Engaging Al Qaeda on the Political Front

I’d like to know what the debate within the White House has been because I’m not at all sure what to think on this one. Directly rebutting arguments from bin Laden and al-Zawahiri? Winning the broader WOT will ultimately require a successful political program, but is this a winning strategy? Is this targeting the larger war, or only that in Iraq? Who’s the target audience?

Thoughts? :idunno: :ponder:

[quote=“NYC”]After an extensive debate inside the White House, Mr. Bush has begun directly rebutting the arguments laid out in manifestos and missives from Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, Mr. bin Laden’s top aide.

He did so again on Saturday, quoting from one of Mr. Zawahiri’s purported letters - one whose authenticity is still the subject of some question - which predicted that the Iraq war would end as Vietnam had, and that, in Mr. Bush’s words, “America can be made to run again.” The president argued anew that the terrorist leader was “gravely mistaken.”

“There’s always the question of whether we give these guys more credibility by directly addressing their arguments,” one of Mr. Bush’s most senior aides said recently. “But the president was concerned that we hadn’t described Iraq to the American people for what it is - a struggle of ideologies that isn’t going to end with one election, or one constitution, or even a string of elections.”[/quote]

It’s better if the White House says nothing. There’s no way you can package the message that “we’re going to occupy your countries, interfere in your governments and take your land in the name of our religion” without either making a fool of yourself or insulting your target audience.

If that’s the path you’re going down, the best solution is to just get it over with as quickly as possible.