Today, IWF’s International Guru Yasmine Rassam has an article on about the recent attacks on Al-Qaeda in Somalia.  Yasmine thinks the events in Somalia remind of us of certain lessons we should have learned by now:

“Lesson 1. The enemy in Iraq, like that in Afghanistan, in Europe, in America, or the Philippines, is the same. It may not share the same structure or leadership, but its nature doesn’t vary much.

“Lesson 2. Retreating in the face of that enemy is construed by it as weakness on our part — a weakness that was tested in 9/11, in London, in Madrid, and before, in Nairobi and Dar Essalam.

“Lesson 3. Our enemy’s motivation is a hatred of modernism and a romantic, if perverted, notion of a return to a glorious past that exists only in their imagination. It has been a constant theme since the first manifestos of Al-Qaeda declared war on the ‘Crusaders, Jews, and Nonbelievers.’ The ideology has been laid clearly since then 1990s: Islam (an auto-invented version at least) must take over, and they, the leaders of Al-Qaeda, are the princes (emirs) and Islam’s advance guards. Even the fiction that is used by some — that the Palestinian cause is their primary motivation and that if we settle the Israeli/Palestinian issue, all will be kosher, does not withstand real scrutiny. Al-Qaeda has never operated in Palestine or in Israel. Some might attribute that to the efficiency of Israeli security but that is not enough when you consider the numbers of potential recruits among Palestinians.

“Lesson 4. Against such an enemy, globalized, young, and savvy in the ways of Western technology, relentless pressure must be brought upon that enemy: military, political, propagandistic, economic, educational, and moral.

“Lesson 5. The symbiotic nature of the enemy in Iraq in particular is worth emphasizing. Until recently most of the suicide attacks and beheadings in Iraq were committed by Al-Qaeda operatives recruited the world over by efficient networks working in broad daylight. The overall strategy of the fight against the Americans and the incipient Iraqi democracy on the other hand is mostly the work of the Saddamist remnants. The two groups worked in tandem but separating them now may be possible depending on the degree of pressure that each group is able to withstand before crying uncle. Similarly in Somalia, Al-Qaeda groups have allied themselves tactically with the Islamic Courts and the militias but once Ethiopian and Western pressure was brought to bear on them, each side tried to hightail it separately to safety as fast as they could.”

Read Yasmine’s article here.