September 24, 2001
They Really Want to Finish the West?
Cool heads are needed soon
hate what they see right here in this chamber: a democratically
elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate
our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our
freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other."
President George W. Bush's speech
that why they killed 7000 people, as a statement against American
democracy? Was it really because of the multiplicity of churches
that men sacrificed their lives in an attempt to end thousands more?
It may sound good that these terrorists were simply motivated by
hatred of much of what is great about America, but is it true?
am not asking whether they hate democracy or freedom of speech,
let's take this hatred for granted. I would suggest that it is irrelevant.
After all, they hate atheistic Marxism, yet they have not been bombing
North Korea. For that matter, they did not bomb Denmark, which has
democracy, freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Why did they
best thing to do on this is go to the source, and I am talking about
the pronouncements of Osama
bin Laden. On many occasions, he has declared
war on the United States, and the sort of nasty total war that
involves killing civilians "in any country in which it is possible
to do it". Nevertheless, does he, and by extension the extreme Islamicists
in general, see it as a war of annihilation?
answer would seem to be no. There is no doubt that there is a twisted
mind at work here, and one that it is hard to fathom. Let's take
his second paragraph:
be to God, who revealed the Book, controls the clouds, defeats factionalism,
and says in His Book "But when the forbidden months are past, then
fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, seize them, beleaguer
them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)"; and
peace be upon our Prophet, Muhammad Bin-'Abdallah, who said I have
been sent with the sword between my hands to ensure that no one
but God is worshipped, God who put my livelihood under the shadow
of my spear and who inflicts humiliation and scorn on those who
disobey my orders.
is more than standard Islamic boilerplate. This is blood curdling
and somewhat meandering prose and all in one sentence. It
would be far too easy to spend the rest of the column mocking the
tortured language of the statement, even allowing for the fact that
it is translated out of Arabic. Easy, but unprofitable. For readers
of this column, and Antiwar.com in general, tune in because they
want analysis that they will not find in the mainstream press. What
we need to know is what motivates this man and those he inspires.
are three grievances, which I will list. Firstly, there are American
troops on Saudi soil:
for over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands
of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering
its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorising
its neighbours, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead
through which to fight the neighbouring Muslim peoples.
is Saudi Arabia the "holiest of places"? It's because it has the
two cities Mecca and Medina. Foreign in most cases infidel
troops are deeply offensive to bin Laden and his followers.
They are obviously a scapegoat for much else that is endemically
wrong with Saudi society and occupation is a perverse way
of describing a deployment that was invited in by the Saudi royal
family but they are nonetheless resented.
is also a rage against the actions of America against Iraq:
despite the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people by the
crusader-Zionist alliance, and despite the huge number of those
killed, which has exceeded 1 million... despite all this, the Americans
are once again trying to repeat the horrific massacres, as though
they are not content with the protracted blockade imposed after
the ferocious war or the fragmentation and devastation.