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9-11 Reminder: Bin Laden Tape

09/08/2007

The new Osama Bin Laden tape has been released just in time for the anniversary of the attacks of September 11.

It is undeniable that Bin Laden is right that America and the West are losing the war in Afghanistan and in Iraq. It is also undeniable that Americans did not learn the lessons of 9-11 and will not beginning the war against Bin Laden and his kind until they do.

The evidence of what is wrong is all around you. It is in almost everything that write, say and do about the "war against terror." The best evidence is given by official reports like the 9-11 Commission report (posted at MEW in html text) and the OIG Report on CIA Accountability With Respect to the 9/11 Attacks. The reports do not give the answer directly. The answer is in what they omit. Even the critics criticize the wrong things about the war against terror and the reports.

The American reports are fine as far as they go, but they are about America, not about the Middle East. They are about what American officials did or did not do about Bin Laden, and about policing security inside the United States. Americans made the whole issue about America: CIA versus FBI, Democrats versus Republicans, profiling versus not profiling. But the war is not between Democrats and Republicans or between the CIA and the FBI. The events of 9-11 happened in the United States, but they are not about the United States: they are about the Middle East and who will control it. There is no war of civilizations, as Bin Laden and his Shi'a counterpart Ahmadinejad would hve you believe. At this stage, there is only a war between Muslims for domination of the Middle East, and in particular, of the oil rich Gulf area, including the states of the Arabian peninsula. While Bin Laden may tempt Americans with the benefits of Islam (only a tiny Zakah charity tax) he is not going to conquer the United States in the near future. He is only interested in discrediting the United States, and thereby weakening the standing of its Middle Eastern allies and clients - especially Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is the key to Islam, as it holds the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. It is also the key to vast oil wealth and power. The distinction between inspired holy man and Oozlebart raider is sometimes very difficult to make in the Middle East.

Nor is the war just a police operation against a lone bad guy living in a cave and his followers. The war is between radical Islamism (or Jihadism) and everyone else. The problem is not that this official missed a sign, or that official had a mistaken policy. The problem is that all the American administrations for the last forty years have failed to recognize the problem of radicalism in Islam and failed to deal with it.

In Afghanistan, the United States actually helped radical Islamists come to power. In Iran, the danger represented by the Ayatollah Khomeini and his followers, incredibly enough, was not recognized and not appreciated, and so nothing was done to stop the radical revolution in 1979. In Saudi Arabia, the United acquiesces in a regime whose ruling family fights terror at home with one hand, and with the other fosters the export of radical Isamism to Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, the Gulf States, Turkey, Europe and Central Asia, by financing the Madrassahs that incubate it.

Six years after September 11, 2001, the US and the West are not really any closer to vanquishing radical Islam than they were then. It is much easier to look for the problem in your own backyard. To argue about Democrats versus Republicans and Neocons versus Liberals, because that is what you understand, and because such discussions are useful to candidates for political office. But the problem of radical Islamism or Jihadism or however you wish to call Bin Laden's philosophy cannot be solved in the United States. It is not that America has not made a serious effort. They did. They spent a lot of money and sent a lot of soldiers. But the effort was made in the wrong direction. To win in Iraq and in Afghanistan and against Iran, Americans will need to learn Arabic and Farsi and study Islam, because that is what is here. Studying the FBI and the CIA and the NYPD will not help. If you don't do it, then perhaps you, or your children, should be prepared to pay the Zakah tax. It is less than capital gains - only 2.5%.

Ami Isseroff

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Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000621.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

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