That’s what the tide of revolt in the Arab world signifies, at least according to Scott Shane’s news analysis in today’s NYT:
For many specialists on terrorism and the Middle East, though not all,
the past few weeks have the makings of an epochal disaster for Al Qaeda,
making the jihadists look like ineffectual bystanders to history while
offering young Muslims an appealing alternative to terrorism.
That could of course be wishful thinking, and Shane provides himself with plenty of wiggle room by quoting hopeful Islamists and contrarian experts. But if his thesis is right, then the only operatives more distressed than Al Qaeda’s will be the Republican Party’s. For how are you going to be able to sharpen Muslim terror and shariah law into the Great Wedge of the 2012 election cycle when the jihadis are yesterday’s news in the Dar al Islam?