All told, this week has produced a surplus of bad news on several fronts. Here are just a few items.
Most U.S. politicians have for so long shilled on behalf of Israel’s ahistorical and deceitful contention that a nation has a “right to exist” that it probably was inevitable they would come to believe the lie themselves. As noted here previously, every country has the right to defend itself according to its own best lights, but no country has a right to exist. Existence depends on national defense capabilities and a readiness to use war as a last resort to annihilate the few entities that pose life-and-death threats; a determination to avoid cultivating enemies at home and abroad; a prosperous economy that affords opportunities for all; and a cohesive social fabric that encourages free speech and welcomes an armed citizenry. Without these attributes a nation-state eventually goes up the spout, be it Israel or the United States.
As Ayman al-Zawahiri takes charge of al-Qaeda (AQ) he faces a situation more promising than any the group has encountered since its formation near the end of the Afghan-Soviet war. Of course having such an opportunity and exploiting it are two different things, but if al-Zawahiri controls his personal abrasiveness, limits his micro-managing tendencies, and works with his Shura Council to pick a talented deputy from al-Qaeda’s coming generation — best bets: Abu Yaha al-Libi and Naseer al-Wayhashi — the future for al-Qaeda, its allies, and those they inspire is bright. Here are some of the reasons for this conclusion.
Two simple truisms seem appropriate these days when discussing the Afghan war: “If you don’t understand your enemy, you will lose to him” and “If you do not kill your enemies, they will surely kill you.” U.S. political, military, and civil service leaders have neither tried to understand what motivates the Taliban and its allies nor have they tried to comprehensively kill them. As a result, they now stand at the inevitable destination — the brink of a vastly humiliating defeat that cannot be disguised.
In the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death, it is of first importance to confront the reality that al-Qaeda is an insurgent organization, not a terrorist group. This is not a mere semantic difference.
While some in the media swoon over President Obama’s “plan” for the Middle East — note the Washington Post’s piece by David Ignatius — and the Israel-First fifth column prepares to teach the Democrats a lesson in 2012, the rest of us common folk can see how irrelevant we are to the foreign-policy plans of Mr. Obama and our bipartisan political elite.
While Mrs. Clinton, General Petraeus, and Senator Kerry leak information to the media about “accelerating” peace talks with the Taliban, Mullah Omar and his lieutenants are thanking Allah for Islam’s clearly approaching victory in Afghanistan. The Clinton-Petraeus-Kerry disinformation now flowing is simply meant to prepare Americans for a U.S.-led surrender in Afghanistan. We are defeated there, and while Democrats and Republicans may tart up the retreat of the U.S.-NATO coalition as “mission accomplished,” the truth will be that the second superpower was defeated in Afghanistan by mujahideen armed only with faith and weaponry of Korean War vintage.
With Osama bin Laden’s death it seemed for a moment that the U.S. government and the media might begin to assess why al-Qaeda and the Islamist movement are larger, more geographically dispersed, and more active in the United States then they were at 9/11. Having treated bin Laden for more than decade as a celebrity rather than as the thoughtful leader and modern manager he was, his death ought to have sidelined the Entertainment-Tonight approach to bin Laden/al-Qaeda/Islamist analysis and allowed all concerned — officials, journalists and citizens — a chance to step back and ask why America’s Islamist problem continues to expand. Two weeks after bin Laden’s death, however, the chance of such a clear-headed assessment — like the so-called Arab Spring — seems to be fading. 
Since Osama bin Laden died, my Israel-First friends have returned to attacking me with gusto. Good old email@example.com — I think his name is Mark Grayson, who claims to be a brilliant and wealthy lawyer — popped up to threaten me with legal action, and someone person called Alan Reynolds (firstname.lastname@example.org) has begun sending slanderous materials about me to the media outlets I appeared on or talked to this week, starting with the Dallas Morning News. Worth noting is that Reynolds recommends that people talk to the scholar Walid Phares rather than me. Readers of this space will recall that Mr. Phares’ name also came up in the mix during the last spate of Israel-First attacks on me.
I regret being quiet for so long. (I have the nerve to presume here, perhaps wrongly, that my silence was not welcomed.) Anyway, I have posted almost all of the comments in the que and will get to the rest this weekend.