Thursday, September 2, 2010


If you’d care to, I’d be interested in anyone’s opinion on why they believe 9/11 happened.

It was foggy in my mind, but I was told it was “bad men who hate freedom and want to take away America’s freedom.”

I didn’t really question that until a friend of mine who lives in the Afghanistan/Pakistan border (the same one I mentioned in another post) and whose family is the same ethnicity as al-Qaeda said that clearly it happened because of the American support of Israel against Palestine—all Afghanistan people recognize that. What? I told him that it was not clear to most Americans (maybe I’m wrong). That’s why I wondered if I was just ignorant about that fact?

I decided to ask my friend who majored in Middle Eastern studies, and who speaks a little of both Hebrew and Arabic and who lived over there for a while his opinion. I thought it was such an excellent answer it should be shared:

I suppose that the first thing to do is to ask the people who perpetrated the attack.
Osama bin Laden is the figurehead of al-Qaeda, but it is a matter of speculation as to how much power he has, and how big a role he played in the September 11th attacks. He probably had knowledge of the attacks, and while he didn’t claim responsibility at once, he later did claim direct responsibility. It’s safe to say that ideologically, he represents members of al-Qaeda, and other similar groups.
He issued a manifesto about a year after the attacks that he called a “letter to the American people.” He outlined his grievances against the US and the reasons behind the attacks. He mixes political motivations with religious justification, including several verses of the Quran. Much of the letter is non-substantive, but the core of it is actually quite lucid.
“(Q1) Why are we fighting and opposing you?”
“(1) Because you attacked us and continue to attack us.”
He then outlines his grievances, and his beliefs regarding American aggression against Muslims:
1. US support for Israel, especially violence against the Palestinians.
2. US supported violence against Muslims in other areas including Somlia, Chechnya, Kashmir, Lebanon.
3. US support for dictators and regimes in the Middle East.
4. US control of Middle Eastern oil.
5. US military presence in the Middle East, particularly military bases in Saudi Arabia.
6. US support for Israeli dominance of Jerusalem.
He concludes by saying “If [Former Israeli PM, Ariel] Sharon is a man of peace in the eyes of Bush, then we are also men of peace!!! America does not understand the language of manners and principles, so we are addressing it using the language it understands.”
Analysts and experts have concluded that these reasons are transparent and are the actual grievances of bin Laden and al-Qaeda, and that the chief grievance is the US support for Israel’s violence against the Palestinians.
To me then, there are two obvious questions. The first: Are these grievances legitimate? The second: How do we use these grievances to undermine and eliminate al-Qaeda and other similar groups.
The answer to the first question, in my opinion, is that for the most part the grievances are real. Acknowledging this is in no way justifying al-Qaeda, or the vicious September 11th attacks. Terrorists regard themselves as the vanguard of the people, and they use actual grievances to recruit and motivate jihadis to commit violence.
In my mind, this brings the answer to the second question. We should eliminate the grievances, over which we have a large degree of control, and undermine the base of support for al-Qaeda. This is not just my opinion only, but the opinion of many experts, including two former National Security Advisors, General Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski.
In a report you can download here:
These two, and a team of other bipartisan experts recommended steps to ending the Israel-Palestine conflict to President Obama. The entire report is well worth reading, I’ll only quote two paragraphs:
“Today, when our enemies avoid America’s military superiority by waging information warfare and terror, an early Arab-Israeli peace is indispensable. Although a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace would not erase Al Qaeda, it would help drain the swamp in which it and other violent and terrorist movements thrive, and eliminate a major source of global Muslim anti-Americanism. Iran would find the strategic advantages it recently gained in the Arab world greatly reduced. Far from being a distraction from other Middle Eastern crises, an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement would significantly facilitate their amelioration.
Conversely, for the U.S. to avoid effective facilitation and mediation is to cede the field to America’s enemies who are counting on the Arab-Israeli dispute as the gift that keeps on giving.”

Full text: bin Laden's 'letter to America' | World news |


1 comment:

Laura said...

I once heard that the founder of Al-Qaeda read some of Alfred Kinsey's (the supposed father of the sexual revolution) writings, and was basically sickened by how sexually permissive our culture is, and hated America for it.

That's just a theory I've heard, I'm not sure if that's the reason or a reason for it.

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