The secret plot to win the wars
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 by Ron Cruger
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        Outside, two of the eight sentries entrusted with guarding the mouth of the cave were watching the small fire they had lit. Braced on two uprights hanging over the fire was a metal rod holding a portion of the three lambs that had been slaughtered for the dinners of the guards. The choicest portions of the lambs were being roasted over the larger fire inside the cave. The preferred portions of the lambs were destined for the dinners of the thirteen men sitting quietly, thirty meters from the entrance of the cave.
          Smoke from the fire inside was being fanned towards the cave’s entrance by two guards.
        Some of the thirteen men inside were ill-at-ease. Their eyes darted from one man to another. These men were born of danger, of plots, of secrecy and betrayal. Trust was not part of their mental make-up.
        The odors of the cooking lamb were intermingled with the smell of the uncertainty of the men. 
        Two or three held conversations, the others sat quietly, watching the embers escape from the fire cooking the lamb.
        It was already forty- five minutes past the time that Osama bin Laden was to appear.
        The leader of al-Qaeda had called this portentous gathering. It was no accident that bin Laden had set the date for this gathering of some of the world’s most dangerous men for July 4, 2008. Bin Laden knew that July 4th was the date of the celebration of the United States’ independence.
        An hour and a half after the time set for bin Laden to appear he finally entered the mouth of the cave located in the barren mountains on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
        Two burly guards flanked the six foot six inch al-Qaeda leader, each balancing a fully loaded Kalashnikov automatic rifle. Each guard had dedicated his life to the protection of their glorious leader. They had vowed to give up their lives if needed to protect bin Laden.
        The tall leader of the world’s most savage insurgents walked the thirty meters from the entrance and looked down at the bright fire preparing the lamb for the men sitting around the flames.
        The appearance of one of the world’s most infamous man brought to attention the thirteen attendees. All eyes were on bin Laden. His beard was grey, turning white. His pallor was ashen and he walked with a more severe limp than they had remembered from their last meeting two years previously. His cane provided more of an aid than before. His visage was more of a man in heavy-laden pain than they recalled from their past meetings.
        Here were the men leading a bloody-minded, lethal uprising around the world paying homage to one of their own – a highly intelligent exponent of mass murder.
        Bin Laden walked around the fire pit, stopped and leaned more heavily on his cane. He stood where he could face the thirteen. 
        In front of him was his number two man in al-Qaeda. The remaining twelve were the leaders of the organizations that were attempting to reconstruct the world’s religions and governments through death, violence and fear.
        The eyes watching bin Laden were the leaders of Hezbollah, the Caucasus caliphate jihad, Al-faruq brigades, Ansar al-Islam, Fatah al-Islam, Al-aqsa martyrs’ brigade, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Armed Islamic group of North Africa, Lashkar-e-toiba, Taliban and Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh.
        Osama bin Laden offered a small welcoming grin, raised his right hand in the form of a blessing and said, “May Allah’s blessings surround you all your lives. May someday we all meet in heaven and celebrate the turning of all countries to Allah. May Allah bless you and your families. Thank you for coming. My apologies for the lateness. We were forced to take alternate routes to avoid detection.”
        “I have come to you to present a suggestion for our general actions during the next five years. Changes are happening. The situation in Iraq is changing. Afghanistan is changing. In some of your countries we are gaining, in others we are not.”
        “Let me start with Iraq. America believes that they are winning the war against our brothers there. There is more and more talk from the evil devils from America withdrawing a portion of their troops because they believe they have won a peace from us and our brothers. Our plan is to let the Americans and the Iraqis believe that peace has been won by them. We shall wait for large numbers of their troops to be withdrawn. When they leave the area we shall return with a vengeance. A great portion of the newly formed Iraqi army are followers of al-Qaeda and other groups led by our brothers. Upon the departure of the American soldiers large numbers of the Iraqi army will revolt and join our brothers in the mountains to overcome any opposition remaining. As soon as the American soldiers withdraw, Iraq will become an Islamic state. Praise be to Allah.”
         Bin Laden, leaned heavily on his cane as one of his guards handed him a cup of strong tea. He sipped from the cup, returned it to the guard and continued.
        “It is important that the devil Americans believe that peace has been achieved in Iraq. We must let them believe that we are defeated. The American people want their soldiers returned. We must let all of this happen. We could continue our fighting, but we would sustain more fatalities than needed. By having patience and making it appear that America has won in Iraq they will withdraw great numbers of troops within a year and that will be our golden opportunity to cause an insurrection the likes of which the placid Iraqis and the devil Americans could never even perceive. Within a year Iraq will be under the guidance of Allah.”
        “In Afghanistan we will follow the same plan. As the Americans send more troops to the mountains of Afghanistan to fight our brothers we will discretely withdraw our own troops, giving the Americans and the army of Afghanistan the feeling that they have won the battle. Eventually the Americans will believe in their victory and they will bow to the millions of Americans who want their troops to return home. As soon as the Americans have sent the majority of their troops from Afghanistan to their homeland in America we will rise from our secret places in the mountains and valleys and join forces with our Taliban brothers and Afghanistan will become as Iraq will be – a home for Islam, free of devil worshipers. By the time we have unshackled our Iraqi and Afghanistan brothers the American fighters will be relaxing in their homes, staging barbecues and back yard parties. We will have won the war and given the lands to Allah. Americans will have their soldiers’ home and we shall march in the streets of Kabul and Baghdad and praise Allah. With patience and Allah’s guidance only a few months shall pass before victory in Iraq and Afghanistan is with our grasp. Then we are on our way to victory in all the lands on earth.”
        The faces of the leaders reflected the glow of the fire in front of them. They stood and applauded bin Laden and then walked to him and each shook his hand and said, “May Allah bless you and give you long life.”
        The guards served each of the men a portion of rice and lamb along with cups of tea. The men talked as they ate their dinners.
        The leaders of the world-wide jihad returned to their homelands, feeling confident that Osama bin Laden had directed them to their ultimate victory – a world of revolutionary Islam.
These men soon met with their armies and told them of the need for – patience.
        Patience - and the world will soon belong to them.