February 14, 2007

Al Qaeda: Laying it bare...

Quico says: Imagine you are an enemy of the United States. I don't mean a rhetorical, fancy-speech giving, UN-podium hoggin', radical-chic faux-enemy, I mean a real enemy. A no-kidding, bullets-whizzing-around, bombs-going-off enemy of the United States. Imagine your beef with the gringos isn't primarily rhetorical, but military and strategic. Imagine your goal is to cripple the United States' capacity to project power over distance. If that's where your coming from, what would you do?

Today, Al Qaeda gave an answer you'd be hard pressed to disagree with: hit their oil supply, worldwide. US empire is a machine that runs on oil; if you want to degrade it, you hit it at source. Al Qaeda understands that, objectively speaking, supplying the US with oil makes you an ally of the United States. No amount of overheated rhetoric can change that.

And so, irony of ironies, Al Qaeda calls for attacks on Venezuelan oil installations. The gringos' real enemies want to attack their imaginary enemies. Will wonders never cease?

In the end, it's not surprising. Chávez's rhetorical endless antigringo bloviations are sustainable only because the confrontation is fake. Were it anything other than a monumental sham, a smokescreen to conceal his drive for ever more power over Venezuelan society, it would be suicidal to continue selling his biggest enemy precisely the commodity it needs to sustain its capacity to attack him. Sottovoce, though, the gringos are wise to the game: it may disconfit them to be constantly scapegoated, but they know as well as Chávez does that Venezuela is a key American ally, still. When all is said, nothing is done: the oil is still flowing, and a bit of vaudeville on the side is a small price to pay for that.

Duplicity of this type is not for Al Qaeda. They're in a real war with the US, with real bombs and real bullets and real cassualties all around. Real wars have a way of focusing minds. Al Qaeda knows which countries, objectively speaking, are enabling the US's military efforts against them. And you can't fault their strategic vision in calling for strikes against those countries. There's no room for bullshit when you're in a serious fight. And there's no room for seriousness when you're in a bullshit fight...