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  • #16
    Originally posted by LanceRunolfsson

    If their goal was the destruction of themselves and the Taliban and the US occupation of two Moslem Nations then they have succeeded brilliantly. The worst thing that ever happened to any Arab was the withdrawal of the European Colonial powers after WWII. The Moslem has displayed such startling incapacity for self governance. That it would seem that foreign occupation no matter how brutal or repressive would be an improvement for them over any thing they are capable of producing themselves.
    The occupation of Muslim nations is certainly a potential means to an end. Many Muslims are angry that US soldiers are occupying these nations and if that can be built upon then Al Qaeda is closer to realizing their objectives.

    As for their inability for self-governance, one look at all new states after colonisation seems to suggest this is not limited to Muslims. And then of course, there is foreign interference.

    We could conclude that South Americans can not govern themselves, pointing to the turbulence during the Cold War - but then much of that was caused by either of the superpowers or their respective intelligence services.
    "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."

    – Associate Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Olmstead vs. United States.

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    • #17
      Islamic Fundamentalism is a political movement meant to undermine Western interest in the Middle East and ultimately supress the great powers on Earth, facilitating success. Bin Laden miscalculated American resolve. We'd spent the last decade or so proving time and again America lacked staying power and resolve to tolerate great risk in the Middle East.

      The West is scared of Arabs. They beat the British into submission, and undermined American foriegn policy. In some cases they have reasons not to like us. However, todays movement goes beyond the efforts of the CIA or anyone else. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out how important the region is to maintaining the status of the US and others. Whoever controls the oil flow has great leverage and power.

      Most of the pro-Western governments in power today are hated for not using that leverage to promote Islam. Democracy robbed the all-powerful Clerics of many of their powers. Thus, they are using those tools to change that. The twisted governments we all enjoy blaming each other for installing are actually not much different from anti-Western governments. Case in point, Iran. The government there eliminated the American influence. Yet, I doubt many people would know the difference, except maybe when they are being beaten, the guards take a moment to pray at sunrise and sunset.

      Bin Laden wants to depose the Saudi monarchy not because of the hardships it's brought to the people, but to seize power, and use that as leverage to expand his position. As MikeJ stated, 9/11 was an eventual move Al-Qaeda needed to make. It was an acceptable risk because the US had shown a lack of resolve in the Middle East that was nothing short of cowardly. Saddam and Somalia were just two examples of this weakness.

      Most Muslims in the Middle East saw the Gulf War as King Faad trying to give the White Satan an opportunity to improve their position with them. Issues after the war, particularly, the continuation of operations, fueled the ideal we had exploited that opportunity to our advantage.

      The US appeared weak and impotent. So Bin Laden seized the opportunity.

      As for the Palestinians, the uprisings are putting pressure on the US to get Israel out. Despite the huge casualties, Israel is appearing to concede. That's what matters to the Palestinians and fanatics in the Islam world. They must appear strong, not giving an inch to inspire support.

      To be honest, Palestinian's oppression by the Israelis is not an exception. Nobody wants the Palestinians. Arab support is likely driven both by hatred of Israel, and the desire to keep the Palestinians off their hands.
      "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

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      • #18
        Just some relevant news clippings. Al Qaeda may not have anticipated the extent of the US response, but it would seem this declining regard for the US is what they've long been wanting.

        http://www.newsday.com/news/nationwo...news-headlines

        Poll: U.S. Image Abroad Worse Since Iraq War
        By William Douglas
        WASHINGTON BUREAU

        June 4, 2003

        Washington - The United States' image abroad, bad before the war against Iraq, has plunged further in its aftermath, according to a survey released yesterday.

        The poll, conducted in 20 countries and the Palestinian Authority by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, found softening international support for the war on terrorism, growing fear in several countries that they will be attacked by the United States, and an expansion of deep distrust among Muslims of President George W. Bush and his policies.

        "The war with Iraq has further divided the publics of the world," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. "The rift between Americans and Western Europeans has widened and the bottom has fallen out in support of the U.S. in most of the Muslim world."

        Most of the respondents named Bush as the main source of their mistrust of America. In a blow to the White House, U.S. residents questioned said that, on foreign affairs, they had more faith in British Prime Minister Tony Blair than in Bush.

        Eighty-three percent of U.S. residents said they have "a lot" or "some" confidence in Blair to do the right things on international issues while 78 percent said the same about Bush. Only one country, Israel, picked Bush first as a world leader they trust.

        The most dramatic element of the survey, conducted between April 28 and May 15, was the continuing free-fall of America's image in Muslim countries.

        In Indonesia, favorable opinion of the United States nose-dived from 75 percent in 1999/2000 to 61 percent last summer to 15 percent last month. In Jordan, a U.S. ally, favorable opinion fell from 25 percent last summer to 1 percent last month.

        And Muslims' regard for Osama bin Laden was up in several countries. Seventy-one percent of Palestinian respondents and 58 percent of Indonesians said they have confidence in bin Laden to "do the right thing regarding world affairs."

        Following the U.S. war in Iraq, more than 71 percent of those polled in Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey said they are worried American forces could invade their lands.

        "Something that I'd never thought I'd see and something that is of great concern to me is that people now fear American power," said former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who chairs the Pew Global Attitudes Project.

        "The strong dislike of the United States is no longer concentrated in the regions of conflict, that is the Mideast and Pakistan," Kohut said. "It now extends into Africa ... and Indonesia."

        At the same time, the intensely negative pre-war view of the United States eased in some countries, particularly in Western Europe. In Britain, 70 percent viewed the United States favorably - more than the 43 percent measured in March, but less than the 83 percent in 1999/2000, Kohut said. Patterns were similar in Germany, France and Italy.

        "A belief that the U.S. pursues a unilateralist foreign policy has only grown all around the world after the war," Kohut said. That has contributed to a dip in support for Bush's global war on terrorism.

        The survey was based on about 16,000 interviews conducted in 31 languages. It has a margin of error of plus or minus three to four percentage points.
        "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."

        – Associate Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Olmstead vs. United States.

        Comment


        • #19
          Our image will continue to decline until the world needs us to save their asses. That's how it always is. The South Korean President once said he wanted all American soldiers to leave SK. Rumsfield said that was fine with him. When the SK president realized the man was serious, he shut up.

          Europe is convinced it's pretty much safe now. That's going to change the moment the first Chinese Carrier Battle Group sail within a few hundred miles of the main land.
          "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

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