POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE GUARDIAN
Al Qaeda has given up professionalism?
This piece is pure silliness posing as analysis.
Boxcutters as weapons aboard airliners were a sign of professionalism? For that is just what the 9/11 bunch had.
And I would like to know where anyone has even proved that something called al Qaeda was responsible for 9/11?
The newspapers endlessly repeating it doesn't make it so.
With intelligence services tracking every phone call and e-mail, it really is hard to see how such an organization, if it existed, could be organizing anything.
Aren't all these events really the efforts of disgruntled, angry individuals, perhaps identifying with a vaguely defined cause?
We hear of announcements from al Qaeda Internet sites, but no one seems to wonder why the American NSA wouldn't track down such a site in hours and have special forces attack the operators.
I think 'al Qaeda' is a convenience or short-hand term for a pool of discontent, much of it based on people's legitimate resentments against Western interference.
It's much easier to scare people and motivate them if there's a secret organization at work.
Again, I don't doubt there's lots of angry people ready to inflict harm over their grievances, but I've yet to see anything convincing that al Qaeda is an actual operating organization.
In fact, one scholar I read said the meaning of the word 'al Qaeda' - it apparently can mean 'toilet' - is such that no organization would choose it for a name.