be authorised by a qualified imam or sheikh, he said, not the "heroes of the internet". He approved of jihad in Afghanistan and had mixed feelings about Iraq. But the September 11th attacks, he thought, were "a catastrophe for Muslims...What good is it if you destroy one of your enemy's buildings and he destroys one of your countries?"
Perhaps in response to such criticism, al-Qaeda's propaganda has gone into overdrive. Mr Zawahiri wrote a rebuttal of nearly 200 pages accusing Dr Fadl of seeking American-style "Islam without jihad". The reclusive Mr bin Laden has become more active, delivering four audio speeches this year, mostly on the crowd-pleasing theme of Palestine.
Al-Qaeda may have thought that, by goading America into invading Muslim lands, it would engineer a popular jihad against the "far" enemy. In part it succeeded. But it also discovered that fighting in Muslim lands means having to deal with a growing number of "near" enemies, be they fragile new governments, rival religious sects or tribes that have become fed up with the extremists.
Do al-Qaeda's setbacks answer Donald Rumsfeld's question about whether America is winning or losing the "war on terror"? Not really. The best that can be said is that America has stopped losing but is not yet winning it.
Posted by: Fred ||
07/18/2008 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.