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No! you mean there are not 100 Bil Ladens in waiting?

Reader comment on item: 100 Bin Ladens on the Way?

Submitted by Jonathan Pfeffer (United States), Apr 11, 2003 at 15:04

Daniel Pipes,

The story of the 100 Bin Ladens reminds me allot of the legend of the impenetrable Iraqi cities of Baghdad and Tikrit or the Afghan cold winters before it that destroyed the Soviet army. The Arab analysis on the prospects of the consequences of United States policy always seems to take on a certain pattern. This pattern is what I call, "IT seems like you Yankees have been OK up to now, but your very next move will be a disaster if you don’t stop supporting Israel". What we are seeing I think, is a kind of "good cop/ bad cop" routine being played out here by Arab intellectuals. The Arab analyst who warns the US is the "good cop". He is warning us out of genuine concern for our safety. The "bad cops" are militant islamists like Bin Laden, or dangerous dictators like Saddam Hussein. These men possess great power and control over a great many Arab fighters, so please, we are warning you, steer clear. "We can help you dismantle these threats if you change your policy towards Israel".

According to these Arab intellectuals, this has always been the state of US policy, always on the verge of paying dearly for their pro-Israel folly. Each time the US catastrophe keeps getting put back until the next time. Each time, we are told by the Arab intellectuals, playing the good cops, that things are not what they seem, nor what we Arab intellectuals want. It only seems like these Arab fighters have fallen, but we Arabs understand what is going on, you Americans cannot see the nuances of the Arab character. In fact, the Arab intellectuals go on, it is all part of a great trap planned out by these militant Arabs and their followers, to suck in you Americans, make you feel like you are winning. The counter punch is always around the corner.

Today, the new Arab theme in this pattern is this. The Arab world hated Saddam all along, but if the US doesn’t change its policies towards Israel, the Baghdadis will rise up and you Americans will need those body bags after all. No Arab talking head can resist playing the good cop, appearing on American TV, mixing his or her analysis with this hope that the US will change its policy toward Israel. Each Arab intellectual in turn, when pressed for an interview on an American network seems to be driven, if only by loyal obligation to play out this act.

What these Arabs have, of course, is a deep fear of failure. They know deep down what their ignorant masses don’t, or what these intellectuals neglected to tell their own masses. The US is not evil, but good, that the US will liberate and help the people of Iraq, and that the US is not acting out of greed but our of compassion, and finally that the Americans like Israel and always will.
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