Here is an article I just read that made me think of different conversations many of my friends and I have had in the last 4 years. I think it is appropriate to bring up because of the 4th anniversary of the Sept 11th attacks. Why have the Al Qaeda rejects not struck again and why did they not follow up quickly after Sept 11th to truly push us over the edge?
I would say that Al Qaeda has not struck the US since because of the blows we have dealt them by destroying their training infrastructure in Afganistan, eliminating most of their senior leadership, and increasing police/intelligence cooperation around the world after the Sept 11th attacks. I also buy into the flypaper theory, and that Iraq has created a battlefield that Al Qaeda finds too attractive to not participate in fully. In Iraq, they can infict a 'mighty wound in the Great Satan' if they win on Allah's home turf. It would be a great propaganda item for them if they win, which it does not look like they are doing despite the MSM's best efforts to portray it as such.
I also have a very strong feeling that Al Qaeda is patient and will select their target & work over a long time horizon. I'll be honest, I thought the other shoe would drop in the 2002 winter Olympics in Salt Lake City; I was nervous that whole fortnight. I thought the other shoe would drop on the 1st anniversary...the beginning of the invasion of Iraq...the Afgani elections...the 2004 US election...and so on. It has not dropped yet. I think Al Qaeda is thinking long and hard about their next target, and I feel the article I cited in the beginning of this post also explains this lack of follow up attacks.
They do not attack for military reasons, only political reasons. Reasons with a clear message that make a strogn statement to the world and to their fellow Arabs. Why attack two giant towers in NYC rather than bomb 50 Walmarts across America? The twin towers collapsing is a flashier image...a stronger image = destroy the capitalist Great Satan nation. A nationwide Walmart bombfest would be more effective in instilling fear across the whole nation, would use less resources, and involve piercing fewer security measures (Walmart Greeters vs. airline security) If bar patrons in my home state can imagine this, why has Al Qaeda not?
They do not want a military conflict yet (but they got one)....they want to turn all of their "young brothers" to their side so they can overthrow Muslim governments and establish a caliphate. I seriously believe they did not anticipate the response from Bush & Co; they thought a Clintonesque response would come their way. They need a message to turn their young brothers and get the ball rolling so they can rule their home turf and then expand from there. Read the training manual for Al Qaeda. It reads like a "welcome to the lil orphan annie secret society" or a comic book club newsletter. There are propaganda stories to stress certain points, and most of the instruction is common sense if you do not want to incite curiosity. I think they are trying hard now to show that they can beat the US (the West), show that Allah is with them, and show that Muslims can unite.
After all, if they really wanted a fight and to take it to us, wouldn't 25 Muslims pushing carts full of explosives into random Walmarts be horrible? Of course, an Arab walking around Maine, Arkansas, or Montana might stick out. I hope, as do all Americans, that specific scenario and other disasters like 9/11 never happen to America again, but it's only hope.