Will it be this easy?
August 15, 2005 9:59 PM   Subscribe

What al-Qaida Really Wants: An Islamic Caliphate in Seven Easy Steps. German newspaper Der Spiegel offers a look at an Islamist plan for success by 2020, courtesy of journalist Fouad Hussein, who claims close connection with al-Qaida's inner circle. But does that inner circle really call the shots anymore? And how reliable are long-term global plans, anyway? [first link via The Agonist]
posted by mediareport (29 comments total)
Well, at least they have a plan of action, easily comprehendible objectives, and, you know, what it'll take to apease them.

I wish Bush would tell us what his real motivations are, not the BS he keeps trying to lay on The Public.
Where he really wants us to be, what needs to change, and the steps necessarry to get there.

Real leadership stuff.

Winging it by the seat of your pants only cuts it for so long.
posted by Balisong at 10:06 PM on August 15, 2005

I'm glad they numbered their plan. It makes it easy for me to understand. But I'm really anxious to know what the "themes" are for the 4th and 5th phases are. They're probably still letting the creative juices flow and don't want to put out a name until they know they've got really good ones (like the others). Or maybe they just haven't heard back from Chiat Day yet or something.
posted by shoos at 10:43 PM on August 15, 2005

Balisong: If you don't wing it by the seat of your pants, YOU LET THE TERRORISTS WIN!
posted by brundlefly at 10:44 PM on August 15, 2005

I believe this will happen. All hail our Islamic Overlords!
posted by cell divide at 10:52 PM on August 15, 2005

What I don't get is that the Islamic fundamentalists lay it right on the line from the start.
They want it all. They have a plan.

Don't they know that we'll believe and follow all kinds of fundamentalist doctrine if it's disguised as something else?
If they can learn anything, it's that America is easily duped.
Maybe their arrogance will be their downfall...

(and maybe pirates on flaming sharks will fly out of my ass and battle the evil ninja Cheney ghosts that haunt me)
posted by Balisong at 11:05 PM on August 15, 2005

Pretty much in line with Iran's new President,
posted by hortense at 11:27 PM on August 15, 2005

Ohmygod. Just this morning I "awoke," "opened my eyes," and "arose and stood up."

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I think I was accidently recruited by al-Qaida.

The al-Qaida long term plans do not scare me nearly as much as the Petro-industrial plans (from the third link) do. I should complain, but, damn, I loves me some cheap oil.
posted by sourwookie at 11:34 PM on August 15, 2005

Until Al-Qaida starts using power point I am not going to worry about them.
posted by srboisvert at 3:10 AM on August 16, 2005

Interesting. They seem to have neglected the coming superpower of China, who don't tolerate a whole lot of nonsense.
posted by IndigoJones at 4:26 AM on August 16, 2005

If it's the "Islamic state" who will determine a "new world order", I'll be moving to Jupiter, thanks.
posted by dhoyt at 6:09 AM on August 16, 2005

Meh, I've always figured that letting a new Caliphate try to form is in the best interests of the free world. It'll fail miserably for the simple reason that the only thing a Shi'a fanatic hates more than The Great Satan is a Suni. And, naturally, the only thing a Suni fanatic hates more than us is a Shi'a. Any Caliphate is doomed to fall into civil war the instant its declared. Internal problems will prevent it from being any sort of threat to any other nations.
posted by sotonohito at 6:14 AM on August 16, 2005

So everyone's out for world domination. Great plan fellas.
posted by Acey at 6:23 AM on August 16, 2005

They have a plan....just like the Cylons do!!!
posted by MillMan at 7:53 AM on August 16, 2005

Falls apart when they go from "blow things up" and "provoke the West" to "set up a state." Because a state has to have soldiers and a government, and as Iraq showed, it's much easier for the US to destroy soldiers and governments than terrorists. So do they cycle round Phases 1-3 over and over until the oil runs out?
posted by alasdair at 8:00 AM on August 16, 2005

What al-Qaida Really Wants:

Renewed CIA funding and support along with US military industrial complex weaponry. Just like in the old days. And opium, don't forget the opium! They still yet reminisce about their founders and benefactors of old on long, cold winter days spent around the pipe.
posted by nofundy at 8:23 AM on August 16, 2005

Let them have the entire middle east. We have no business being there in the first place.
posted by mike3k at 8:34 AM on August 16, 2005

Wikipedia says Al Qaeda was founded by bin Laden in 1988, the timeline has the "first phase" at 2000 to 2003. Didn't they have a plan till then?
posted by TheophileEscargot at 8:38 AM on August 16, 2005

The CIA is watching this. See "fictional scenario" by "grandson of bin-Laden" at bottom of page for "New Caliphate" by 2020, including thoughts on the Sunni-Shia issue. (Text file of fictional scenario here)
posted by beagle at 8:45 AM on August 16, 2005

Three step plan:

1. Steal underpants.

2. ???

3. World domination.
posted by esquire at 8:54 AM on August 16, 2005

Islam already has a Caliph: the Imam Karim al-Husayni, also known as Aga Khan IV. They just don't acknowledge him, is all.
posted by davy at 8:55 AM on August 16, 2005

Imperial Hubris is really, really great for understanding what al-Qa'ida is after. Setting up their caliphate may not be such a big stretch, but a lot of their gusto now comes from "defensive jihad." Once there's a caliphate, though, all the rules change. You've got rules of war that need to be followed, and it becomes a regular war. At regular war, the caliphate will surely be a power to contend with, but I have no doubt the U.S.--to say nothing of China--can hold its own.

A tripartite world by 2020, divided by the U.S., the caliphate, and China? Yeah, seems reasonable enough to me.
posted by jefgodesky at 9:04 AM on August 16, 2005

Christian Science Monitor has a brief overview, "How radical Islamists see the world."

Excerpt from Imperial Hubris:
America is hated and attacked because Muslims believe they know precisely what the United States is doing in the Islamic world. They know partly because of Osama bin Laden's words, partly because of satellite television, but mostly because of the tangible reality of U.S. policies. We are at war with an al Qaeda-led, worldwide Islamic insurgency to defend those policies -- and not, as President Bush mistakenly has said, "to defend freedom and all that is good and just in the world."

Keep in mind how easy it is for Muslims to hate the six U.S. policies bin Laden repeatedly refers to as anti-Muslim:
  • U.S. support for Israel that keeps Palestinians in the Israelis' thrall.
  • U.S. and other Western troops on the Arabian Peninsula.
  • U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • U.S. support for Russia, India and China against their Muslim militants.
  • U.S. pressure on Arab energy producers to keep oil prices low.
  • U.S. support for apostate, corrupt and tyrannical Muslim governments.
Three step plan:
1. Steal underpants.
2. ???
3. World domination.

2. Charge high school kids $1 to look at them.

posted by kirkaracha at 9:55 AM on August 16, 2005

What kirkaracha said.

As with many terrorist organizations, Al Qaeda's insane tactics (murdering innocent civilians, for instance) make it easy to forget that their underlying political objectives are perfectly reasonable.

If Israel and the US were simply to abide by international law, then far fewer Arabs (if any) would be interested in suicide bombing, and Al Qaeda would be so marginalised it would likely cease to exist.

Of course, if everlasting war is what you want, then Bush's policies work fine for that. Great for arms company profits, too.
posted by cleardawn at 2:20 PM on August 16, 2005

A tripartite world by 2020, divided by the U.S., the caliphate, and China? Yeah, seems reasonable enough to me.

Your kidding? I think a caliphate by 2040 is pushing it. Hell. We can't even construct highways that fast.

No way by 2020. The US and China will blow the fuck out of that place first. AQ won't have two sticks to rub together.

Anyway. Radical Islam won't NEED a Bin Laden centered caliphate. If Iran get's nukes (which they will) then AQ and the west will have a whole other problem with which to contend. Iran will be the THE regional power and the future of that movement.
posted by tkchrist at 2:55 PM on August 16, 2005

Great for arms company profits, too.

Not true at all. You cant use Aircraft carriers or Tanks or high tech jets to fight insurgencies and terrorists. And that is what the big four Defense industries are geared to make.

The people making BANK are the service oriented contractors like Haliburton. Not arms manufacturers.
posted by tkchrist at 2:57 PM on August 16, 2005

tkchrist, watch the news. You'll see tanks and high tech jets, and even occasionally cruise missiles, attacking "insurgent targets" in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obviously, it's a stupid use of inappropriate technology, but that's what they're using. If a hammer is all you got, every problem looks like a nail.

Obviously, you're right that Halliburton are slurping up the profits, too. They're also making a loss at the moment, on paper, which suggests some truly remarkable creative accounting work.
posted by cleardawn at 3:24 PM on August 16, 2005

You'll see tanks and high tech jets, and even occasionally cruise missiles, attacking "insurgent targets" in Iraq and Afghanistan

To some degree. The Humvee and Bradley's are getting blown up and need replacement. Mostly it's ordinance fulfillment like you say with cruise missiles and artillery shells.

Rarely are jets getting shot down - if any - and no ships are being sunk. The bulk of the defense expense, besides personnel expenditures, is in the service and contractor side. The shit we are using is already bought and paid for.

Boeing and the big manufacturers are not really getting that much from this war. And don't look for any big ticket programs, besides new APV and that idiotic missile shield, getting much funding until we are out of Iraq.
posted by tkchrist at 4:19 PM on August 16, 2005

their underlying political objectives are perfectly reasonable.

A theocratic state stretching from Spain to Indonesia is reasonable?
posted by IndigoJones at 9:46 AM on August 17, 2005

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