In a videotape broadcast Thursday, Al-Qaida deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri said British Prime Minister Tony Blair was to blame for the London bombings and that Blair's support of the U.S.-led war in Iraq would incite further attacks.
"Blair has brought to you destruction in central London, and he will bring more of that, God willing," al-Zawahri said in the tape, while never claiming responsibility for the July 7 bombings. The statement was broadcast on the pan-Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera.
Referring to the Western nations like Britain that have contributed troops in Iraq, he said: "As to the nations of the crusader alliance, we have offered you a truce if you leave the land of Islam."
"Hasn't Sheik Osama bin Laden told you that you will not dream of security before there is security in Palestine and before all the infidel armies withdraw from the land of Muhammed?" al-Zawahri asked, referring to the leader of the al-Qaida network.
"Our message is clear: you will not be safe until you withdraw from our land, stop stealing our oil and wealth and stop supporting the corrupt rulers," he said.
The first sentence will get the most attention from the anti-war crowd: "See," they'll say, "it's Iraq! Bush has brought on more terror, not less."
They will say that, and they will be wrong. For the rest of the statement reveals demands that we surely cannot and will not meet: the infidel must leave the land of Muhammed (all Americans - and Israelis, you can bet - must leave the Middle East). Security in Palestine (why is there no security in Palestine? Because of the Palestinians. What do the Palestinians want? The destruction of Israel).
Notice also that the hateful murderer speaks for the terrorists, that he offers a truce...but wait! Didn't Juan Cole just tell us that there is no centrally organized terrorist front, and we might as well fold the hand?