Several claims from neoconservatives about al-Qaeda seem to be in contradiction with each other.
In The Weekly Standard this month there is an article titled Al Qaeda’s Network in Iran which tells of Iran’s alleged partnerships with al-Qaeda. Elsewhere in The Weekly Standard there is another article called How the Iranians are Helping the Syrians which alleges that the Iranians are in cahoots with Assad. But then we have completely contradictory story from another neoconservative rag, National Review Online, which is running an article titled Al Qaeda in Rebel Syria which alleges that al-Qaeda have infiltrated rebel units fighting against Assad.
Why would Iran be supporting al-Qaeda in Iran while supporting Assad in Syria if al-Qaeda were fighting with the rebels in Syria against Assad?
Here’s the explanation: There is no al-Qaeda as such. ‘al-Qaeda’ is simply a catch-all label for any Islamist that the West thinks are ultimately working against their interests. There used to be a group called ‘al-Qaeda’ but that disappeared long ago when Osama bin Laden died back in December 2001, but, like Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda label was convenient to keep alive to perpetuate the notion of there being an enemy for the West to continue combating. While Osama bin Laden had to be ‘killed off’ because his use-by date had long passed, al-Qaeda, it seems, is still serving a useful purpose – even if it is only to make fools of the neocons with their contradictory nonsense.
As if to demonstrate how loosely the ‘al-Qaeda’ label is bandied about these days, there’s a classic example of its misuse by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman today who is quoted in Ha’aretz as saying about the Palestinian Authority; "We are dealing with Al-Qaeda terror on the one hand and diplomatic terror by Abu Mazen on the other."
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