A Stunning Defeat for al Qaeda?

If it is true that Hosni Mubarak is stepping down, the people of Egypt will have rejected the al Qaeda argument that there is only one way to defeat autocracy in the Arab world. Remember Bin Laden's notion: Attacks on the U.S., the far enemy, are meant to weaken the close enemy, the regimes that rule most Arab countries. The people of Egypt are traveling a different path. They did not gather in Tahrir Square to blow themselves up, or to kill other innocents. They protested peacefully, and they may have achieved an historic victory. It will be a provisional victory, to be sure, but it is a victory for peaceful change. And peaceful change is what Osama bin Laden dreads.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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