Al-Qaeda attempts to appropriate Arab Spring, Libyan revolution

We just noted how Barack Obama's celebrated speech on the Middle East two days ago was actually driven by the imperative to control the political trajectory of the Arab Spring. Now, not surprisingly, al-Qaeda attempts to do the same thing—which indicates again that imperialism and the jihad alike have been relegated to playing catch-up as the Arab masses themselves have seized the initiative. CNN informs us that an unnamed "jihadist website" posted an audio message purportedly from Ayman al-Zawahiri, presumed successor to Osama bin Laden, in which he hails the "winds of changes" in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen—but also warns of that "crusader enemies" led by the United States are attempting to colonize Libya: "NATO is not a goodwill organization—it is an aide to the hegemonic powers in this world. They aim to end the corrupt Qaddafi regime, but then install their own ideals. They want to steal Libya's resources and relics because of their greed and politics."

The statement came as NATO widened its campaign with air-strikes on desert command centers and several vessels of Qaddafi's navy off the Libyan coast. "Given the escalating use of naval assets, NATO had no choice but to take decisive action to protect the civilian population of Libya and NATO forces at sea," said Rear Admiral Russell Harding, deputy head of the alliance's operations in Libya. The Pan African Parliament, legislative body of the African Union, plans an emergency session this week to discuss what it calls NATO's "military aggression." (AP, May 22; AFP, May 19)

Former US congress member Cynthia McKinney meanwhile spoke on Libyan state TV—in what appeared to be a live interview in Tripoli—to blast her government's policy, saying the "last thing we need to do is spend money on death, destruction and war... I want to say categorically and very clearly that these policies of war...are not what the people of the United States stand for and it's not what African-Americans stand for."

Such pacifistic sentiments might have some legitimacy—if McKinney were not speaking over a propaganda organ of the Qaddafi regime, or if she at least offered some recognition that Qaddafi is also guilty of perpetrating