Osama bin Laden and the "Why Do They Hate Us"? Question
American foreign policy is skewed by the perversions of big businessâ€”which impoverishes people abroad and at homeâ€”to secure those â€œAmerican interests,â€ Washington always talks about. This must change, if, America is to neutralize terror threats of the future.
[Speaking Truth To Power]
As the dust slowly clears, from the killing of Osama bin-Laden, the question now is: will the Al-Qaeda leader’s demise modify America’s foreign policy in the Muslim world?
Thursday, President Obama visited Ground Zero to commemorate the killing of nearly 3,000 Americans by Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda. “Obviously, you can’t bring back the friends you lost,” Mr. Obama told a crew of firemen, at the 48 Street Engine 54 firehouse, in midtown Manhattan, that lost 15 men at the World Trade Center. “What happened Sunday sent a message: When we say we will never forget, we mean what we say.”
Sometime later, the president met with 9-11 families closing a tragic chapter that started nearly a decade ago.
Last Sunday, terror mastermind Osama bin-Laden was killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan by a 24-man team of U.S. Navy Seals. The daring helicopter raid was, reportedly, authorized on April 29, by President Barack Obama. Apparently, the White House had intelligence placing bin-Laden at a “compound” in Abbottabad dating to last August.
The commandos took bin-Laden’s body along with several computer hard drives and other data stored at the location. The Al-Qaeda chief was reportedly shot in the head and was said to have been killed instantly. U.S. officials said bin-Laden’s body was buried at sea, to deny Al-Qaeda supporters a shrine.
The death of Osama bin Laden raises questions about the direction of America’s foreign policy. Unfortunately, many Americans are too busy basking in the news of bin Laden’s death to contemplate America’s failed policies abroad. For, if America is to “win” the fight against terrorism some hard truths must be faced.
First of all, America must change its, often, arrogant approach to foreign policy.
The killing, by anyone, of innocent civilians should always be objectionable to people of conscience. The murder of 2,977 people, from 90 countries, on 9-11, was an evil act. However, isn’t the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis and Afghans also evil? Will America’s politicians—or establishment media—ever acknowledge the outrages produced by the immoral foreign policy of
Capitol Hill? Too many Americans seem to think only American lives matter. That must change. Everyone bleeds the same.
There is a danger the successful assassination of bin Laden will further blind Americans into thinking terrorism can be defeated with military might. It can’t. Indeed, far too many people haven’t learned anything from 9-11, or the failure of the Bush War Years. Bread and butter must take the place of bullets and bombs. The current war in Afghanistan must be re-examined.
America must win the masses of hearts and minds in the Muslim world to defeat terrorism. To do that America will have to learn to respect the cultural differences of Muslims to foster trust from Muslim nations.
Take Pakistan, an America ally, for example. One of the puzzling questions is: why didn’t someone from Pakistan’s military, or intelligence community know bin-Laden was living in a “garrison community,” a stone’s throw away from the country’s premier military academy. For some time, there’s been evidence certain elements in the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had ties to
Al-Qaeda. For example, 9-11 hijacker, Mohammed Atta, was wired $100,000 dollars byAhmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, weeks before the attacks. Ahmed Sheikh worked for the ISI.
Many Americans are now looking with incredulous suspicion at Pakistan. How could Pakistanis not know bin-Laden was among them? However, the claim, by American officials, that this mission was accomplished without the help of Pakistani officials is equally dubious. The truth is, probably, somewhere in the middle.
Did Osama bin Laden get help from someone in Pakistan’s government? That seems likely. But it’s also likely agents in Pakistan helped in this capture. Pakistani officials are, probably, fearful of taking credit since a sizable proportion of Pakistanis view America with disdain. Pakistani officials may have agreed, with Washington, on the current “unilateral” cover story they are selling the world.
Which leads us to the “why do they hate us” question? Ironically, to answer that, let’s examine the Pentagon’s insensitivity of using the code name Geronimo, for bin Laden, in this mission dubbed “Operation Neptune Spear.”
Native-Americans have, understandably, objected to the equating of the terror leader with the great Apache Chief Geronimo, who fought against the usurpation of Native-American lands.
Unfortunately, the same cultural ignorance—that led to this poor choice of equating Osama with Geronimo—is also at the heart of the animosity America creates abroad. “American exceptionalism” has encouraged the cultural desecration of people worldwide. Many abroad are disgusted with Americans disrespecting them, constantly, telling them, in subtle and not so subtle ways, they are not as good as America.
It also doesn’t help when they see Washington involved in the military attack on Libya’s government while remaining “neutral” as despotic leaders in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Bahrain are given free rein to murder and maim.
American foreign policy is skewed by the perversions of big business—which impoverishes people abroad and at home—to secure those “American interests,” Washington always talks about. This must change, if, America is to neutralize terror threats of the future.
Otherwise, America will remain engaged in what writer Gore Vidal termed “perpetual war for perpetual peace.”
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