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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 9, 2004 / 16 Adar, 5764

Capturing Osama

By Daniel Pipes


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http://www.jewishworldreview.com | Osama bin Laden's capture or death, the focus of renewed U.S. military attention, would greatly help the war on terror — but not in the way you might expect.


It would not do that much to prevent jihadist violence.


True, in some cases, seizing a terrorist leader leads directly to a reduction in threat or even to the decomposition of his organization. Consider these examples:

  • Abimael Guzman, head of the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) gang in Peru, was captured in 1992 and his Maoist organization went into a tailspin, ending its threat to overturn the government. A rump force in turn continued to fight until its leader, Oscar Ramirez Durand, was captured in 1999.

  • Abdullah Ícalan, leader of the Partiya Karkaren Kurdistan (Worker's Party of Kurdistan) or PKK in Turkey, was captured in 1999 and his Maoist organization immediately deteriorated. When Ícalan called from captivity for the PKK to renounce its war against the Turkish state, it effectively did so.


  • Saddam Hussein, former dictator of Iraq, was captured in December 2003, and the terrorist insurgency he headed over the previous eight months shuddered to an end. (In contrast, militant Islamic violence continued unabated.)


    Terrorist specialist Michael Radu points out that the same pattern also held with the capture of leaders of smaller terrorist groups, including Andreas Baader of Germany's Rote Armee (Red Army) and Shoko Asahara of Japan's Aum Shinrikyo. A similar steep decline, Radu notes, will likely recur should Velupillai Prabhakaran of Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) be captured or killed.


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In all these cases, the leaders offer characteristics — charisma, power, ruthlessness — critical to their organizations. If no other figure can replace these strengths, then rivalries, incoherence, and decline result.

But bin Laden's elimination in several ways would not fit this pattern.

  • Being only one of his organization's key figures, his disappearance will not devastate Al-Qaeda.

  • Al-Qaeda is more "an ideology, an agenda and a way of seeing the world" (writes Jason Burke, author of Al-Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror) than an operating terrorist force.

  • And Al-Qaeda being just one of many jihadist organizations around the world, its decline would do little to abate the wave of militant Islamic violence in such places as Algeria, Egypt, the Palestinian territories, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Bangladesh, and the Philippines.


While Bin Laden personally symbolizes militant Islam and his continued ability to elude coalition force inspires his Islamist followers, his capture or execution would have a mainly psychological impact by demoralizing those followers. His elimination would certainly be a blow to his movement, but one it could readily recover from it. "His capture won't end terrorism's danger," Robert Andrews rightly noted in a recent USA Today article.


Ending terrorism requires more than targeting terrorists, their leaders, or their organizations. It requires recognizing and defeating the body of ideas known as militant Islam or Islamism. The war cannot be won until politicians and others focus on this ideology rather than on terrorism, which is merely its manifestation.


This said, bin Laden's capture or death could indeed have a major beneficial impact on the war on terror — by helping to re-elect President Bush against his presumptive Democratic opponent. Who wins the forthcoming presidential election will deeply affect the future conduct of the global war on terror. To adopt Fred Barnes' formulation in The Weekly Standard, "George W. Bush is a September 12 person. John Kerry is a September 10 person."


Just as Saddam Hussein's capture in December helped to end Howard Dean's candidacy for president of the United States, so bin Laden's capture might harm Kerry's.


That's because Kerry has lashed out at the way the war on terror is conducted, blaming Bush for everything from faulty tactics (allowing bin Laden to escape near capture in Tora Bora), to poor strategy ("only an ad hoc strategy to keep our enemies at bay"), to an overall failed policy ("the most arrogant, inept, reckless and ideological foreign policy in modern history"). Kerry goes so far as to claim that the United States is worse off now than on September 11, 2001.


Such over-the-top criticisms render Kerry vulnerable should bin Laden actually be caught or killed. Which makes catching or killing bin Laden truly an urgent war imperative.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and the author of several books, most recently Militant Islam Reaches America. Comment by clicking here.

© 2004, Daniel Pipes