YET ANOTHER forwarded message with no commentary.
> Or is he saying: "Just as we hoped. Bush is following the script we wrote.
> Of course we knew the Americans would take the bait! That was our whole
> design! Soon there will be open war between the infidels and Islam"?
> The enemy has done the unexpected. Our own government has done only the
> expected. There is no doubt who is winning, or who holds the upper hand.
In my opinion this is baloney. What the U.S. government has done has
been completely unexpected. I'll bet not one person in 100 would have
predicted on September 12 that there would have been NO U.S. military
reprisals three weeks later.
Virtually everyone, and I'll bet bin Laden as well, expected the U.S. to
come in with bombs and start blowing Afghanistan to bits. Instead,
the government has IMO played the game very carefully and very smart.
They are doing everything they can to AVOID falling into bin Laden's
His whole point was to turn this into a war between Islam and the West.
This has been his stated goal over many years, described in interviews
and articles. He wants to provoke an over-reaction by the West which
will awaken the Islamic world and unite them in violent opposition to
Western culture and governments.
Instead the U.S. has gone to enormous pains to distinguish between Islam
and the terrorists. Every day, the President or his spokesman say good
things about Islam and praise the Islamic states which are allying with
them. Many of those nations are just as afraid of terrorism as we are.
Who would have thought three weeks ago that Pakistan of all countries
would be one of our most important alliance partners in this effort?
I doubt very much that bin Laden planned for that! Even the Sudan has
made encouraging noises, and Iran is supporting the Northern Alliance
against the Taliban. The U.S. has been very successful in exposing the
division within the Islamic world between the violent extremists like
bin Laden and the far more numerous moderates who see him as a threat.
This is a direct and intentional counter to bin Laden's strategic plan.
Granted, the game is not played out yet. Great care must be exercised
in the use of force. But there are legitimate military targets among
the Taliban, and sooner or later bin Laden and his lieutenants will
It is pretty clear that the U.S. is not going to go in and try to bomb
Kabul back to the stone age. Anyone who has seen the "Beneath the Veil"
broadcasts on CNN knows that Kabul is already in the stone age, physically
as well as culturally. I've never seen a more ruined city. For once
the U.S. seems to realize that bouncing the rubble would be pointless.
In summary I think this was a very poor analysis, substituting
preconceptions for the facts about what has actually happened over the
past few weeks. Rather than falling into bin Laden's trap it looks
to me like the U.S. is directly and strategically countering his plan.
The U.S. strategy may or may not succeed, but the article seemed blind
to all of these issues.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:11 MDT