[lit-ideas] Re: Text of bin Laden Tape

  • From: "Andy Amago" <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2006 18:34:48 -0500

Lawrence, welcome back!  Glad to see that you're still supporting this war.  
How you can compare this war to WWII is beyond me, but welcome back anyway.  
It's good to see your post.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Lawrence Helm 
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: 1/20/2006 2:44:08 PM 
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Text of bin Laden Tape

Andreas, you say the future of the USA in the Arab world doesn?t look good, but 
what lens are you using to view the Arab world?  You mention the NYT, but the 
NYT doesn?t seem to find anything coming out of Iraq news unless it?s bad.  
Reports coming out of Iraq from the troops provide a different view.  And the 
Iraqi polls suggest that democracy has been firmly grasped by the Iraqi 

Alas, when I was here last you were describing our Wilsonian adventure as 
doomed, but I compared it to other wars and said by any standard available (for 
wars) it was a great success.  We have yet to endure the casualties the Marines 
saw in a single day of fighting in some of the islands in the Pacific.  We have 
a viable government in place and functioning (far sooner than we did in Japan), 
and are working on countless projects that will turn Iraq into a modern 
economy.  I realize most of the people on Lit-Ideas have view (through the 
lenses of the NYT, the Washington Post & the popular media news channels), but 
there are other lenses: CNN, Fox News, C-Span and the many reports of returning 
veterans.  I have a friend who is in the Army Corps of Engineers in Iraq and he 
writes that the news they see in the media (widely accepted here on Lit-Ideas, 
apparently) is viewed over there as something providing aid and comfort to our 
enemies the Islamists.

In regard to our leaving Saudi Arabia, we did that at the behest of the Saudis 
and not Osama.  The internet doesn?t do books so you won?t have the information 
contained in America?s Secret War, Inside the Hidden Worldwide Struggle between 
America and its Enemies.  According to George Friedman, founder of Stratfor, it 
was necessary to remove the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq to get Saudi Arabia 
to cooperate with us in our pursuit of Al Quaeda.  Those who argue that we 
would have been better off going after Al Quaeda instead of taking out Saddam?s 
regime first are not thinking the matter through.  As long as Saddam stood in 
the way, Saudi Arabia and other countries such as Libya weren?t going to 
cooperate with us in our anti-Islamist efforts.  We couldn?t readily go after 
Islamists in countries not cooperating with us.  I notice that we did that in 
Pakistan recently and there has been an uncharacteristic complaint ? as though 
Pakistan isn?t taking us as seriously as the once di
 d.  Why is that?  I suspect they view the pro-Islamist (in effect) stance of 
the Media and many important people in government as a sign that the Bush 
anti-Islamist efforts are doomed.  

I see a strong parallel between the Vietnam period and this one.  Strong 
influential voices in the media are declaring success failure and victory 
defeat.  Will the ?failure/defeat? forces succeed in Iraq as they did in 
Vietnam?  Perhaps, but I doubt it.  I think the Iraqi government will be too 
strong by the time Bush leaves office to permit an Islamist victory there. 

As to Osama bin Laden?s goals, they have indeed been known for a long time.  
You can find them in the teachings of Sayyid Qutb.  Osama studied directly 
under Sayyid Qutb?s brother.  The goal is the continuation of Mohammad?s goal, 
the subjugation of the entire world to Allah.  The success of Mohammad?s 
successors stalled when Muslims quit practicing strict adherence to the Sharia. 
 When they return to the Sharia including its teachings on the Jihad then Islam 
will once again become the success that it was under Mohammad and the righteous 
Imams.  Look at the success that true believers achieved against the USSR in 
Afghanistan.  A handful of the faithful defeated a superpower.  Another handful 
can defeat the US as easily.  

If you read the teachings of Sayyid Qutb and the speeches of Osama bin Laden 
then you will know that any retreat by the US will be deemed a great Islamist 
success.  Sayyid Qutb?s teachings are readily available to the curious and 
Osama is following them.  

As the Islamic Scholar Youssef Choueiri writes in his Islamic Fundamentalism (a 
book and therefore not available on the internet), the Islamist teachings of 
Qutb share much with fascism.  As the Algerian Islamists rather prematurely 
argued after their political victory, ?Allah now rules Algeria so we will have 
no further need for elections.?  The Iraqi elections are anathema to the 
Islamists.  The Islamists cannot let a Democratic Iraq stand.  

You are right about the Islamist view of Reagan & Bush Sr.  You can include 
Carter and Clinton as well.  The Islamists had a low opinion of America?s 
willingness and ability to fight.  Bush Jr has been a surprise to them, but 
they see the anti-Bush a force actively opposing him in America?s and the 
World?s presses and take heart.  Once the ?Cowboy? is finished with his two 
terms, and someone more in the pattern of earlier presidents takes office, the 
Islamists can return to business as usual.  But I don?t think you are correct 
in thinking that the Islamists are taking heart out of driving us out of Saudi 
Arabia and Lebanon at this late date.  They would gladly let us back into those 
places if they could get us out of Afghanistan and Iraq ? in my opinion.

Lawrence Helm
San Jacinto

-----Original Message-----
From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On 
Behalf Of Andreas Ramos
Sent: Friday, January 20, 2006 9:59 AM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Text of bin Laden Tape

> bin Laden does not explain what this truce might look like, but it would
> most likely involve the standard elements: removal of all infidel troops
> from Saudi Arabia and the return of all land to the Palestinians.
> Previously he has said that these were the conditions for ending his
> jihad...

Shortly after 9.11, Mr. bin Laden (as the NYT calls him) stated three demands: 
infidel troops from Saudi Arabia. End US support for Israel. I can't remember 
the third one 
exactly; I think it was for Israel to shut down. Something like that.

Bush flatly rejected the three demands. A few months later, he quietly accepted 
the first 
one: the USA pulled out its troops out of Saudi Arabia.

9.11 worked. The Saudi guerillas/terrorists/freedom fighters/fundamentalists 
forced the USA 
to leave Saudi Arabia.

It was fairly certain this would happen. Under Reagan, the USA occupied 
Lebanon. Hezbollah 
was able to force the US to leave. They carbombed a building and killed 250 US 
Marines. The 
next day, Reagan diverted attention by "invading" Grenada and meanwhile, pulled 
the US out 
of Lebanon.

The Islamic fundamentalists have now learned twice that if they raise the 
stakes high 
enough, they can beat the US. Neither Reagan nor Bush were pacifists, liberals, 
or tree 
huggers. Both had Big Words about Standing Tall, Staying the Course, and so on. 
Yet both cut 
and ran.

The future for the USA in the Arab world doesn't look good. If the Islamic 
have been able twice to force the US to leave two critical locations, they will 
do this 
again. They will continue to hammer the US until it leaves.


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