It’s a bit of a head-scratcher. Without the safe haven that Pakistan gave it in Waziristan, al Qaeda wouldn’t be able to mount the offensives that it’s running in Afghanistan. So why declare war on them?

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden called on Muslims in Pakistan to wage holy war against the government of President Pervez Musharraf in a new audio message issued on Thursday.

Bin Laden declared al-Qaeda’s intention to retaliate for the blood spilled of “champions of Islam”, in the new recording produced by the terror network’s media arm As-Sahab, United States monitoring organization Site Intelligence Group said.

“It is obligatory on the Muslims in Pakistan to carry out jihad [holy war] and fighting to remove Pervez, his government, his army and those who help him,” said the voice in the tape.

Zawahiri shows his face on the tape while Osama, as usual, doesn’t. “Death to America, yada yada yada.”

But again, why declare war on Pakistan? Wassup wi’dat?

Perhaps al Qaeda was more impressed with Gen. Petraeus’ testimony than the Democrats were.

Well, it may be today marks the day that goes down in history a ‘VAQI’ day (Victory over Al-Qaeda in Iraq). The newly released tape by al-Zawahri makes it clear that the U.S. is ‘defeated’ in Iraq and Afghanistan, then spends a great deal of time going after Pakistan. Note the past tense; it is important. (Bin Laden audio?? Yeah, right. My guess is he’s been dead for at least 2 years and neither side wants to say so. Too good of a ‘boogey man’) This would suggest- in a ‘Baghdad Bob’ kind of way- that AQ will not be committing any additional resources to those two theaters; they are lost causes to them. Why would they come to that conclusion at this juncture? Because they realize that their second front in this war- the one in Washington D.C.- can’t hand them the victory they haven’t earned on the battlefield.

Time will tell, of course. But the Anbar Awakening hasn’t been good news for al Qaeda. Declaring war on Pakistan strikes me as a mistake as well.

Update (AP): Even some Saudis are starting to wonder. Click the image to watch.

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