soon and very soon

Thursday, January 19, 2006

More on UBL Tape...

So apparently UBL says new attacks on American targets are in the works, but also that he is offering some kind of "truce".

First, Al-Qa'eda is preparing new attacks and know that they have time on their side. All they have to do in Iraq and Afghanistan is make both fronts unpopular enough for American's to tire of our mission home and cry to "bring the troops home". Needless to say this would be disastrous, ala Vietnam and Beirut. Also, Muslim terrorists are extremely patient in plotting revenge, and the result is often times a very organized attack that is extremely bloody. It is almost considered virtuous to patiently plot your revenge and the longer you wait, the sweeter it is. The best example of this is the time difference in between the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 and 9-11.

Second, if UBL really is offering a "truce" it's very important which word he's using in Arabic. If he's using the word "hudna" (هدنة), the word has great significance in Islam. For instance, you might remember Yasser Arafat calling for a hudna with Israel in late 2003. Well the only reason a Muslim calls a hudna is because he is getting beat.

A hudna is a temporary ceasefire you coordinate with an enemy in order to stock-pile weapons, improve your strategy, and muster youstrength so that when the hudna is over, you are at a strategic advantage over your adversary. A hudna may last 10 days, 10 months, or 10 years, until the Muslim side has improved their position to the point where they feel they can successfully launch a new attack and vanquish the enemy. In other words, a hudna is not a "ceasefire".

According to Umdat as-Salik, a medieval summary of Shafi'i jurisprudence, hudnas with a non-Muslim enemy should be limited to 10 years.

A particularly famous early hudna was the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah between Muhammad and the Quraysh tribe. Over the following two years, Muhammad rearmed and took advantage of a minor Quraysh infraction to break the hudna, slaughtering the Quraysh, and launch the full conquest of Mecca, the holiest city in Islam.

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