Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Mind of Bin Laden

"But your most disgraceful case was in Somalia; where--after vigorous propaganda about the power of the USA and its post cold war leadership of the new world order--you moved tens of thousands of international force, including twenty eight thousands American solders into Somalia. However, when tens of your solders were killed in minor battles and one American Pilot was dragged in the streets of Mogadishu you left the area carrying disappointment, humiliation, defeat and your dead with you.

Clinton appeared in front of the whole world threatening and promising revenge , but these threats were merely a preparation for withdrawal. You have been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew; the extent of your impotence and weaknesses became very clear. It was a pleasure for the "heart" of every Muslim and a remedy to the "chests" of believing nations to see you defeated in the three Islamic cities of Beirut , Aden and Mogadishu."
---from bin Laden's 1996 fatwa against the West

It is weakness, not strength, that feeds jihadism. In calling for withdrawal from Iraq, our friends on the left and the Pat Buchanan right aren't listening to what civilization's enemies themselves are telling us.

Also of great interest in the fatwa is bin Laden droning on about the US/UK military presence in Saudi Arabia, the Land of Two Holy Places. Since Western troops are no longer needed there to "contain" Saddam, they (to little notice) have been withdrawn, robbing bin Laden of a key recruiting point. This was no small factor in the decision to "fix" the Saddam problem once and for all. "Containment" was doomed.

18 comments:

Tlaloc said...

"It is weakness, not strength, that feeds jihadism."

You are mistaken. Read all of OBL's words and you see clearly he's pissed off by the US forces in the Middle East and the support of Israel and the US intervention in arab countries internal concerns. Much more importantly those are the things that piss off moderate muslims and hence recruit for Al Qaeda. We just overthrew a small nation and have our troops on their soil. We've made a show of force and the result is more terrorism and more fundamentalism.

I can't explain this to you any clearer: Terrorism is a tactic designed to defeat military strength. Military strength will always fail against it unless the enemy is completely incompetent.



"In calling for withdrawal from Iraq, our friends on the left and the Pat Buchanan right aren't listening to what civilization's enemies themselves are telling us."

Please, you took one part out of context. Read it all.



"Also of great interest in the fatwa is bin Laden droning on about the US/UK military presence in Saudi Arabia, the Land of Two Holy Places. Since Western troops are no longer needed there to "contain" Saddam, they (to little notice) have been withdrawn, robbing bin Laden of a key recruiting point."

Good, that's precisely how you deal with terrorism: psychological warfare. Determine what are the issues driving people to attack you and undercut them. Rob them of motivation. Now all we need to do is stop sending 3 billion a year to israel, get our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and stop interfering and saber rattling at the rest.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Quite right. Surrender is a strategy that has worked every time it's been tried.

James Elliott said...

Please explan how Tlaloc's strategy of disengagement is tantamount to surrender and how said strategy is flawed.

Not saying I agree with Tlaloc. Or you. I'd just like you to have more when you're trying to refute him.

James Elliott said...

"In calling for withdrawal from Iraq, our friends on the left and the Pat Buchanan right aren't listening to what civilization's enemies themselves are telling us."

Please, you took one part out of context. Read it all.


Quite right. Please, let's be quite clear: The Left is saying either send a whole lot more troops in and get this job done right, or pull out entirely and cut your losses. No more of this half-assed crap a la President G.W. Bush.

Tlaloc said...

"Quite right. Surrender is a strategy that has worked every time it's been tried."

Well ultimately I can appreciate the irony of a country led by a man who wants ID to be taught in school killing itself off by not adapting.

The military option has always failed: Israel, Ireland, Iraq give us a nice window into that. Ireland also gives us a nice view that a terrorist threat can be overcome by deciding which of their demands are things that can be accepted and which can't. You accept those that are okay and thus cut their motivation. Or you deal with daily attacks like Israel and respond everytime with more force and thus perpetuate the cycle.

The IRA is an example that what I'm suggesting has worked at least once. Do you have a single example of a well established terrorist group being destroyed by military force?

James Elliott said...

Also a good point. Hasn't Sundara Luminoso been running around for like 30 years? Hamas, Hezbollah, the IRA, Action-Directe, Islamic Jihad, all have a decades-long history. Last I checked, IRA is the only one considering giving up the fight.

So, what we need from you, Tom, is solid evidence that the strategy you favor has worked. Tlaloc provided one for his side. Please do the same for yours.

Tom Van Dyke said...

James, if the left is sincerely calling for more troops, I'm just not hearing it. Perhaps the fault is mine.

As for the rest, I do not owe anyone a response simply because they take it upon themselves to comment here. TVD don't do futility. In this case, it's simpler to just agree: the $3 billion would be better spent burying the Jews than keeping them alive.

You may read that as a surrender or merely a disengagement.

(I do hope you'll send me that link to the online version of Mere Christianity that you told me you read. I'm unable to locate one anywhere. Thanks in advance.)

James Elliott said...

Funny, I heard precisely that on Al Franken this morning...

Francis J. Beckwith said...

It is not clear why anyone would believe OBL's view of the world. Why assume that he is correct about us? Unless you believe that Islamic fanatics are entitled to enslave the Middle East, I don't see why we should listen to him at all. He asks us to do X, and some of you are suggesting that in fact we should do X because he says so. I don't understand.

If only OBL were suggesting that ID be taught in public schools would our detractors claim that he is on the road to theocracy. What is it about unusually-dressed people who believe in exotic religions that lead liberals to condone acts and beliefs that they would vehemently oppose if they were suggested by the Christian Coalition?

Here's a thought experiment: On September 11, 2001, four planes were hijacked by members of Operation Rescue. The planes were then crashed into the four largest abortion clinics in the U.S. Would liberals now be asking, "Geez, why do they hate us? What did we do to make them mad? Why don't we accept their view of the world as legitimate so we can understand them better? Blah, blah, blah."

I didn't think so.

The Liberal Anonymous said...

He asks us to do X, and some of you are suggesting that in fact we should do X because he says so. I don't understand.

Seems to me that TVD is suggesting that because OBL wants us to do X, we should do not-X, regardless of the wisdom of that choice.

Tom Van Dyke said...

That would be a caricature of my argument, LA, something I didn't expect from you.

If bin Laden had been rewarded for 9-11 with a troop withdrawal from Saudi without the toppling of Saddam, he would have gained a victory of the highest order.

Right now, Hamas is claiming that the "blood of the maryrs" has won the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

As a result of this unilateral concession, according to this article by an Israeli journalist

"Few Israelis, though, really believe that the Palestinian leadership is ready to live in peace with a Jewish state, no matter what the borders. Instead, most expect sovereign Gaza to become a base for further rocket attacks on Israeli towns. Many Israelis assume that a Palestinian leadership aware of the world's expectations will initially control Gaza violence. But even they expect terror to intensify in the West Bank."

It is weakness, not strength, that feeds jihadism.

Jay D. Homnick said...

There is one thing that Pat Buchanan is more guilty of than anti-Semitism: hubris.

James Elliott said...

It's really quite a simple and effective strategy, one we've seen work in Ireland and are now seeing in Israel. By removing the base cause of someone's complaints (bin Laden, Hamas, etc...), you give them a choice: they either stand by their stated goals, or they flail around searching for other excuses to attack you, thereby revealing themselves as nothing more than the hate-filled zealots they are. This serves to alienate said zealot from his or her moderate but disaffected base. Essentially, it's the most effective method of cutting someone's recruiting and perceived legitimacy. It also does not preclude using other strategies, such as (but not limited to) securing homeland defense (which the Bush administration has been sorely lacking in). It also does not preclude using force in tactically significant ways (such as identification and elimination of confirmed terror cells).

This is, coincidentally, some of the same principles shared by pacifistic, non-violent civil disobedience. It's how the Indians ousted the racist British Imperialists in 1948 and it's also how the African American civil rights movement gained much of its momentum, defeating such powers as the KKK and segregationists.

Tom Van Dyke said...

I'm not quite appreciating the chain of logic that connects bin Laden and Martin Luther King, JE, sorry.

If the theme is righteous grievance, then Dr. Beckwith is accurate in saying that to accept the al-Qaeda agenda is to accept bin Laden's vision of the world.

The IRA lost, and their participation in the Good Friday accords was to negotiate surrender terms, pure and simple. Their vision was not accepted: They do not rule, and Northern Ireland remains part of the UK.

You are correct in identifying the central dynamic---the actions and sympathies of the "neutrals," the critical mass of the Great Unwashed who eventually decide all politics whether under the umbrella of democracy or not.

The US' democracy initiative is key in addressing the problem of tyranny in the Muslim world and offering an alternative to bin Laden's equally tyrannical solution.

James Elliott said...

The US' democracy initiative is key in addressing the problem of tyranny in the Muslim world and offering an alternative to bin Laden's equally tyrannical solution.

Not so long as the U.S. continues its relations with Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, and UAE. Until then, we're just fricking hypocrites.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Quintessential Carterism---the inability to distinguish bad guys from even worse guys.

Hypocrisy is an overrrated criticism.

Tlaloc said...

"The IRA lost, and their participation in the Good Friday accords was to negotiate surrender terms, pure and simple. Their vision was not accepted: They do not rule, and Northern Ireland remains part of the UK."

Uh no, you don't understand the situation at all. The IRA didn't achieve an outright victory, but neither did the british. The brits were forced to conceed a shared government, something in between what the IRA wanted and what the Brits wanted.

Hence the example works perfectly. You don't try to give them whatever they want, you find the things you can reasonably acquiese to (especially if those are things you should have done before).

xScottAllen said...

James Elliott should use pacifist, non-violent civil disobedience on OBL. Or his Islamofascist of choice. Or wake up and realist that non-violent civil disobedience has only worked in countries where Christianity has a strong influence.