This is why the job of “policing the world” falls to the U.S. From an article about the waning fortunes of jihadists, by Britta Sandberg in Der Spiegel:
If one imagines al-Qaida as experts have characterized it — as a system of terror franchises with branches worldwide — then there is clearly an uprising taking place among many branch managers. They are distancing themselves from the icons of terror, and from their goals and methods. So far, it apparently remains an internal process, disputes within the various groups that have been smoldering for some time and are now rising to the surface. And there is little to indicate a causal connection between this development and the United States-led war on global terrorism.
Yeah, not much at all. Just a war against al Qaeda’s main state sponsor, the Taliban, and another against sponsor and collaborator Saddam Hussein and the facts that coalition forces have killed or captured thousands of jihadists in Iraq and helped make liberty a viable option for millions of Muslims and U.S. intelligence has choked off terrorist funds globally and foiled countless terrorist plots here and overseas. None of that had a thing to do with the crumbing of the jihad. Al Qaeda’s demise is much better understood as the inevitable revolt of bank managers.
That the ideological and strategic cracks within al Qaeda are the results of pressure applied by the U.S. matters not at all to Sandberg. Consider this excerpt:
On the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, the Saudi [Sheikh Salman al-Oudah] went on the television channel MBS to publicly demand of bin Laden how many innocents had already been killed in the name of al-Qaida. Oudah also wanted to know how bin Laden planned to face the almighty with hundreds, even thousands, of innocent lives on his conscience.
Why the soul-searching on the sixth anniversary of the attacks? Why not on September 12, 2001, when bin Laden had already killed thousands of innocents? The answer is, of course, that Oudah grew sick over the thousands of innocents killed as a result of the War on Terror. Seems to me, Oudah and other Muslims are coming around to that old John Kerry nugget: “Who will be the last to die for a mistake?”