Osama wants the US out of the Middle East
Many people are starting to buy into Osama Bin Laden’s propaganda about his motives and reasons for declaring war on the West. Even some of those who are more informed are beginning to think that maybe it is as simple as pulling troops out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.
But you need to stop and consider a few things. It is relatively recent that Bin Laden began to include the Palestinians in his rhetoric. For years they were treated by him the way most of the Arab world always has, they were ignored and then fed lip service.
And now he includes them because it is one device that he can use as a wedge to cause trouble. Did you notice that he has not stated any sort of acknowledgement of Israel’s right to exist. Did you notice that Arafat does not claim any relationship or desire to be aligned with him.
Amidst all this talk there are some other considerations. Do you remember what kind of rule the Taliban instituted in Afghanistan. It was not an open progressive society. It was in many ways among the more backward and repressive societies. It is kind of a contradiction given the historical contribution of Islamic scholars to math and science.
Bin Laden’s message is as benign as Hitler to Chamberlain and Europe. He looks to buy time for himself and his minions so that he can work on bigger picture items of pushing the return of the Islamic Caliphate and a goal of one day seeing the West and the world become part of one giant Islamic nation.
He is a solid salesman of snake oil, but his vinters brew poison and do not offer real gestures of conciliation or hope. It is like the story of the frog and the scorpion. If you allow the scorpion to ride your back you will be stung.
Jack's Shack October 31, 2004 at 4:44 pm
It isn’t the West that Osama has a problem with. Its the US and their foreign policies. In particular, Bush.
Wow, that just ignores the history of Europes meddling in the ME. It ignores the British and French occupation and their intentional “disruption” of affairs.
It is a blanket statement that glosses over the details and is frightening to me. If you believe all of Osama’s problems are as simple as this you are fooling yourself.
Take a look at his Fatwa and you will see that the thing he harps on more than anything is a US presence in Saudi Arabia. It is an important piece of this puzzle.
But working backwards if you think that the state of the world today is as simple as pointing fingers at Bush and the US I am frightened. I hope that it was just a matter of your making a brief statement and not such a clear misunderstanding.
Osama believes (as does much of the rest of the world), that the US has no business in the Middle East. Frankly since the world watches Africa burn and has never done much but watch atrocities take place I am not real concerned about this.
Jack's Shack October 31, 2004 at 4:29 pm
If fear of an islamic caliphate would really be at the heart of foreign policy you have two choices; either you ‘reform’ the religion to a western model by removing sate imposed sharia and introducing democracy, which iraq have showed is impossible, or you start a ‘holy war’ against the muslims reminiscent of the crusades.Z,
We still agree about much, the meat of this is the question of how to work with an ideology that says that it is ok to slaughter people in the name of G-d. Thus far the work in Iraq has been chippy, piecemeal and sloppy, but it is not done nor is it impossible to foresee a more positive outcome than what we see now. You can still win the hearts and minds of people and make an impact.
Anonymous October 31, 2004 at 1:41 pm
It isn’t the West that Osama has a problem with. Its the US and their foreign policies. In particular, Bush. Osama believes (as does much of the rest of the world), that the US has no business in the Middle East. I just hope for change come Tuesday, for the sake of the rest of the world. Maggie
Anonymous October 31, 2004 at 11:55 am
I never said islamic extremists aren’t able to employ catastrophic means to harm the west. But whatever ideas we have about the underlying purpose of the attacks: restoration of an islamic caliphate is too absurd to build your foreign policy on.
I agree though that this is what’s, more or less, already happening, but you can also see where it has brought us. The muslims that were going to be ‘freed’ from saddam only dug themselves deeper in their religious trenches. If ‘freedom’ and ‘equality’ is what the US was going to bring, it certainly isn’t welcomed as such.
If fear of an islamic caliphate would really be at the heart of foreign policy you have two choices; either you ‘reform’ the religion to a western model by removing sate imposed sharia and introducing democracy, which iraq have showed is impossible, or you start a ‘holy war’ against the muslims reminiscent of the crusades.
Neither is advisable or even realisible, and that’s why western governments should limit itself to existing threats. Without question, they are worse enough.
Jack's Shack October 31, 2004 at 6:46 am
Foreign policy can’t be based in anticipation of delusional ambitions. Even if it was osama’s plan to overthrow ‘the west’ and introduce an islamic caliphate, it could hardly be taken serious due to the sheer megalomanic comedy it represents. Foreign policy must be based on existing threats, not the wet dreams of mentally challenged muslims.No, no, no. Lack of imagination leads to problems such as someone flying an airplane into your home. And why would say that Osama’s dream is impossible. The Jews in Germany thought that it was impossible that their countrymen would slaughter them.
People thought that the moon landing was pure science fiction. There is a huge list of impossible dreams that have come true.
And here is what we know for certain. Osama is willing and able to order the murder of thousands. He is smart, patient and tenacious, good skills for working on an impossible dream.
Islam is the worlds fastest growing religion and Islamic majorities in Europe are not far off. There is a foundation there to try and push his agenda and whether you think it is possible or not it is necessary and incumbent upon us to work against his wishes.
Anonymous October 30, 2004 at 3:15 pm
Foreign policy can’t be based in anticipation of delusional ambitions. Even if it was osama’s plan to overthrow ‘the west’ and introduce an islamic caliphate, it could hardly be taken serious due to the sheer megalomanic comedy it represents. Foreign policy must be based on existing threats, not the wet dreams of mentally challenged muslims.
Let’s take reality into consideration. It is a given fact that the US keeps the saudi dictators in power. Dictators that terrorize and oppress saudi-arabia just as much as saddam did with iraq. And the saudi populous is well aware about the hidden presence that provide the dictators with security and weapons in order to consolidate it’s natural resources.
Another aspect of this policy involves military presence in islamic holy places, mekka and medina. Obviously muslims consider this intimidation and degradation of their religion.
There is the israeli aggression against the pals that never gets reprimanded, or even disapproved of, by the US. Sometimes these israeli attacks are no more than punishment expeditions, but even then, not a word of disapproval. This also doesn’t improve the status of the US in arab public opinion. Maybe it doesn’t play a role in AQ’s agenda, it does for the citizens of the middle-east who approve or disapprove osama bin laden. So it does play an influential role.
Then we have ofcourse the occupation of iraq amidst brooding conflicts between sunni and shia tribes and the kurdish tension with turkey. Saddam has been removed but old wounds have been re-opened all attributing to the myriad of hopelesness that is iraq. Every day people die, soldiers but even more civilians, and despite all efforts the situation is only regressing.
Some call afghanistan a success but when you consider that kabul is the only place in the country where there is some form of order, you must conclude that this is also quite relative. Taliban militias and primitive warlords still continue the regime of mullah omar in the outer regions.
All in all, attempting to reform the middle-east will leave you either killed or disenfranchised.