Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Is this the Ramadan Offensive?

There have been hints that there would be terror attacks coming, from various sources: British intelligence said the "sky was dark" while the Aussies issued terror warnings, warnings about terrorism in France, and there were rumblings about terror in the SouthEast Asian area. Well, it looks like all of them were pretty much on target.

First, there was the bombings in India, by Kashmiri separatists and Islamic Militants( Then there was the (still) ongoing riots in France, which are being seen more and more as organized actions, rather than mindless rampages (does anyone really need me to link this?). On top of that, there were the terror arrests in Britain ( and Australia (, ). And on top of that, there's the still unfolding situation of terror bombings in Western Hotels in Amman, Jordan.

Is this the so-called Ramadan offensive that's been prophecised? I say so-called, because I don't even know if there really WAS a Ramadan offensive in the planning- all these actions could well have absolutely no ties to one another. But if this is what's been in the planning, in some instances you can see it as a stalemate, and in other ways, you can see it as a wash. That isn't to make light of any of it- the bombings in Jordan are serious business, as is the terror arrests in Australia. And France is a topic in and of itself. But the terror arrests alone signify a key weakness in planning for the terrorists: they rely too heavily upon foriegn nations to have lax security in order for them to strike. That doesn't meant that there isn't lax security in Australia, Britain, or Jordan (or even France)- but it does mean that whenever there is an increased presense in police and security detail, the chances of the terrorists to pull anything off are dramatically reduced.

And if this is the Ramadan Offensive, it may well be a sea change in how Al Quaeda and their sister organizations are operating. In short, it may well be a case of "get our forces the hell out of Iraq and focus elsewhere" since they clearly are not winning in Iraq. And that focus may well be to hit non-American western allies, and probably to focus more on Europe and other middle eastern targets (not named Israel, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Iran). The arrests in Britain, Australia, and the riot offensive in France all point to this. And the Jordanian action could well be tied in primarily for it's timing- and of who they targeted (western hotels).

And that brings me to asking a simple question. What have the terrorists achieved in their "offensive"? In Britain and Australia, absolutely nothing, since parts of their organizations were captured. And in the case of Jordan, the bombings will probably have the effect of pulling the government more towards the Westerm anti-terrorist position. And as for France, that's the wild card- will the French ultimately cave into the demands of the muslim and immigrant population? Or will they take action against the rioters and their supporters? If they cave into the violence, they'll come off not only as politically neutered on the international stage, but they'll be politically paralyzed internally. And otherwise, alot of this is left up to the responses of the western nations (and I think Jordan's response will be tough, and in any respect, they think more like a western country [overall] than a middle eastern country). France's should be obvious; they're just waffling the whole thing, trying to politically sweep it under the rug, like they always do. And in Australia and Great Britain, their responses, as swift and dramatic as they are, must come as a huge shock (but that's the risks they run).


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