Wanna play armchair strategist in the Middle East? C’mon, everyone’s doing it. Digby
is the go-to guy for “dark speculation”. I agree with that enough to put Billmon into my blogroll in the right-hand column, though I hasten to add that I’m far from an expert on these matters. It seems like alliances are shifting rapidly: the Sunnis in Iraq suddenly want Americans to stay, Saudi Arabia and other Sunni governments are telling Shiite Hezbollah that it was too provocative, everyone wonders whether the Sunni-Shiite conflict will supercede the Muslim-Israeli conflict or vice-versa, and everyone wonders how much the United States will treat Israel’s enemies as its own. (I hope we let Israel fight its own wars, barring some existential threat.) The question Billmon asks is: Where is Al Qaeda in all of this Middle Eastern turmoil?
The bottom line is that like any fading rock group, Al Qaeda badly needs a hit to avoid being permanently supplanted in the public eye by its Shi'a rival, which is setting the charts ablaze, so to speak. If the original band or its various spin offs have any ambitious projects on the drawing boards, now might be the opportune time to put them into production. Which means it's at least possible that the silent party won't remain silent much longer.