Al-Qaeda's Idea of Hope and Change

So al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri has given Barack Obama what Hot Air blogger Ed Morrissey calls "the Belafonte treatment," condemning the president-elect -- along Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice -- with what the media calls a "racially-charged epithet." Depending on which translation you believe, Zawahiri either called Obama a "house-slave," or used an even more "charged" phrase -- the same insult Harry Belafonte and fellow black activists have hurled at Powell, Rice, and other African Americans who have the temerity to become prominent Republicans. Zawahiri -- apparently channelling Jesse Jackson as well as Belafonte -- also compared Obama unfavorably to black radical figures such as Malcolm X.

Zawahiri's outburst must have come as a shock to the more deluded Obama supporters (as opposed to the regularly deluded ones), who apparently thought al-Qaeda and the Taliban would be lining up along Pennsylvania Avenue on January 20 to lay down their weapons at Obama's feet before rolling over to let him rub their tummies and joining the crowds in a teary rendition of Obama's Gonna Change It. But if the more imaginative liberal pundits are to be believed, Zawahiri's anger is perfectly understandable.

As they would have it, al-Qaeda wanted John McCain to win the election because he would perpetuate and perhaps intensify the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere that are the jihadists' raison d'être. Obama, on the other hand, would reach out to Muslims and Arabs and make right the injustices inflicted on them by the U.S., thereby depriving al-Qaeda of the recruits it needs to sustain its worldwide campaign of terror.

This line of thinking has spawned an entire canon of liberal journalism, of which this Washington Post column by David Ignatius is typical. Ignatius argues that "Obama makes the jihadists nervous because he is an appealing new face whose ascension undermines the belief that Islam and the West are locked in an inescapable clash of civilizations."

Ignatius also claims Obama would thwart the jihadists' plan of "drawing America ever deeper onto the battlefields of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan." Apparently he's unaware that America is currently well-placed to begin withdrawing from the battlefields of Iraq, and is doing a pretty good job of knocking off al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders in Pakistan's tribal areas from afar. And he must not be familiar with Obama's much-vaunted threat to invade Pakistan if necessary to take on the terrorists.