A DARFUR JIHAD? As a rule, when Osama bin Laden speaks, it is best that we listen. Back in October 2003, Bin laden called for attacks on specific European countries supplying troops for the American lead coalition in Iraq, including Great Britain, Italy, and Spain. Since then, radicals have attacked Italian barracks in Iraq, killing 17; the Madrid rail station, killing nearly 190; and the tube and busses in London, killing 52. So following OBL�s directive that militants use Darfur�s rainy season �to prepare all that is needed for a long-term war against the Crusaders and thieves in western Sudan,� including �stocking a large amount of landmines and anti-armor grenades such as RPGs,� it�s fair to say that any future intervention force in Darfur will quite likely experience a number of casualties. And when you combine bin Laden�s call with the fact that many Sudanese radicals will rotate out of the Iraqi theatre well trained in the black arts of terrorism, the result for any future UN force could be catastrophic.

That said, bin Laden seems convinced that a UN peace-keeping force will, in fact, be dispatched to Darfur sometime in the near future. I wish I were that optimistic. As of now, there are zero crusaders UN peacekeepers on the ground in Darfur. And there is little chance that any will arrive soon. So for now, bin Laden�s Darfur jihad -- to which he claims common cause with the regime in Khartoum -- will have to wait.

--Mark Leon Goldberg