This cheerful Christmas message comes to us from the Al Nusra Front, which the US has unsuccessfully tried to isolate and which forms the core of the Sunni Syrian rebel forces. Sure its author might be making a lame effort to become the illiterate Syrian Stephen King, but it shows the level of confidence on the terrorist side and their contempt for Obama’s weakness.
The land of Greater Syrian awaits you with great suspense for your hearts to be roasted in a sea of hot coals, for your fat to melt, and your meat to be grilled; today you will no longer be able to manage a single battle much less several battles. This is by the Grace of God, then by the grace of the soldiers of Osama who will frighten you and paralyze your thinking; come to the land of Greater Syria, if you be you men or if there is in you the remains of rest manhood. Ah, why are you reluctant to come Oh, Obama? Perhaps you remember the tragedies of your friend Bush in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the bad luck you inherited still bears the burden of its consequences.
About the only genuinely interesting things here are that
1. Al Nusra has stopped trying to pretend that it’s not Al Qaeda. They are now openly calling themselves the soldiers of Osama.
2. Al Qaeda wants Obama to intervene in Syria.
3. This isn’t just about Syria, it’s about Greater Syria, a territory that includes Syria, Israel, Lebanon, a piece of Turkey, and Iraq.
What that means is when Assad falls the conflict moves into its next stage. Our “good Syrian rebels” already have a deal with the Salafi militias. The Muslim Brotherhood will set up its government in Damascus and suck up Western aid. The Salafis will hold a number of cities and towns, and will continue killing Christians, enforcing Islamic law, etc, but will begin focusing on the next phase of a Greater Syria program.
The Salafis are talking about Israel, which means expect the other side of the Syrian border to turn into Lebanon and Gaza, with shelling and cross border raids. But the backers of the Salafist groups know that they can’t expect to stroll into Israel and knock it around the way they did Syria.
So phase 2 is likely to be Jordan, Lebanon or Iraq.
Jordan is the obvious target. The government is weak and is seen as a Western puppet, in this case somewhat rightly, and the Muslim Brotherhood is in ascendance there. Taking it with the help of the sizable Palestinian presence in Jordan would be a lot easier than taking Syria was and would move closer to surrounding Israel turning border after border into a war zone.
Think of it as the Lebanization of Israel’s borders.
Lebanon, overrun by Christian and Shiite militias, will be a major target, Hezbollah isn’t just fighting in Syria for its health, it knows that the Salafis will come there next, and with heavy firepower, training and experience, a full on fight between Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, will be a truly ugly thing.
Iraq, constantly on the brink of a new civil war is the biggest target, with a Shiite government on the verge of war with Sunnis and Kurds. Many of the Salafis already have been fighting in Iraq for some time and the more ruthless members cut their teeth on the American presence there. They are the modern equivalent of the veterans of the fight against the USSR in Afghanistan, and they have plans for going beyond the usual suicide bombings.
The worst is yet to come.