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Articles on terrorism after 2009
Why the USA hasn't captured Osama yet
Articles before 2009


  • (july 2009) Why the USA hasn't captured Osama yet. A little noticed poll taken by the Pew Center showed that For the first time since Pew began asking the question, Muslims in some key countries (Turkey, Egypt, Indonesia) had a better opinion of the USA president than of Osama bin Laden. Throughout the Islamic world the USA has been widely seen as the villain, and Osama as a folk hero.
    One reason is the biased way in which international events have been presented by Al Jazeera, the most viewed and trusted television station in the Islamic world. Al Jazeera has consistently sided with all sorts of anti-USA conspiracy theories (particularly popular in the Islamic world) and consistently found excuses for Islamic terrorists or even doubted that they existed at all. The average Al Jazeera viewer has the impression that the whole war on terrorism is a USA invention: there are no Islamic terrorists (by definition, Muslims can only be good) and the USA has been killing Muslims simply because it is bent on a crusade against Islam.
    Another reason is that the governments of the Islamic world are mostly failed governments, and mostly dictatorships. They use Israel as a scapegoat to distract attention from their failures. Israel could not possibly exist without the protection of the USA, and therefore the USA is the source of all evil. This logic is not publicly promoted by the dictators (who are mostly USA allies, at least in theory) but it is tolerated because it relieves the pressure on the dictators themselves: instead of staging a revolution against Mubarak or the Saudi family, the masses enroll in the jihad against the USA. The anti-americanism created by this view of the world helps boost the reputation of anyone who leads the anti-USA jihad. Osama is viewed as being on the right side of the jihad, not on the wrong side.
    Thirdly, Osama is an enemy of the secular dictators that rule these countries. While these dictators have been able to deflect blame to Israel and the USA, the average citizen of their countries is aware that all these dictators are no good. While Muslims can be fiercely nationalistic when their country is attacked, they show little affection for their rulers. In fact, they tend to blame the decline of their country on the inability of the rulers to stand up in world affairs. Hence Osama is right to fight these dictators (Osama and Zawahri started their terrorist careers fighting respectively Egypt and Saudi Arabia, not the USA).
    Few Muslims would admit it openly, but there is also a bit of pride among the Muslim masses (both the educated ones and the destitute ones) that finally one Muslim has become famous worldwide for his actions. In one century the Islamic world has prodeced only a handful of major writers and scientists (in the same century, Jews have won more than 100 Nobel prizes). The only famous Muslims have been either dictators or terrorists. There is little in the history of the last century that can make a Muslim proud of being a Muslim. Osama is the one Muslim who achieved something spectacular (an attack on the soil of the USA, something that not even Hitler's Germany, the Japanese or the Soviet Union ever achieved). It is terribly difficult for the subconscious of the average Muslim to condemn and curse the one Muslim who has become an international icon. A few Muslims are ashamed that their civilization can only produce dictators and terrorists; but for the majority the temptation is to prove that Osama is not a terrorist, and then everything flows well: the Islamic world has finally produced a great hero that the West misrepresents.
    Last but not least, Osama is a Muslim. It remains terribly difficult for Muslims to side with infidels against a fellow Muslim, no matter what this Muslim has done. Muslim brotherhood prevails over anything else. Ask Muslims in which case Muslims have been on the wrong side of a war, and they will not find one single case: to them Muslims are always right, whether in Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Philippines, etc. There is never a war in which the Muslim side is wrong, according to the Muslims of the world. It is culturally and psychologically very difficult for an infidel nation like the USA to convince the Muslim masses to side with it against a Muslim entity. It is just plainly un-Islamic.
    Of course, the USA bears some responsibility too. The whole world (not only the Muslims) is still puzzled why it was so important to remove Saddam Hussein from power at the cost of hundreds of thousands of civilian lives when the USA is perfectly happy to sleep with the brutal dictators of mainland China, Saudi Arabia and Egypt (to name only a few). Bush's tone got on the nerves of just about every person on the planet. There are countless precedents in which the West (mostly Europeans, but also the USA) schemed against regimes and manipulated regimes in the Islamic world to advance its own economic or geopolitical interests. Etc etc.
    However, no matter how much the USA redeems itself, it will ultimately remain very difficult to obtain the collaboration of the Muslim masses in fighting a famous Muslim for as long as the cultural psychology remains the one advocated by Islam. Like it or not, the USA is indeed fighting a religious war against Islam, because it is Islam that propagates the notion that Muslims should never side with infidels against fellow Muslims. The reason Osama has not been caught is the same reason that for many decades the Mafia bosses were able to elude the Italian police: the masses did not cooperate at all. When belief in the Mafia declined, the Italian police began making inroads in its war against the Mafia.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2007 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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