Hitchens agrees with me when it comes to Osama's last speech
I said that his truce offer was a sign that he is losing, especially that it is the second offer of the kind so far ( the first truce offer was given to the europeans, remember that?). Hitchens seems to agree with me that there is desperation in Osama's voice. And he has a theory on why that is: This comes in the context of a reported and believable split within al-Qaida's own ranks. There doesn't seem much reason to doubt the authenticity of Zawahiri's letter to Zarqawi in Iraq, raising doubts about his strategy of poisoning Iraqi society by targeting the Shiites. Heretics they may be, says Zawahiri, but are you sure that blowing up mosques and mausoleums is the right way to go? Add to this the number of home-grown Iraqi "insurgents" who are turning their guns on Zarquawi's gangsters, and you have a real crisis for the bearded nutbag whose very name used to terrify even some of the stoutest in the West.
I have been attacked for callousness and worse for saying that Bin Laden did us a favor on 9/11, but I am increasingly sure I was right. Until that date, he partially owned Afghanistan and his supporters were moving steadily toward the Talibanization of Pakistan as well. There were al-Qaida sympathizers within the Pakistani intelligence services, armed forces, and nuclear establishment (which then included the A.Q. Khan network). There was also an active Saudi support system, consisting mainly of vast tranches of money, for jihadism worldwide. Now, Afghanistan is lost to Bin Laden and Pakistan has had, at least officially, to modify its behavior considerably. The A.Q. Khan network has been shut down. The Saudi ruling class identifies its state interest with a repudiation of al-Qaida, inside and outside its own borders. And the one remaining regime that openly preached holy war and helped train jihadist forces like the "Fedayeen Saddam"—the pseudo-secular terror state in Iraq—has been irretrievably smashed. Wherever Bin Laden is now, it cannot be where he wanted or hoped to be four and a half years ago.As I said before, shouldn't be long now!