Half an hour ago I had not heard of Dr. Fadl, but apparently he is an al-Qaeda co-founder. Remember that when al-Qaeda was founded, its primary mission was not to terrorize America, but rather to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan. Dr. Fadl doesn't approve of the course Osama bin Laden has charted since 1988.
Dr. Fadl has a new book out, written from what apparently is his cushy cell in an Egyptian prison. Cliff May's column today is worth reading in its entirety, but here's my favorite passage, quoting Fadl:
“Every drop of blood that was shed or is being shed in Afghanistan and Iraq is the responsibility of bin Laden and Zawahiri and their followers,” he writes. “Was it not al-Qaeda that lit the fuse of sectarian civil war in Iraq, throughIf America and the West are going to defeat Islamic fascism, one component of the struggle has to involve nurturing an alternate vision of Islam. That's why al-Qaeda threw everything it had into the war in Iraq -- a successful secular Islamic state is a much bigger threat to Islamic fascism than America itself could ever be.
[the actions of al-Qaeda in Iraq commander] Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi, who killed the Shi’ites en masse? . . . Can the mentality that caused the loss of an Islamic state that existed in reality, in the Taliban’s Afghanistan — can this mentality be expected to establish an Islamic state in Iraq — in reality, and not on the internet? And have the Islamic peoples become guinea pigs upon whom bin Laden and al-Zawahiri try out their pastime and sport of killing en masse?”
Similarly, Dr. Fadl is arguably a more dangerous enemy for al-Qaeda than George Bush was. Fadl, a former leader of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, may not be a Boy Scout himself, but man, I'm liking him today.