Osama Bin Laden
September 8, 2011 by staff
Osama Bin Laden, Writing recently in the Washington Post, Brian Michael Jenkins, an adviser to the Rand Corporation of reflection, said 9 / 11 attacks 10 years ago were not a strategic success for al-Qaida. He’s right. Osama bin Laden’s strategy left at the end – but not for the reason that Jenkins thinks.
Jenkins says that Osama bin Laden believes that the U.S. was a paper tiger because he had no stomach for casualties. Kill enough Americans, and the United States would withdraw from the Middle East, leaving the field open for the proposed al-Qaeda to overthrow secular Arab regimes and impose Islamic rule worldwide.
In 1996, bin laden fatwa declaring war on the United States, said Jenkins, said the U.S. flea the region in case of serious attack. In fact, Bin Laden gave the rapid U.S. military withdrawal in Lebanon following the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, and the equally rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces in Somalia in 1993 after 18 U.S. soldiers died in Mogadishu, as examples of the cowardice of America.
Other al-Qaida commanders disagreed, says Jenkins, warning of the attacks of 9 / 11 would anger the United States and “The focus of their anger over the terrorist group and its allies, but bin Laden continued. When the United States did (invading Afghanistan), bin Laden changed the subject, saying that he intended to provoke over the United States in a war that promote all against Islam. ”
Jenkins is very clear that bin Laden saying he never realized the United States would respond with violence when his organization killed thousands of Americans. He would have been dismayed when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan and destroyed the training camps. And so, the expert panel concludes that the U.S. does not fall into a trap that bin Laden had set up deliberately so that when it invaded Afghanistan.
Well, that’s a point of view. Here’s another. Bin Laden was well aware that the U.S. would invade Afghanistan in response to the attacks of 9 / 11 and wanted to do it. He believes that the U.S. would then plunged into a protracted guerrilla war in Afghanistan and bloody, a repetition of the war against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in late 1980 in which bin Laden had gone first to fame.
Military commanders are always thinking of re-fighting the last war; the commanders of t*rror*sm are no different. Bin Laden expected a protracted guerrilla war in Afghanistan, U.S. troops killed many Muslims, in fact it would “encourage all of Islam” against the United States.
So why not say in advance? Why did the United States claim they fled screaming to the atrocity in the first place, if you really are expected to invade Afghanistan? For the revolutionaries who resort to t*rror*sm always speak freely about their goals, but never publicly discussed their strategy for achieving them. They cannot, because the strategy is deeply cruel and cynical.
Terrorists tend to be rational political objectives – usually a revolution of some sort. In the case of Bin Laden, who wanted Islamic revolutions throughout the Muslim world, but had been quite successful in fueling popular support for such revolutions. So how could build that support? Well, what is there to attract the United States to invade a Muslim country?
Revolutionary groups often resort to t*rror*sm if they believe that the lack of popular support. Its purpose is to trick your opponent much more powerful (usually a government) to do terrible things that alienate people and drive in his arms. It is the political equivalent of jiu-jitsu.
They are trying to bring horror and death for the population by triggering a crackdown by the government or foreign occupation, in the hope that it will radicalize the people and turn them into supporters of the draft political terrorists. But people who try to manipulate I think it was the oppressors or foreign occupiers, not the terrorists, who pulled the trigger. That’s why Bin Laden lied about his strategy.
Probably not even tell its Taliban hosts in Afghanistan was planning 9 / 11, because they would have welcomed the possibility of being ousted from power and having to fight another guerrilla war for 10 years against the other superpower invading.
Bin Laden’s strategy was not original with him. He had been fighting as a guerrilla and terrorist leader for 15 years at the time of 9 / 11, and such people have always read all the standard texts in their chosen profession. The idea of?? Using the opponent’s force against him absolutely permeates the “how to” books on guerrilla warfare and t*rror*sm, Mao Marighella.
So I dug a trap bin Laden, and the United States fell into it. In that sense, his strategy was successful and the guerrilla war that occurred in Afghanistan did much to change the Arab and Muslim popular opinion against the United States. (The invasion of Iraq did more damage to the reputation of the United States, but that was not really about t*rror*sm at all.)
Ultimately, however, Bin Laden’s strategy is not simply because the project was unacceptable and unbelievable to most Muslims. And the most decisive rejection of his strategy is the fact of oppression old Arab regimes is being toppled, mostly non-violently, by the revolutionaries who want democracy and freedom, not the Islamist government.
Gwynne Dyer is a freelance journalist based in London whose articles are published in 45 countries.
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