Fawaz Gerges on the Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fawaz Gerges gives a history of al-Qaeda, showing its emergence from the disintegrating local jihadist movements of the mid-1990s-not just the Afghan resistance of the 1980s. In The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda, he reveals that transnational jihad has attracted only a small minority within the Arab world and possesses no viable social and popular base. He also describes how the democratic revolutions that swept the Middle East in early 2011 show that al-Qaeda has no influence over Arabs' political life. Gerges argues that the West has become trapped in a "terrorism narrative," but that Al-Qaeda is no longer a serious threat.


Fawaz Gerges

Comments [20]

Nadia from New York

ha ha, i'd rather hear old jewish comedians than gerges slick tounge wagging

Sep. 16 2011 12:43 PM

the national review? HAHAHAHAHA

Sep. 16 2011 12:42 PM
jane from Harlem

Fony Fawaz has it backwards. Anti-Western terror predated the war on terror. Wonder how much Islamists funding and academic sponsorship he gets for absolving the Arab/Islamist world by blaming the victims.

Sep. 16 2011 12:42 PM
Mike from NYC

How can the right wingers in this group characterize what Gereges is saying as anti-American? He is saying the US has won, al-Qaeda is not only defeated but crushed, and it's ideology was not viable anyway. Is it anti-American to say that George Bush was a fool?

Sep. 16 2011 12:39 PM

I hope I misheard. Did both guest and host just suggest that they would have a hard time surviving for 2 days in a European city on 500 euros? If so, shame on you both. Out of touch, classist? Not sure how to describe it, but it's not flattering to either.

Sep. 16 2011 12:38 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Did the Navy Seals find kidney dialysis equipment in OBLs bunker?

Sep. 16 2011 12:35 PM
Bashir from Beirut

Unfortunately, the Arab Spring has turned into a nightmare so far, continued mass murder of protesters by the Syrian boy-idiot Assad, an Iranian lunatic and Islamist megalomaniacs starving the youth of freedom in Teheran, Hamas and Hezbollah and other Islamist crazed terror gangs enforcing sharia and Egyptian mobs raping and killing…

And none of the Western-bashing propaganda by Fawaz Gereges and other discredited PR flacks will change that…if you put pig on a lipstick, it’s still a pig.

Sep. 16 2011 12:33 PM
Mike from NYC

Isn't it obvious that the characterization and identification of al-Qaeda with Islam and the
Arab world in general served a particular conservative ideological interest in the USA that needed enemies in order to justify and facilitate its grab for political power here? And that this kind of ideological political move is just like their willingness to make sure the USA economy continues to fail until Obama is defeated in 2012.

Sep. 16 2011 12:30 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Saddam Hussein never had WMDs???

Tell that to the families of the 5,000 Kurds murdered by Saddam, with POISON GAS (a WMD) in Halabja Iraq in 1988

Sep. 16 2011 12:30 PM

The simple fact is that it is Islamists who won in Tunis, Egypt and Libya.

Sep. 16 2011 12:27 PM
Omatunde from Hamilton Heights

Summary of Saddam Hussein's extremely advanced WMD program as of the beginning of the Iraq war.

Scary. He had WMDs all right, in a big way:

Saddam: What We Now Know

Jim Lacey writes on NRO: Saddam Hussein was a WMD threat and a terror threat to the United States and its allies.

Too many of the post-9/11 critics have forgotten or were never aware of this fact. Even in last week’s NRO symposium, writers called the invasion of Iraq an “unjust war,” an “optional wa...

Sep. 16 2011 12:26 PM

what your guest doesn't understand is that, following 9/11, america needed to put a face to the enemy that attacked it. that is why the media showed images of celebrating palestinians.

Sep. 16 2011 12:26 PM

the proper response was to go and stay in afghanistan

iraq was an expensive diversion of our military and a multi trillion dollar waste of time.

we would have had Bin LAden years ago. and this would have been over.

Sep. 16 2011 12:24 PM

iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and ther wasnt any WMDs.

unjust war. thousands of dead american soldiers. for what?

worse than vietnam

Sep. 16 2011 12:22 PM
Seth from UWS

But if the U.S. response was counterproductive, why was the threat lessened? Why does Al Qaeda have no "social and popular base"?

What should the response have been? Turn the other cheek? Fight religious idiocy with more religious idiocy?

Sep. 16 2011 12:21 PM

this is not new news actually. Most of Bush's cabinet were part of a think tank called "the new american century project". their goal was to bring american military to global prominence and spread democracy.

Military contracts abound, no bid contracts `, haliburtin, etc...

alot of people in Bush's camp made money off Iraq.

Treason charges should be brought up.

Sep. 16 2011 12:21 PM
Mike from Inwood

This guy is lame. Sure the US didn't have to respond as it did. And I would agree that it wasn't the brightest move of our dimmest President. However, Al Qaeda did not have to react the way it did, either. Why is it that when tracing back the tit-for-tat repsonse to the past responses, the Arabs lways portray themselves as having no choices (and therefore not being responsible) while the US has all the choices and therefore bears all the responsibility?

The fact is, there is a benighted medieval people whose traditional way of life is being threatened and which is striking out at the rest of the world as they resist being sucked into the globalized world.

Sep. 16 2011 12:20 PM
Omatunde from Hamilton Heights

Another Islam-firster.

Sep. 16 2011 12:18 PM

White is black and black is white.

Question to Mike Pesca: is this guy high on drugs?

Sep. 16 2011 12:18 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Which Arab/Muslim nation is openly fighting Al Qada?

Does Mr. Gergez believe that the Pakistani government didn't know that Osama bin Laden was living in Pakistan?

If the US notified the Pakistani government that it had located OBL in Pakistan, would the Pakistanti government then warned OBL that he had been located?

Sep. 16 2011 12:14 PM

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