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  •  Excuse me (2+ / 0-)
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    mkrell, Snud

    But representing bin Laden's self-justificatory propaganda uncritically as fact is not a service.  The fact is that bin Laden stayed in, was supported by, and propped up what was possibly the most corrupt, despotic, intrusive, totalitarian, and violent regime in South-west Asia: the Afghanistan of the Taliban, which engaged in a relentless warfare against women, against science, against knowledge, against anything liberal.  

    Sure, bin Laden and the Taliban had their differences: bin Laden thought the Taliban didn't go far enough.

    The terror strike against New York and D.C. wasn't about 'autocratic torture regimes' -- we know perfectly well that bin Laden and his followers have no problem with murder and torture, as long as they get to do it.  Why would they do it?  Well, several reasons; a) because they could; b) because they had no moral qualms that would prevent them from doing it; c) because doing it would put them on the map, attract attention, separate them from the hundred other little terror groups that exist, and gain them more recruits.  If you didn't know who or what al-Qa'idah was before 2001, you would know afterwards.  And so it is.

    Why the United States?  Because the United States is the one country that everybody in the world has heard of, and our landmarks are ones that everybody in the world recognizes; an attack on the U.S. would resound around the world, whereas an attack on Peshawar, or Karachi, or Lahore, or New Delhi, or Bombay, would have very limited resonance, and even Paris or London would be second-class targets compared to New York and Washington.

    As far as "hating our freedoms" goes, it's quite clear that bin Laden et al. don't like them -- they consider Western democracy counter to Islamic law, and liberalism corrupt and decadent.  That it was a primary motive for the attack I doubt, but it certainly didn't hurt that the target represented several things that these hardcore fundamentalists despise.

    •  Well, yeah... (4+ / 0-)

      ...we know perfectly well that bin Laden and his followers have no problem with murder and torture, as long as they get to do it.

      Unfortunately, most recent American administrations have had no problem with murder and torture either, as long as they got to do it.

      That doesn't put us in very admirable company...

    •  Most fanatical? Yes. Most intrusive, violent? (0+ / 0-)

      Arguably. Certainly not the most corrupt.

      Q: How many Pentagon spokespersons does it take to change a lightbulb?
      A: We're not prepared to discuss specific numbers at the present time.

      by ben masel on Sun May 30, 2010 at 07:32:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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