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Naked Ambition and One bin Laden

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

Submitted by Marc Levitt (United States), Apr 15, 2003 at 13:56

First off, Mubarak has been a distraction by saying that this will inspire 100 new bin Ladens to take action. The fundamental fact of the threat we face from terrorism, one which has been echoed so as to produce a maximally terrifying effect on the country, is that it only takes one bin Laden. Only one person needs to be pissed off enough at the US, only one needs to have his son's arms blown off by US shelling, only one needs to view continued military presence in Saudi Arabia as a threat. In this sense, our world is no safer.

Second, although Pipes' analysis is good, I believe it to be overly optimistic in the face of the not so obvious. It will soon occur to the entire Middle East that American military strategy has been, purposely or not, aligned with Israeli security interests. For strategic purposes, it doesn't matter the degree to which this is true or bad. The fact is, Israel is America's primary diplomatic and strategic ally in the region. Once we've stripped ourselves for the world to see, Arabs will react strongly to the perception that American interests are being forcefully carried out with Jews on the brain. The one thing that might offset this effect is the fact that Arabs will hopefully realize the inherent hypocricy (sp?) of hating Israelis while ignoring the plight of the Iraqis who, for the sake of perspective on the matter, are literally 11 times the number of Palestinians.

I'm a liberal, so I didn't support the war. But I am trying to make do with the hand we've been dealt. The course we're headed down remains fraught with danger, and anyone who ignores that, ignores reality. At bottom, the policies guiding this country are unproven techniques. Those driving this policy are willing to see Americans die while they bank on their strategic genius. I, for one, do not trust George W. Bush as a strategic genius. And for the record, George H.W. Bush didn't trust Rumsfeld or Perle either.
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