by Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, 4/24/13
On May 2, 2011, I posted a blog entitled “‘Bin Laden Is Dead,’ motives for 9/11, & his ‘Letter to the American people’.”
As I pointed out two years ago,
…As is well known, Bin Laden worked with the Americans (to purge Afghanistan from Western influence) before he worked against the Americans (ditto).”…
It is always worth trying to understand hostile people and movements–even, or perhaps especially, fanatics. Europe would have done well to pay more attention to Mein Kampf, which Hitler began writing in prison and which clearly sets forth the plan that he soon set in motion, with horrendous consequences for the world.
So, what did Bin Laden say about his own intentions, with horrendous consequences for the world?…
For Bin Laden’s own 2002 analysis and radical rhetoric, see his “Letter to the American people,” published in translation by The Guardian (UK) on 11/24/02. Obviously, seeing what he said is not the same as endorsing or agreeing.
He starts with what he terms U.S. attacks or support for attacks against Islam and Muslims in Palestine, Somalia, Chechnya, Kashmir, and Lebanon….
And so on. But did you catch the reference to Chechnya? That was a part of the world most Americans weren’t paying a whole lot of attention to, but over the years, it seems two brothers of Chechen origin were (see “Chechnya connections build picture of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: Boston Marathon bombing suspects never lived in Chechnya but republic’s struggle played a central role in their lives,” The Guardian, 4/19/13).
And further, according to “Boston bombing suspect cites U.S. wars as motivation, officials say” in the Washington Post, 4/223/13:
The 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has told interrogators that the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan motivated him and his brother to carry out the attack, according to U.S. officials familiar with the interviews.
Bin Laden wrote, among his long catalog of US actions he condemned:
…We also advise you to stop supporting … the Russians against the Chechens….
…you supported the Russian atrocities against us in Chechnya….
Now, of course, the US needs to choose its own foreign policy and can’t be blackmailed by fanatics, whether foreign or domestic, whether religious or non-religious, or whether just plain crazy.
But one does wonder whether the State Department, Pentagon, CIA, and White House (it’s not really clear who has been and is in charge of policy) have been paying enough attention to the consequences of their actions….
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