What I improperly failed to note is that there is one crucial distinction between bin Laden's campaign against the U.S. & our campaign against al Qaeda:
bin Laden has an explicit strategy!From his Oct 2004 speech:
"As previously mentioned, it was easy for us to provoke this administration and to drag it [after us]. It was enough for us to send two Jihad fighters to the farthest east to hoist a rag on which 'Al-Qa'ida' was written – that was enough to cause generals to rush off to this place, thereby causing America human and financial and political losses, without it accomplishing anything worthy of mention, apart from giving business to [the generals'] private corporations.Note: bin Laden articulates a clear strategic objective ("causing America human and financial and political losses"; making "America bleed profusely to the point of bankruptcy"), together with a strategy to attain these ends ("provoke this administration and to drag it [after us].").
We are continuing in the same policy – to make America bleed profusely to the point of bankruptcy, Allah willing."
This is considerably more advanced strategic thinking than anything we saw or heard from W, ... and, sadly, than anything we've so far seen or heard from President Obama.
Perhaps bin Laden is winning on points because he has clear goals and a simple strategy to attain those goals.
Perhaps we ought follow his example.