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.