Saturday, March 22, 2008

Al Qaeda's war aims

Shortly after September 11, and in response to this letter from American intellectuals, bin Laden wrote a letter to the American people. This letter is reproduced in The Al Qaeda Reader. It details why Al Qaeda is at war with America and Al Qaeda's war aims.

This extraordinary document is 12 pages in length. This fact alone should give great pause to any American who thinks that we can have peace by withdrawing from Iraq.

Here are a few of the reasons bin Laden says he is at war with us:

The British, with your help and support, handed over Palestine to the Jews, who have occupied it for more than fifty years . . .

You attacked us in Somalia; you supported the Russian atrocities against us in Chechnya, the Indian oppression against us in Kashmir, and the Jewish aggression against us in Lebanon.

. . . the governments of our countries -- which act as your agents, -- attack us on a daily basis . . . . The removal of these governments is an obligation on us . . .

You steal our oil at paltry prices . . .

After saying that his list (of which only part is quoted above) are only some of the reasons he has gone to war with us, bin Laden then states what he is trying to accomplish, i.e, his war aims. These war aims are more expansive than those quoted here.

First, the United States must convert to Islam:

The first thing we are calling you to is Islam . . .

Secondly, the United States must begin living by Bin Laden's moral standards:

We call you to . . . reject the immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling, and usury.

You are a nation who, rather than ruling through the
Sharia of Allah, chooses to invent your own laws . . .

Go ahead and boast to the nations of man that you brought them AIDS as a Satanic American invention!
[bin Laden seems to have forgotten that this portion of his letter is about war aims, not grievances]

. . . the Jews . . . control your policies, media, and economy . . .

Additionally, the United States must stop supporting Arab governments that do not govern by Sharia:

We call upon you to end your support of the corrupt leaders in our countries . . . .Leave us alone, or else expect us in New York and Washington.

The reader should understand that the above is only a portion of the war aims bin Laden lists in his letter.

Bin Laden then makes it clear that to end the war, the United States must agree to all of his conditions, not just some of them:

If you fail to respond to all these conditions then prepare to fight . . .

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