Fascinating Letter to the editor of Salon Magazine, by Alexander Wardwell. He believes that the notion that American foreign policy led to the World Trade Center attacks is simplistic and egocentric. Rather, the attack was a strategy to remove the U.S. from the middle east in the long-term so the Taliban can take over.
Bin Laden’s stated objective, shared by the Taliban, is to create a fundamentalist Islamic state, based on rigid interpretations of Islamic law, stretching across Central Asia to the Gulf States. Three forces stand in his way: the U.S., the oligarchies that control the Gulf States and, to a lesser extent, Israel. To succeed, he must chase the U.S. out of the region. As he learned from the Gulf War, no one can defeat U.S. armed forces in the field, so he must resort to terrorism. By staging a horrific terrorist attack, he knows the U.S. will retaliate in the battle field of his choice — Afghanistan. This will serve two purposes: First, he hopes to inflict casualties to weaken support for the war in the U.S.. Second, he hopes that retaliation will so enrage Muslims the world over that they will rise up — starting in Pakistan.
If he is successful in drawing the U.S. into defending Musharraf in a civil war in Pakistan, he hopes America will tire of the war and, bit by bit, withdraw from the region. And once he’s rid of the U.S., he can turn on Israel, and finally, overthrow the Gulf State oligarchies, leaving him in control of the global oil supply, and enough nuclear, chemical and biological weapons to defend it. Seen in this light, the U.S. is a pawn in his game for domination of the region. His mission isn’t strictly anti-U.S., it’s pro-Islam. Bin Laden is simply using hatred of the U.S. to unite the millions of disaffected Muslims around the world to rise up to form an Islamic state. Surely, U.S. foreign policy in the region has made this effort easier, but a “kinder, gentler America” in the Middle East won’t deter him from his ultimate objectives. ”
Which would mean that the bombing Afghanistan may not be the best response, because we’re doing what he intends us to do. And it’s always better in war to do something that your enemy doesn’t expect. He’s not out to get the United States, he’s out to get the middle east and get control of it. It’s not so much about the decadence and immorality of the West, it’s about gaining power, and using Islam as a tool to gain it.