15. Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror

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Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror
Publisher: Brassey's, Inc.
Date of Publication: July 2004
ISBN: 1574888498
No. of Pages: 352

[Eleven Page Summary December 23, 2004]

About The Author:

ANONYMOUS is (was) a senior U.S. intelligence official with nearly two decades of experience in national security issues relating to Afghanistan and South Asia. In addition to Imperial Hubris, he is the author of Through Our Enemies’ Eyes: Osama Bin Laden, Radical Islam and the Future of America.

General Overview:

Events on September 11, 2001 were a shock to many Americans, but to the experts in Islamic radicalism at the CIA where ANONYMOUS worked, it was the culmination of a decade of bad policy decisions that president after president had been advised against and implemented nonetheless. In part, the presidents made these decisions out of a desire to keep oil prices low and appease the strong Israeli lobby and also because they were given mixed signals about the impact by senior levels at the CIA. Bad economic, t rade and political policies were compounded by bad military decisions - particularly those made with respect to how and when to fight a war. Lastly, by characterizing al Qaeda as a terrorist organization rather than an insurgency, the United States has put itself in an untenable strategic and tactical position and will never defeat bin Laden or al Qaeda.

Furthermore, it appears that America’s poorly-chosen conflicts and its policy of “democratization” are not only futile, but they are recruiting more Muslims to al Qaeda’s global army of insurgents.


Robert Baer’s book, See No Evil, describes American leaders’ willful myopia towards al Qaeda and other Islamic radicals as seen from a field intelligence officer’s perspective.

For over a decade, Baer and other U.S. intelligence officers gathered information indicating that there was a runaway train of Islamic anger headed towards the United States. When U.S. leaders were informed of this gathering danger, they ignored, sidestepped and hid from the fact that the Islamic world was outraged and that it was the United States’ policies that caused this anger, not wild-eyed fanaticism or a “hatred of democracy.” ANONYMOUS witnessed many of the same actions that Baer described from his own vantage point as an expert on Islamic insurgency, terrorism, militant Islamism and the political affairs of Pakistan, South Asia and Afghanistan.

His training was narrow, but deep in his chosen field, particularly in regards to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda and the dangers that they pose to the United States.

From a comprehensive review of available material along with his own experience, ANONYMOUS concluded that there are serious mistakes being made by United States leaders in regards to Islam.

These conclusions are as follows:

1. U.S. leaders refuse to accept that we are fighting a global insurgency against the U.S., not terrorism or a criminal conspiracy comprised of random acts. This insurgency is strategically planned, well-executed and well-funded. Current policies have failed to dent or slow down the insurgency’s abilities, tactics or growth.

2. The military is the only tool in the current arsenal being used. Police action and diplomacy are not going to be effective against these insurgents. Many of the1.3 billion Muslims on this planet hate the U.S. for our actions, not our values. Only that realization and subsequent policy change can free Americans from this conflict and it’s inevitably bloody results.

3. Bin Laden has told America repeatedly why he’s fighting against us. His reasons don’t involve an antipathy to our freedom, liberty of our women or our democracy.

4. Bin Laden is waging a jihad, an Islamic holy war, consistent with the tenet of Islam that calls upon Muslims to strike back at those who try to destroy I slam, Islamic countries and Islamic peoples. Muslims are following bin Laden in ever-increasing numbers because they believe that their faith, their resources, their lands and their people are under attack by the United States.

5. United States policies of aggression and secularization of Islamic countries coupled with the undisguised desire to control the oil assets of target Muslim countries are bin Laden’s best allies in making his case for jihad.

6. Central to bin Laden’s issues with the U.S. is our dependence upon cheap, easily accessible Middle Eastern oil and the protection that we have extended to apostate, dictatorial monarchies and military states to ensure our continued access to that oil.

7. This war has the potential to last for generations and may be fought primarily on U.S. soil.

Some Thoughts on the Power of Focused, Principled Hatred

“In time of intensifying strain, of faltering ideologies, jaded loyalties, and crumbling institutions, an ideology expressed in Islamic terms offered several advantages: an emotionally familiar basis of group identity, solidarity, and exclusions; an acceptable basis of legitimacy and authority; an immediately intelligible formulation of principles for both a critique of the present and a program for the future. By means of these, Islam could provide the most effective symbols for mobilization whether for or against a cause or regime.” - Bernard Lewis, 2002

“If there is a single power the West underestimates, it is the power of collective hatred.” - Ralph Peters, 1999.

Both quotes underscore America’s chief failing when assessing bin Laden and al Qaeda.

By dismissing Islam as the refuge only of the fanatics, U.S. leaders have been blind to the major appeal of bin Laden, that of apostle of a religion intensely loved by most Muslims.

Not only has U.S. diffidence confused our leaders to the centrality of Islam in al Qaeda, it has proffered an additional, if unintended, insult to the grievous injuries already done to Islam and Muslims by U.S. policies. U.S. leaders have justified jihad both by their actions and their indifference to the importance of Islam in the Muslim world.

For most Muslims, state and church are indivisible. “For Muslims, God’s word (as He revealed it in the Koran), the Prophet’s sayings and traditions (the Sunnah) are meant to guide all aspects of life: personal, familial, societal, political and international. God makes laws, man does not.” Anything that interferes with the right and duty of a Muslim to run his/her life according to God’s law is seen as an act of war, an attack on the religion that these people love with a fervor that Medieval Europe had for Catholicism at one time. When the U.S. leaders announce their intention to turn Muslim countries into western-style democracies with equal rights for women and a separation of church and state, it has the same impact as Muslims trying to build mosques over Christian shrines in Bethlehem.

Additionally, statements made by clergymen in the United States are often interpreted as U.S. policy. For example, when Pat Robertson says, “Adolph Hitler is bad, but what the Muslims do to the Jews is worse;” or Jimmy Swaggart says, “God blesses those who bless Israel and damns those who damn it,” Muslims believe that this represents the intention to attack Islamic countries and Muslims.

Islam mandates that each Muslim has the duty to wage a defensive jihad against the enemies of Islam. Bin Laden bases his call for jihad on America’s policies towards Muslims. America wants Muslim schools to teach a more “modern” version of Islam that disagrees with the Koran and this is, of course, heresy. The U.S. supports governments that are oppressing Muslims such as China, Russia, the Philippines, India and Israel.

America has imposed or supported sanctions that resulted in millions of deaths among Iraqi Muslims. From these bases, they often enforce the policies of apostate monarchs or cruel military dictators usually to the detriment of the common and poor people who live in these countries.

While the current administration recreates a colonial imperialism, Muslim clerics are issuing Fatwas, which except for their religious tone, echo Osama bin Laden’s call for jihad against the U.S.

The United States could have avoided this by listening to the advice of its own experts on the Middle East. This willing suspension of disbelief extends to the American media as well. When their media advisors told them that war and nationalism were better for their ratings, they chose not to cover the “downside” of a war on Iraq. They did not search out experts to discuss objectively what the chances of success in Iraq or Afghanistan were.

The media ran the Pentagon and administration stories virtually untouched.

Bin Laden and al Qaeda have waged a methodical, well considered, highly strategic and tactically effective campaign against the United States and its allies. They have hit three times as many targets as the U.S. and have been far more effective in achieving their goals of financially ruining the United States and spreading its forces in an unsustainable way around the globe.

These al Qaeda members are not crazy, stupid or “lucky” people. They are smart people motivated by their love of their God, their people and their countries, angry at what they perceive as an imperialist aggressor who wants to strip their countries of their resources of value and destroy them. They are not trying to bring on Armageddon and destroy the world; they are trying only to stop what the United States is doing to them.

An Unprepared and Ignorant Lunge to Defeat the United States in Afghanistan One intelligence officer known for his succession solving intelligence problems told ANONYMOUS that the key to his success was checking the “checkables” first.

That means finding out what is already known before investigating or proposing solutions.

This is exactly what the United States failed to do before 9/11 and before entering Afghanistan. No one checked out bin Laden and al Qaeda and no one studied the military history of Afghanistan.

September 11 was not the first al Qaeda victory.


There were many before that date:


Aden, Yemen (1992);


Mogadishu, Somalia (1993);


Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (1995);


Dhahran, Saudi Arabia (1996);


Nairobi, Kenya and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania (1998); and, again,


Aden, Yemen (2000).


With each attack, al Qaeda’s planning and lethality increased.

Hitting al Qaeda fast and hard after the Cole incident would have given al Qaeda pause, but instead, nothing happened. Neither the Taliban nor al Qaeda would have been able to deter such a strike. The Taliban had old Soviet era airplanes in bad repair and bin Laden had next to nothing of an air force. But no such action occurred.

Instead, the elections came and America’s new administration put Soviet experts in as their security advisors and when 9/11 occurred, they discovered that they had no “off-the-shelf” plans for Afghanistan or al Qaeda. Battle plans were put together without consulting any intelligence and tactics experts with lengthy experience on the ground in Afghanistan. Afghans, mostly civilians, were bombed repeatedly with uranium-depleted shells that are now slowly killing those who did not die in the shelling. The campaign mostly killed civilians and did little to harm al Qaeda. In several instances, there were horrific mistakes made.

Given the Islamic belief that law cannot be separated from the church, the Taliban had a stronger government centered in Kandahar, closer to the people, “gradually imposing order and harsh justice based on Islamic law across the country.” However, it remained a primarily rural-based Islamic insurgency that ruled by ethnic (tribal domination) and shari'ah.

When the United States pronounced its intention to create a democratic centralized government in Kabul, they were going against Afghan culture and faith. Compounding that mistake was their choice of a Westernized, secular leader (Karzai) who was not used to treating bearded, hygienically unsavory tribesmen as equals. He was not accepted by the Afghans.

Another mistake that Americans have made is believing that Afghans can be bought. The remaining members of the Northern Alliance took American money to go after Osama bin Laden in the mountains of Afghanistan, but did not attack the stronghold of al Qaeda.
While the Afghans might accept U.S. money, that is no assurance that they will turn on their countrymen or fellow Islamists.

What America failed to do was check the checkables in every instance. If they had, none of the mistakes mentioned would have been made. In the meantime, both Afghanistan and Iraq have been important rallying points to Osama bin Laden.

Not Down, Not Out: Al Qaeda’s Resiliency, Expansion and Momentum

After devastating Kabul and other major urban areas, the U.S. considered the battle won and did not pursue Mullah Omar and the Taliban into the countryside. The U.S. military left that chore to the Northern Alliance, a counter-Taliban counter-insurgency. What the U.S. did not know is that bin Laden had killed the heart and soul of the Northern Alliance, Ahmed Shah Masood, whose dynamic spirit, military brilliance and charisma was the primary force behind Northern Alliance success. After Masood’s death, the Northern Alliance fractioned and was busier infighting than helping the United States.

Part of the reason that the United States has been so unsuccessful is the adoption of a “made for television” style of combat. This involves a short burst of heavy shelling designed not to cause much property damage or too many deaths. Once the initial phase is complete, the U.S. declares the war over and proceeds to fight guerilla-style wars that last much longer while injuring and killing more soldiers and civilians than a decisive all-out war would have. This is what happened in Afghanistan.

When the U.S. entered Afghanistan after al Qaeda, no one knew how many members the group actually had. There wasn’t a clear picture of the membership, their armament strength, how long it took to replace members or even much about their financing.
Consequently, the U.S. couldn’t determine whether the actions against al Qaeda were successful.

Another problem that the United States has is its reference to bin Laden and al Qaeda as terrorists and declaring a global war on terror. Terrorists are generally small groups with little in the way of coordinating abilities for large scale operations.

Terrorists are generally dealt with by police forces, Interpol and the FBI. Al Qaeda is more of an insurgent organization with a military structure, central planning, coordination and financing. They are not staging symbolic events intended to change specific actions by terrorizing civilians. Al Qaeda and bin Laden are executing strategic, tactical operations around the globe with the explicit purpose of changing U.S. policies.

They have a small, nimble corps that can quickly leap to execute whatever plan is laid out by their central command. They have cadres of veteran fighters who can be sent to serve as combat leaders, trainers, engineers, logisticians, financial advisors or administrators wherever Islam needs them. Al Qaeda fighters are both rural and urban war capable.

For over a decade, the U.S. has mistaken the purposes of al Qaeda camps scattered around the Muslim world. These camps don’t train terrorists for the occasional Molotov cocktail routine. Al Qaeda has trained insurgents - the world’s most talented terrorists.

Clearly, al Qaeda is a military organization. Viewing them as terrorists and trying to halt their activities by seeking out and arresting them one by one is not going to be an effective strategy when they are recruiting in large numbers on a daily basis.

While the capture of Abu Zubaydah, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other high-ranking operatives has had an impact, al Qaeda is still able to plan and carry out their strategic goals. As Professor Daniel Bynam recently wrote in The National Interest, ‘without an accurate al Qaeda order-of-battle, U.S. claims of impact have much more in common with Vietnam-like body counts rather than fact-based analysis.’

“A body count can be misleading,” Bynam argued, “because the size of the terrorist cadre is unknown and may of those killed or captured are low-level recruits who can be easily replaced. More importantly, it fails to reflect the impact on the adversary’s morale, recruitment, fund-raising and residual ability to conduct sophisticated attacks.”

Estimates of al Qaeda manpower have been all over the map, from a U.S. estimated 1,900 in 2001, reduced to 1,370 by casualties and injuries in Afghanistan to a British study that estimated that at one point, there were 20,000 jihadists trained with about 18,000 still at large. This variance suggests that the U.S. military and civilian command do not know how many mujihadeen there are, how many units there are, how the group is organized, their locations or their weaponry. By viewing al Qaeda as a terrorist group and applying maxims like the longer the time between actions, the less likely that a terrorist event will occur simply doesn’t apply. Since declaring war on the U.S., al Qaeda has demonstrated that it will stage attacks when it is strategically most appropriate and that just because it hasn’t staged an attack recently doesn’t mean that it won’t or can’t.

In 2001, al Qaeda was in 90 countries around the world. In 2004, al Qaeda is still in 90 countries. U.S. actions have not driven them from any of their bases. In fact, most actions against them appear rather ineffectual. Al Qaeda activity in Saudi Arabia has increased as has their popularity. About 95 percent of Saudis like Osama bin Laden and what he stands for. They initiated and led several anti-regime demonstrations in a number of Saudi cities and they assassinated several senior Saudi officials.

The al-Sauds are confronting the depth of al Qaeda’s penetration into their social and security institutions and they’re rather dismayed at what they’re finding. Despite ever-repressive measures and random arrests, the al-Sauds have not been able to root out this insurgency.

Each activity is a tactic to provoke drastic reactions from the monarchy, which underscores bin Laden’s assertions about the repressive monarchy and increases support for him.

Bin Laden uses the Internet for distributing training materials, bomb-building and poison manuals and cadre building texts. Recruits download the books and then sign up for training near their own country. There were a number of erudite, well-researched essays describing al Qaeda objectives and how achieving al Qaeda’s objectives would benefit the Muslim Ummah. Osama also publishes a bi-weekly electronic journal. From these early offerings by al Qaeda, a virtual community of web sites has sprung up with chat rooms, bulletin boards and information. Since the Afghanistan war, the expansion in online training, small unit tactics, use and manufacture of explosives, trade craft for intelligence, martial arts manuals and text books on weapons of mass destruction have become much easier to find for jihadists. Al Qaeda also uses their web site and others to solicit intelligence on potential targets via message boards.

While bin Laden is organizing his activities and training his fighters, the U.S. is still acting as though he is just a terrorist and instituting measures like the “stop sign of death,” the multicolored terror alerts. This constant crying of “wolf” has resulted in terror-fatigue among Americans. The average citizen simply doesn’t know what to respond to, how worried to get or whether they can take preventative steps.
In addition, the U.S. intelligence and military forces are spread everywhere trying to respond to all of these threats. The net result, to quote a Chinese proverb, is, “When he seeks to protect everywhere, he will be weak everywhere.” What has to happen is a real war. To quote General Curtis Lemay, “In war, you’ve got to kill people, when you kill enough of them, they stop fighting.” While the U.S. has had about 30 triumphs against al Qaeda, al Qaeda has had 73 successful actions against the U.S., its allies, its troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Seemingly, the U.S. has not crippled or even significantly slowed al Qaeda down despite its astronomical military budget, reorganization of its federal information collection bureaucracy and invasion of two countries.

The World’s View of Bin Laden: a Muslim Leader and Hero Coming into Focus.


 Viewed from any angle, bin Laden is a force to be reckoned with. Single handedly, he moved into the breach left by the end of the Cold War and brought the entire globe into military alert once again. He is one of the few people who can claim that he has changed the course of history.

Part of the reason that Muslims are so angry over the Palestinian situation is that it has echoes of the Crusaders occupation of their holy city. Like Saladin once did, bin Laden has united those same constantly-bickering Muslim tribes that defeated the Crusaders and recaptured Jerusalem into an Islamic force. He was able to accomplish this because, unlike as has been suggested by the Western media, bin Laden is not an anomaly, he is the embodiment of the Muslim rage leveled at the wrongheaded U.S. policies in the Middle East and he is emblematic of an actual movement within the Muslim community.

It is a mistake to view bin Laden through the eyes of the various monarchies and governments in the Middle East who portray him as a simple, but mislead man who has been guided to hate by his Egyptian second in command. Nor does bin Laden fit into the favored view of the New World Order. They believe that bin Laden represents totalitarian Islamic revivalism and that this represents a threat to their dystopian new world order.

Demonizing al Zawahiri, bin Laden’s Egyptian advisor, and portraying bin Laden as a demonic dullard do nothing but provide distractions from the very real problems and issues that are creating animosity between the West and the Middle East. Nor does portraying this conflict as the result of a “failed” civilization’s pique with a successful one get at the actual causality.

While it is true that the Muslim world is experiencing a breakdown due to rampant illiteracy, technological backwardness, poor educational systems, decrepit public services, tyrannical services, the oppression of women and other problems, those aren’t the factors fueling the anger against the West and particularly, against the U.S.

Muslims are angry not so much over philosophical and theological points, although those can serve as ennobling rationales for some actions, they are upset about pragmatic things.

Osama has tapped into this anger, named it, explained it and religiously justified it in a way that draws upon deeply-felt Islamic beliefs. He also draws on some unique traits of the Muslim culture. Muslims are steeped in tales of glorious historic figures like Saladin and his battles against the Crusaders. Bin Laden possess some of the same power and mystique as Saladin.

However, this does not mean that he is a simple, up-from-the-sod sort of leader. Bin Laden’s management style is both top-down and bottom-up. He sets goals and objectives that incorporate innovative ideas from his ‘men in the field.’

Most importantly, he imbues everything that al Qaeda does with a sense of mission and religiosity that ennobles al Qaeda’s actions to his group’s members and the Islamic community.

Part of the problem that U.S. leaders face is that by portraying bin Laden as a lunatic whose motivation to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars attacking the U.S. is because he “doesn’t like our freedom” or “democracy” doesn’t make a lot of sense when there are so many democracies, many more convenient, that he could wage war on. Bin Laden has given very clear reasons why he is waging war on the U.S.


Those reasons are:

• America is attacking Islamic states and replacing them with apostate democracies.

• America is killing Muslims and helping other countries to kill Muslims.

• America is propping up corrupt regimes to get cheap oil even though these regimes are not using the profits to benefit their own people.

• America bombed Afghanistan to get its natural resources at a lower price.

• America attacked Iraq to get access to Iraqi oil.

• America has killed hundreds of thousands of women and children through its sanctions and bombing campaigns.

• America supports the Israelis’ war on the Palestinians even when the Israelis violate international law.

Unfortunately for Americans, U.S. policies and actions in the Middle East, particularly in the last four years, have provided Muslims worldwide with incontrovertible evidence of what bin Laden has termed “an ocean of oppression, injustice, slaughter and plunder carried out by Americans against the Islamic Ummah (community).”

Bin Laden Views the World: Some Old, Some New and a Twist

Bin Laden captured the sentiments of many Muslims perfectly when he said, “We say that the brutal enemy does not need documents or excuses for continuing the war he has started against Islam and Muslims many decades ago. For God’s sake, what are the documents that incriminate the Palestinians people that warrant the massacres against them, which have been going on for more than five decades at the hands of the Crusaders and the Jews? What is the evidence against the people of Iraq? ...What is the crime of the Kashmiris?”

From the Muslim perspective, their people are being killed by the U.S., Israel and other countries for no discernible reason. Now, the Israelis might say that they are killing Palestinians in retaliation for the suicide bombings. The fact remains, who started what and when isn’t even operant anymore, but there has been a trend by the U.S. to overlook Muslim killings by Russia, India and Israel mostly for political convenience.

Bin Laden has continued to focus on the U.S. He has attacked coalition members around the world to discourage them from helping the United States in Iraq. He has attacked Arab states friendly to the U.S. so that they will feel less inclined to cooperate in existing or future conflicts. He is also preparing Muslims for the fact that real change will necessitate higher casualties among Muslim enemies. Part of his preparation has been repeated warnings that there will be another attack.

Shaykh Naser bin Hamid al Falid published a treatise showing that the Koran justifies the use of WMD on infidels. Al Falid said that the Koran states that Muslims may respond proportionately to attacks made upon them. Estimating that about 10 million Muslims have been killed worldwide, al Falid wrote that the numbers of infidels killed should approximate that same number. Al Falid also wrote that even if there were Muslim hostages held in a target area, the idea of their death should not deter a strike in the service of jihad.

Osama bin Laden has demonstrated that he makes no idle threats. He has told Americans and their leaders what they are doing that so enrages him. Now, he is saying that he will strike again at the appropriate time and he will.

Blinding Hubris Abounding: Inflicting Defeat on Ourselves

Headlines and leads on news stories make it seem as though it is only a matter of time before the U.S. obliterates Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda and installs democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan. These pronouncements contradict FBI and CIA admonitions that al Qaeda is as dangerous now as it was in 2001. Other stories say that Osama bin Laden today is more dangerous than he ever was before. As the threat level assessments wander between “don’t worry” and “prepare to die,” we also have experts warning audiences on CNN, CSPAN and Oprah that the next attack will involve WMDs.

Our leaders contend that our low approval ratings among Muslims are unrelated to our country’s policies. Instead of honestly assessing our own behavior, our imperial hubris makes us conclude that it is Islam that needs to change. Americans need to honestly see what our Middle Eastern policies are and admit that these policies might make Muslims hate us. We need to understand that if we don’t change, bin Laden will attack again.

If we are attacked, we need to fight real wars. Grant said that “war is a hostile enterprise designed to end the enemy’s ability to fight.” He told his men that they would “fight until beaten or until the enemy was on the path to destruction.” We need to decide to fight as a last resort when all else has failed, but when we do fight, it needs to be a decisive victory. More importantly, before we fight, we need to decide if what we are fighting for is a good thing.

An example of fighting without really analyzing the reasons is the war to make Afghanistan democratic. There is a staggering incompatibility between American-style democracy and Muslim society. In one world, Caesar and God each have their due; in the other world, God and Caesar are one and the same. Whether Muslims can adapt democracy to meet their religious needs is a question that only they can actually answer.

It is not something that we can say. Also, we don’t seem to remember that it has taken 200 years for us to iron out our democracy and we came from a long standing tradition of democracy in England.

We believe that Afghans will be happy if we export malls and McDonalds for them to choose from without even knowing if that is what they really want. Worse, we believe that somehow making Afghanistan a version of the United States will keep us safe from bin Laden.

How the Enemy Sets the Stage: How America’s Stubborn Obtuseness Aids Its Foes Bin Laden has said since 1996 that the survival of Islam and the Muslim world are in the hands of every Muslim. Islam is being attacked by U.S.-led Crusaders and Jews. Bin Laden advocates jihad to change the policies of the United States.

Bin Laden’s goals for U.S. policies are simple:

1. End all foreign aid to Israel.

2. Eliminate Israel’s state and create a Palestinian state.

3. Withdraw all American troops from the Arabian Peninsula and all Muslim territory.

4. End U.S. conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq.

5. End all U.S. support for the oppression of Muslims by China, Russia, India and other governments.

6. Restore Muslim control over Islamic energy resources and return to market prices.

7. End the impoverishment of Muslims that has been caused by the cheap oil demanded of tyrannical apostate regimes as the price for American support.

8. Replace U.S.-protected Muslim regimes that do not govern according to Islamic principles with governments that do.

Bin Laden’s ability to articulate actual objectives for his jihad are better and more realistic than those of the United States for their wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This focus on specific bread and butter points has widespread support among Muslims.

He’s not demanding that Americans become Muslim or create theocracies. He has succeeded where Khomeini did not. He is not condemning Western hedonism or calling for the destruction of the West, he is calling for the rights of Muslims to govern themselves as they see fit.

By contrast, the United States is trying to force democracy upon Muslim countries by bombing and invading them. It is proclaiming the goal of its invasion to be liberation of these countries, but it is building permanent bases all over both Afghanistan and Iraq.

The U.S. has diverted moneys received for oil from Iraq’s people to payment for reconstruction. Every action of the United States only serves to reinforce bin Laden’s message that Americans only want to conquer, convert and exploit Islamic countries. We are our own worst enemy.


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