Let’s Go Get The Bad Guys – The American Way
The sleeping giant has been brutally awakened. But if America like an enraged Cyclops swings indiscriminately at this threat, the enemy will succeed in hurting us far worse than he has already. Our leaders appear to realize that they must think this one out carefully before taking premature action. Our tormentor has set us an elaborate trap, hoping to goad us into a response which will provoke World War III, with America aligned against a coalition of Muslim nations with access to weapons of mass destruction and in possession of most of the oil needed to fuel any war machine.
Meanwhile the anger all Americans naturally feel seeks an outlet. For some the outlet has become hate against all Arabs and/or all Muslims. Ironically it is the same hate itself at the core of the whole situation, that began in the heart of Osama Bin-Laden and spiraled outward until it brought about the Holocaust of September 11. If we succumb to this hate we have become the same as Bin-Laden. The hate like an alien invader will have taken over all of us.
Instead we must like alchemists transmute this anger into clarity of analysis leading to effective action. We need to peel away the onion of how we reached this place before we can break out of it.
First of all we must define our mission. It is not vengeance. It is rescue, and protection. We need to remove a dangerous world criminal and all who think like him. The enemy numbers at least in the tens of thousands. We need to surgically remove this enemy and to make the world safe for humanity, those alive today and especially our children and grandchildren. To succeed this mission must be approached in the right way. We cannot let ourselves sink to the level of the enemy, to be drawn into hate, because the mind shuts down and does not perform as effectively under a regime of hate. If we go that way we will make mistakes and cause more lives to be lost than is necessary.
If we are to succeed we shall need to rise to be our best. Thankfully we can see all around us vast evidence that this is already happening. There are heroes arising everywhere, shaking themselves out of the long slumber.
Nostradamus predicted that there would be three Antichrists. The first has been widely assumed to have been Napoleon. Nostradamus referred to the second one as “Hitner” and to the third by a Mideastern name, “Perse”.
Our parents and some people still alive today fought to save the world from Hitler. When that epic fight began it was a daunting challenge. The successful conclusion was by no means assured.
Now it is our turn.
Bin-Laden is not a true Muslim. He is a great desecrator of that faith, using it to gain and manipulate his followers. He is The Great Infidel. Islam, the Muslim faith, is defined by the words of The Prophet, set down in the holy book called the Quran. In this book it says:
“Take not life, which Allah hath made sacred.”
“Nor take life which Allah has made sacred.”
“If any one slew a person… it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.”
Book 21, Number 21.3.10:
“Do not destroy an inhabited place.”
Book 001, Number 0203:
“And he who killed himself with anything Allah would torment him with that in the Fire of Hell.”
While Bin-Laden and other perverters of one of the world’s great religions have been promising eternal reward for suicide bombing, the truth of the matter is that the authoritative text of Islam clearly states the exact opposite.
Rather than see Islam as the threat, Americans must distinguish between Islam and the true enemy. Doing otherwise is exactly what Bin-Laden wants: he wants America to see Islam as its enemy and he thereby wants to bring about a war between America and Islam.
Tamim Ansary writes:
“I thought about these issues especially hard because I am from Afghanistan, and even though I've lived here for 35 years I've never lost track of what's been going on over there.
“The Taliban and Bin-Laden are not Afghanistan. They're not even the government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of ignorant psychotics who
captured Afghanistan in 1997 and have been holding the country in bondage ever since.
“Bin-Laden is a political criminal with a master plan. When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When you think Bin-Laden, think Hitler. And when you think ‘the people of Afghanistan’ think ‘the Jews in the concentration camps.’ It's
not only that the Afghan people had nothing to do with this atrocity. They were the first victims of the perpetrators. They would love for someone to eliminate the Taliban and clear out the rats nest of international thugs holed up in their country. The Afghan people have tried to overthrow the Taliban.
They haven't been able to.
“…global war between Islam and the West… is Bin-Laden's program. That's exactly what he wants and why he did this thing. Read his speeches and statements. It's all right there.
“At the moment, of course, ‘Islam’ as such does not exist. There are Muslims and there are Muslim countries, but no such political entity as Islam. Bin-Laden believes that if he can get a war started, he can constitute this entity and he'd be
running it. He really believes Islam would beat the West. It might seem ridiculous, but he figures if he can polarize the world into Islam and the West, he's got a billion soldiers. If the West wreaks a holocaust in Muslim lands, that's a billion people with nothing left to lose, even better from Bin-Laden's
point of view.”
Tamim Ansary’s analysis is validated by another observer, Bob Fuller, who was part of a peacekeeping mission that was first into Afghanistan after the Soviets pulled out. He was a fellow at WorldWatch in Washington D.C., former president of Oberlin College, and the author of "Breaking Ranks: In Pursuit of Individual Dignity."
What Bob Fuller says about Tamim Ansary’s summation: “That piece is exactly right. I was cheering all the way through… I would love to talk with this person. A tough-minded realist with real experience with tyranny.”
Bin-Laden therefore does not represent any nation on Earth, nor any religious group. He is a criminal, representing only his own deranged interests. In removing him and his henchmen we need to be careful not to be swept into his trap. We need not to be hypnotized into believing that we are at war with a religion. Like all other great religions, Islam takes the high moral ground, and is not in favor of killing nor of suicide. Anyone who believes otherwise is a fake Muslim, regardless of the position such a person might hold within the order.
What deformed Bin-Laden – how did he come to be as he is?
Ahmed Rashid of Pakistan is a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a project of the Center for Public Integrity. He is the Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and The Daily Telegraph of London. This is an excerpt from his book “Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia” (Yale University Press):
“In 1986, CIA chief William Casey… committed CIA support to a long-standing ISI [Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence] initiative to recruit radical Muslims from around the world to come to Pakistan and fight with the Afghan Mujaheddin…. None of the players reckoned on these volunteers having their own agendas, which would eventually turn their hatred against the Soviets on their own regimes and the Americans.
“Among these thousands of foreign recruits was a young Saudi student, Osama Bin Laden, the son of a Yemeni construction magnate, Mohammed Bin Laden, who was a close friend of the late King Faisal and whose company had become fabulously wealthy on the contracts to renovate and expand the Holy Mosques of Mecca and Medina.
“After Iraq's invasion of Kuwait he lobbied the Royal Family to organize a popular defense of the kingdom and raise a force from the Afghan war veterans to fight Iraq. Instead, King Fahd invited in the Americans. This came as an enormous shock to Bin Laden. As the 540,000 US troops began to arrive, Bin Laden openly criticized the Royal Family, lobbying the Saudi ulema to issue fatwas, religious rulings, against non-Muslims being based in the country.
“In August 1996, he had issued his first declaration of jihad against the Americans, whom he said were occupying Saudi Arabia.
“’The walls of oppression and humiliation cannot be demolished except in a rain of bullets,’ the declaration read. Striking up a friendship with Mullah Omar, in 1997 he moved to Kandahar, Afghanistan, and came under the protection of the Taliban.
“On 23 February 1998, at a meeting in the original Khost camp, all the groups associated with Al Qaeda issued a manifesto under the aegis of ‘The International Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders.’ The manifesto stated ‘for more than seven years the US has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian peninsular, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbours, and turning its bases in the peninsular into a spearhead through which to fight the neighbouring Muslim peoples.’
“The meeting issued a fatwa. ‘The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to.’ Bin Laden had now formulated a policy that was not just aimed at the Saudi Royal Family or the Americans, but called for the liberation of the entire Muslim Middle East. As the American air war against Iraq escalated in 1998, Bin Laden called on all Muslims to ‘confront, fight and kill, Americans and Britons.’”
This account provides considerable insight into the motivations of Bin-Laden. The Americans in the Gulf War snatched away his dream of himself being the hero that would oust Saddam Hussein. We speculate that the happy ending of that smashed dream was Osama Bin-Laden hoisted as the leader of the entire Islamic world and subsequently as the conqueror of the entire planet - and we further speculate that this is the dream he is trying to recapture.
A megalomaniacal dream to be sure. But not dissimilar from the glory dreams of others who would take over personal rulership of the world going back thousands of years. Nor a dream to be laughed at. This is a man who has struck U.S. citizens on their own soil on a more devastating scale than anyone before him. This man must be taken out and it must be done with exquisite precision so as not to enlarge the wound on the world.
This is not just a military mission. The underlying conditions which Bin-Laden has exploited need to themselves be cured. Three such underlying conditions deserve to be mentioned here: world poverty, the problem of the West Bank, and the image of America projected to the world by our media especially television.
One reason it is so easy to recruit terrorists is the same reason some Americans become criminals: what are their other options? If one is stuck in the dead end of poverty then one will consider any alternative. Coincidentally the reason Islam is the fastest-growing world religion is that it reaches out to poor people everywhere. How ironic that a rich spoiled brat like Osama Bin-Laden should even have a chance to be accepted as a leader of Islam. America should wake up to the urgency of becoming the leader of a world movement to eradicate poverty everywhere. In 1980 this writer wrote: “The Earth’s three billion Have Nots resent our having so much. The only way to eradicate the roots of international terrorism…is to permanently remove poverty from the world.” This is a task that could take centuries but now is most assuredly the time to start.
Much of the Arab world believes that the U.S. sides with Israel over their side at every opportunity. There is only so much that can be done about this. Certainly our leaders are already attempting to be more evenhanded. Israel has an historical right to be where it is and that may never be accepted by some whose displacement is more real to them than the ancient history. There is nothing that can be done about that. Where there is an opportunity to do something positive about the situation is the West Bank. In this one focal point the U.S. can still come up with a creative solution. For many years the writer has argued for the creation of The First World State of Palestine, under the administration of the UN and run by popular vote, in what is now the West Bank. Wherever the UN has administered a territory before the hostilities have been brought under control. The idea of a first “World State” conjures the idea of a gradual evolution to a unified world. Once made safe, this holy land with its rich heritage would become a mecca of travel and therefore soon one of the richest nations on Earth per capita. This idea received some encouragement from the UN, the government of Israel, the PLO (Zehdi Terzi, the Permanent Observer of the PLO to the UN), and Jimmy Carter. Perhaps it deserves fresh consideration.
The first time many Americans became aware of how much some people in the Mideast hate us was during the kidnap crisis in Iran. Besides our wealth, there is another reason why some people there consider America to be “The Great Satan”. In 1979, Princeton Professor Jerome Clinton, specialist in Iran, responded thusly to the question “How was Western culture perceived in Iran?”:
“It was almost a caricature of our civilization as we know it. When I was there, it was embarrassing to see Peyton Place in Persian. Movies and TV gave the impression that the West was totally materialistic, selfish and [consumption]-oriented. Conservative Iranian Muslims saw their sons and daughters corrupted by these influences from the West. They felt powerless.”
The present writer wrote then in reaction to Jerome Clinton’s insights:
“What kind of image of ourselves have we been projecting – how many hundreds of millions of people on our planet know us only through our movies and television – and what must they think of us? How many Irans have we seeded? Sending out foolish images of ourselves seemed so harmless at the time, but the tinderbox world makes it unsafe to strike even such seemingly small sparks. (As if these thousands of hours of slick software were ‘small sparks’ and not one of the most mindbending communications barrages ever mounted.)
“If these warped images of ourselves have proved so dangerously potent overseas, what image of us are we teaching our children?
“This reminder of the negative power of the media must be balanced with an awareness of its positive potential. In the 80s, can we project images of ourselves in the media which remind us of our virtues as well as our vices? If we do so, the healthful psychological effects upon all four billion of us ought not be underestimated.”
Not much has changed since then. This writer’s little wakeup call had only a little effect. But now we have had a much louder wakeup call and no one can sleep as soundly any more.
How ironic that America, born in idealism, should be exporting images of itself as anything but idealistic. If they in the Mideast and in other Third World countries only understood the American Revolution! The poor people around the world would be inspired by us. We need to find a better balance in the way we use television. This does not mean censorship. This does not mean propaganda. This does not mean an abandonment of the need to get ratings or to make money. It means just that: a better balance.
In summary, let’s go get the bad guys. And let’s make sure we do it from the high moral ground that created us.
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