Al-Zawahiri Officially Takes Over From bin Laden
On the 14th January, 1966, Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, the head of the Soviet initiative in the Space Race between the US, died suddenly. His successor, Vasily Mishin, lead the program to ruin as he failed to inspire his comrades like the former, and eventually both fell under the bottom of his vodka bottle.
Three days ago, on the 16th, Al-Qaeda officially announced (finally…) that Ayman al-Zawahiri has become their leader, replacing Osama bin Laden six weeks after his death. Many people have been wondering what took them so long. Indeed, what did take them so long?
Although the organization has tried to make it seem like there was discussion between members over the matter, it’s hard to tell. But the possibilities are connected with truths: al-Zawahiri has the same charismatic pull on those it tries to influence as bin Laden had in his little finger, and al-Qaeda is not the same organization it used to be when it was tight against the cold breast of darkness that was Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
In other words, al-Zawahiri is a bore, and al-Qaeda has been pummeled under Allied fire, government crackdowns in certain areas, and the strength of movements like those of the Arab Spring and Arab Summer. There, that captures it nicely.
Some have likened the War on Terror as a continuation, or version 2.0 of the Cold War, so this could be al-Qaeda’s Mishin moment. Although bin Laden was a bore to many, he sadly wasn’t to his followers, and that is partly why we now have to spend so much time fighting many of his boring and evil disciples. Al-Zawahiri, though, creates mixed feelings among al-Qaeda sympathizers. Mishin couldn’t stir the Soviet Space Race workers to their goals like Korolev, and he inherited the burden of Soviet organizations that were beginning to fall apart. And what have America and her allies been reporting recently…?
Al-Qaeda is still a great threat, and the dangers for America, her allies, and the Middle East at large, remain real. The rise of yet another bore to the no.1 leadership position and someone who bores more people than just us, though, is quite symbolic of al-Qaeda’s position now in this decade. It’s battered, and lacks the appeal it formally did to those it tries to attract. What was that? You’d actually not heard that al-Zawahiri had been officially announced as the new leader? Yes, the news coverage wasn’t that large this time round, was it? It’s just, I suppose, not that interesting…