As even Jeffery Goldberg — himself a formidable, frothing fanatic of a neocon — has pointed out in a rare moment of wisdom. Meanwhile, here’s Michael Daly @ the NY Daily News. He starts by telling us about some of the firefighters he knew, and how the only one that survived is now suing to try and prevent the Cordoba project from proceeding. He goes on:
On the day it murdered Mychal and Pat and Terry and Dennis and so many others, Al Qaeda was looking to hijack more than jetliners. The killers’ ultimate goal was and is hijacking Islam itself. And to do that they need us to make them into more than what they are.
Without us elevating them into enemy combatants in a war on terror, they would be just a couple of hundred murderous losers.
Even now, after all our mistakes, after we let Bin Laden slip away in Afghanistan and lost our focus going into Iraq, Al Qaeda is still more a gang than an army.
It is still so small that its new operations chief, Adnan Shukrijumah, met personally with the knuckleheads who planned to bomb the subway last September.
When the previous operations chief, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was captured, he was not surrounded by a host of terrorists. He had nary a bodyguard when he was rousted from bed in his underwear at the house where he was hiding out like what he was, a murderer on the run.
We have since built him into a figure of such awesome evil that we are afraid to try him in downtown Manhattan like what he is, a murderer who has been caught.
We have glorified Al Qaeda in the same way, but to reach its ultimate goal, it still needs us to convince the majority of Muslims that the war on terror is really a war on Islam.
We are only helping the bad guys if we declare that the religious freedom at the core of our democracy does not apply to a mosque too close to Ground Zero.
IF WE DO NOT ALLOW AL-QA’IDA TO POSITION THIS AS A CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS THEN THEY WILL FAIL AND THEY WILL FADE INTO OBSCURITY. This is not even remotely complicated, people.