Houston Chronicle Editorial:
With the nation so vulnerable, Americans cannot help but wonder why al-Qaida members have not mounted another attack in the United States after 9/11. One reason is that Osama bin Laden and other leaders hiding in Afghanistan or Pakistan must focus on their own survival. The U.S. war on terror has killed or captured many al-Qaida members capable of global operations. Another is that the war in Iraq acts as a magnet for anti-American fanatics, drawing fighters from throughout the Arab world.
The latest tape recording believed to come from Osama bin Laden focuses on the struggle in Iraq and urges Iraqis not to vote in the election scheduled for Jan. 30. U.S. intelligence analysts, the Associated Press reported, say bin Laden is moving away from direct calls for violence and toward political arguments aimed at fragmenting Western alliances and building support for al-Qaida. It could be that the arch-terrorist recognizes that the U.S. effort to induce democracy in Iraq is the greatest threat to his movement.