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  • Al qaeda leader in Saudi Arabia killed

    RIYADH (Reuters) - Al Qaeda militants in Saudi Arabia beheaded American hostage Paul Johnson Friday and their leader was then killed in a shootout with security forces as he tried to dispose of the body, Saudi officials said.

    Abdulaziz al-Muqrin's group posted photographs of the 49-year-old aviation engineer's severed head on a Web site, six days after he was seized. The Saudi government had refused to free Islamist prisoners by a Friday deadline set by the cell.

    Shortly afterwards, as Muqrin and two other top militants deposited the body in the capital Riyadh, they were surrounded by Saudi security men and gunned down, a security source said.

    Muqrin, an angry young man driven by revenge and hatred for the United States and its Arab allies, was Saudi Arabia's most wanted al Qaeda leader. His death will be portrayed as a major blow to Saudi-born Osama bin Laden by the kingdom's rulers, once chided by their U.S. allies as being soft on terrorism.
    "Speaking here in my capacity as a polished, sophisticated European as well, it seems to me the laugh here is on the polished, sophisticated Europeans. They think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on. And they've taken as their own Michael Moore, as their representative American, someone who actually embodies all of those qualities." - Christopher Hitchens

  • #2
    He doesn't matter in the end, unless his death is consolation to Johnson's family (I doubt it).

    Do you remember the Sci-Fi classic Forbidden Planet? Remember that invincible monster that appears from nowhere and kills American astronauts? In the end it turns out the real attacker is the scientist whose psyche is powerful enough to dream up the deadly monster as the scientist sleeps in his bed?

    In the war on terror Al-Quaida is the monster, the Saudi brand of Islam, Wahabbism to be exact, is the scientist behind everything. We've been fighting the elusive dream much too long; it is time we began to understand the real culprit behind Al-Quaida.

    "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
    --Frederick II, King of Prussia

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    • #3
      Yes, and why is Wahhabism the minor but influential force that it is?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Prester John
        Yes, and why is Wahhabism the minor but influential force that it is?
        Your question is tremendously powerful, yet very short. I think it is at the heart of the matter.
        I would like to take an amateurish stab at this.

        In the 70's, the Arabs (Saudi Arabia in particular) realized the value and power of their oil. They formed an oligopoly and used oil for riches and political influence. This included two oil embargoes and numerous price increases on the West. IMHO, at the time, the West had the answer to the oil problem. It was nuclear power. Japan, Norway, France and other countries dived into the Nuclear pool. The USA began too. With the advent of nuclear power, the strangle hold of oil could not be used on the West. Prices even dipped. However, the Environmental movement derailed the Nuclear Power movement. The Greens beat the Nukes to a pulp.

        As a result, oil money literally flooded into the Saudis. Aside from dropping millions into European Gaming Casinos and Hollywood feature films, the Saudis pumped BILLIONS (yes, with a B) into religious schools that taught Wahabism. Not only did the schools spring forth in Saudi Arabia, but also in all parts of the world. The Saudi gov't basically bribed the Wahabist Mullahs into political peace for the access to the Petrodollars.

        As for the radicalism of Wahabism, I think the Israeli-PLO issue coupled with the lack of democracies prevented any Islamic Calvins from reforming Islam and moderating the extremism.

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        • #5
          But why was it necessary to "bribe" the Wahhabists in this way? Why not ignore them? (Yes, a rhetorical question.)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Prester John
            But why was it necessary to "bribe" the Wahhabists in this way? Why not ignore them? (Yes, a rhetorical question.)
            Wahabism does not distinguish a difference between political and religious ruling bodies. By its nature, it demands a religious theocracy with the mullahs in charge of all aspects of life....including the government. By "bribing" the mullahs, the Saudi Royal family is extended the cloak of being "verified" as religious by the mullahs. Thus, the Saudi Royal family keeps power and the mullahs leave the government to the family.

            Unfortunately for the Saudi Royal family, that "agreement" no longer exists. Now the Wahabi extremists and the Saudi Royal family are fighting it out for power.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Custer6
              Your question is tremendously powerful, yet very short. I think it is at the heart of the matter.
              I would like to take an amateurish stab at this.


              As for the radicalism of Wahabism, I think the Israeli-PLO issue coupled with the lack of democracies prevented any Islamic Calvins from reforming Islam and moderating the extremism.
              I would not describe Calvin as a moderate, more like a religious zealot!

              As for the Saudis and the oil they were filthy rich even before the seventies began.Now their rotten regime is threatened with overthrow by they very forces they tolerated and indeed helped for so long.

              However even they do go I think the most likely scenario is that the area that now makes up SA will but subject to Balkanisation, with both local and western powers vying for influence.

              Expect to see the West seize the oil fields and arm and finance armed factions there to counterbalance AQ and others.
              Its unlikley that all anti western forces do or will support AQ or the Wahabee sect. Many might want to see a modernist, uncorrupt and most of all independent Arabia emerge. Others might want to see a more robust pan Arab movement.

              One thing is for sure, major upheavals are on their way that will badly hit the oil markets and taht will have an adverse effect on the World Economy, which we are all part of whether we like it or not.
              http://www.irelandinhistory.blogspot.ie/

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              • #8
                The decent Saudis in their government have a terrific task on their hands, I don't know if they will be able to accomplish it in a 100 years, if at all (because of conflicting interests). They have to change the way their people see the world. Also, how do you tell them (they're so proud of their Islamic beliefs) that their effort to export their conservative Islam is one of the principal catalysts of terrorism in the world?

                I think they're trying, so far they had replaced 2,000 radical immans in their mosques. Also, all the small charity organizations have been disbanded and brought under the umbrella of a single, government supervised national charity that will receive regular audits. These are important steps, much more productive than chasing terrorists. By the time the terrorist is operational in Riyadh it might be too late.
                Last edited by MonsterZero; 19 Jun 04, 06:59.

                "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
                --Frederick II, King of Prussia

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MonsterZero
                  Also, how do you tell them (they're so proud of their Islamic beliefs) that their effort to export their conservative Islam is one of the principal catalysts of terrorism in the world?
                  Now there is a very interesting statement. Just think of the simple substitutions you could make in that sentence.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Custer6
                    Wahabism does not distinguish a difference between political and religious ruling bodies. By its nature, it demands a religious theocracy with the mullahs in charge of all aspects of life....including the government. By "bribing" the mullahs, the Saudi Royal family is extended the cloak of being "verified" as religious by the mullahs. Thus, the Saudi Royal family keeps power and the mullahs leave the government to the family.

                    Unfortunately for the Saudi Royal family, that "agreement" no longer exists. Now the Wahabi extremists and the Saudi Royal family are fighting it out for power.
                    I think the Wahhabists have supporters (without supporters the movement would be nothing but clerics without a flock) because of a reaction against modernism. Most shockingly it's the modernism represented by rock and roll and Hollywood which grates on the minds of the traditionalists. If it wasn't for these repulsive ideas then the rest of the modern world would be adapted and accepted. Instead it has to be shut out, so no cable TV, air con and washing machines for the masses under their influence.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Prester John
                      Now there is a very interesting statement. Just think of the simple substitutions you could make in that sentence.
                      I know what you mean and you're right and wrong at the same time. Capitalism and globalism as promoted by Western companies and governments do not call for death to "Muslim infidels". Also, McDonalds restaurants and Holywood movies are not force fed to the Arabs; there's real demand for that stuff and that's what scares the mullahs the most.
                      Last edited by MonsterZero; 19 Jun 04, 08:28.

                      "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
                      --Frederick II, King of Prussia

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Capitalism's a bit broad Monster. Look closer to home for your answer :flag:
                        Last edited by Sharpe; 19 Jun 04, 09:09. Reason: *

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                        • #13
                          I am disheartened to see a comparison of Islamic extremism and USA military pre-emtion. Hopefully wrongly, I infer a comparison of the two that seems to equate a moral equality between them. This is particularly glaring when that comparison is made by people that warmly welcomed USA "hegemony" when the Japanese were bombing Darwin.

                          The USA has sent military forces to many places and after each time, we simply leave. In fact, the only thing the USA leaves behind is freedom and cemetaries thick with the graves of young USA serviceman.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Custer6
                            In fact, the only thing the USA leaves behind is freedom and cemetaries thick with the graves of young USA serviceman.
                            Well in this modern world you are mostly wrong on the first count (Somalia, Haiti, Lebanon, etc) and definitely wrong on the second count.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Prester John
                              Well in this modern world you are mostly wrong on the first count (Somalia, Haiti, Lebanon, etc) and definitely wrong on the second count.

                              We do not always succeed attempting to bring freedom, but we tried. We spilt blood and treasure in those places.

                              As for casualties, although we did not leave them behind, I can assure you that many US serviceman inhabit cemetaries from the attempts you quoted.

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