I imagine right now that bin Laden and his mentor Aiman Al-Zawahiri are offering up many thanks in their prayers that Bush/Cheney has done so much for them by helping them to restructure the hierarchy of Al Qaeda in such a way as to keep them on stage in Iraq, and by extension, in the world at large.
After all, it was the Bush/Cheney machine that developed the chief villain position of “Al Qaeda in Iraq” and attached that job description almost by osmosis, (osmosis sometimes closely resembling a relentless media propaganda and disinformation campaign), to the hapless and probably unsuspecting thuggish sociopath Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.
And now, even with Zarqawi dead, the position lives on, and one can’t help but expect that, because of all the magnified glory attached to a job so thoroughly exaggerated in importance and demonized by the US, there will be literally millions of eager weaponized ignorati rushing in to assume the deadly duties that go with that job.
And so Al Qaeda gets to live on as an entity of vastly exaggerated importance in a violent arena where they represent barely 5% of the problem, (and are not even part of the central problem at that). Meanwhile the sectarian and power-hungry-based civil war in Iraq escalates, drawing less focused attention upon itself because of all the false emphasis being put on the Al Qaeda construct devised by BushCo and it’s minions in the Western media. And most important of all, all this leads to a continuation of, and intensification of, the conflict in the region, the perpetuation of which suits the real BushCo agenda perfectly, since more destabilization and more violence remain necessary conditions for legitimizing their real goal of maintaining a permanent militarized presence in the region for the foreseeable future, in order to gain domination throughout the region and control of the energy reserves there.
The demonic brilliance of the Cheney/ Neocon strategy in this is clear. They managed to create and empower a tremendous “identity” that served to define an active connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda and then used their own fictitious invention to legitimize their insane assault on that country after the fact. And now that the job of “Being Zarqawi” exists, it will continue to exist with one rage filled, ambitious, hapless nut after another filling it’s shoes.
Even the Romans in Gaul under Gaius Julius couldn’t have devised a more clever pretext for extending their war and masking their desire for ultimate conquest from those they sought to conquer. But lest anyone think I intend any praise here, please be reminded that Caesar himself was not long for this earth after his campaigns in Gaul, and that ultimately those conquests wound up stretching the empire so thin right from the start that the irreversible decline of the Roman Empire itself ultimately began as a result of the increasing strain a scant couple of hundred years later.
I suspect that if the future Caesar Julius had decided not to capture Vercingetorix and not assert dominion over the entire region of Gaul and beyond with such imperial brutality, such hegemonic totality, both his own fate and that of Rome and Europe might have been vastly better in the long run. And in the spirit of this speculation on ancient ambitions, I suspect that the rise of the neocons and their invasion of Iraq will be seen by future historians, (if, of course, there are any historians in our human future), as the proximate cause of the end of the American Empire.