Friday, October 15, 2004

What bin Laden wants.

I don't know Osama bin Laden, and I haven't spent a ton of time researching him. However, I have a few things to say about the guy, based on a few things I've read, mainly as counterpoints to assertions I hear in the press.

First, I think he's dead. His death (or capture) may have been kept secret so that he doesn't become a martyr. I frankly don't think the Bush Administration is noble enough to have done the deed and not take credit for it, but it's a possibility. I think it more likely that he couldn't make it to a necessary dialysis appointment, or he died in some aerial bombardment. In any case, he's uncharacteristically quiet.

What he was really concerned about was Saudi Arabia. He didn't like the fact that US troops were there, and he wanted them to leave. (Note, he got what he wanted.) More broadly, he wanted to unite the Muslim world, which involves overthrowing the various parts of it individually.

I hear a lot of, "they hate freedom, and they hate America." Many of bin Laden's followers likely are that way. I think Osama himself never cared what we did in our own back yard; he just wanted us out of his.

I think The White House would rather we not know what Al-Qaida really wants. If I hadn't heard that Osama wanted our troops out of Saudi Arabia, I might have taken less notice when we gave him what he wanted. As long as I don't know the terrorist's objectives, I can't evaluate their success.

Also, there's no debate over whether they have a point. As a President, which conversation would you rather have?
  1. They hate our freedom? They can go to Hell!
  2. They hate the fact that we're protecting a corrupt government in their land? Well, go figure.
Nobody's going to say that death and destruction is a good way to get the point across. It's easy to say that someone who chooses a mad method of communication is simply mad and has no sane thought at all, no message worth hearing. I can understand that decision, but I prefer to make it myself. Having the President decide for me that there's no depth to the enemy is insulting and deceptive.
Post a Comment