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Lessening the appeal of Osama bin Laden in the Arab Middle East

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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:44 PM
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Lessening the appeal of Osama bin Laden in the Arab Middle East
A great article from the Financial Times "Comment & Analysis":

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/b5e204be-2e17-11db-93ad-0000779...

<snip>

The alignment between Hizbollah, Syria and Iran in a radical front against a peace settlement with Israel promotes anti-US and Arab nationalist mottoes more than any Islamic ideology could do. The Sunni Arab street has embraced Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbollahs leader, as the new Arab hero, the Nasser of our time. But Mr Nasrallahs elevation also works partly to lessen the appeal of Osama bin Laden in the Arab Middle East. (my emphasis)



So. We have been told ad nauseum that the raison d'etre for bin Laden's Al Qaeda is to attack the West, especially the U.S. Neither bin Laden or Al Qaeda work to empower the people of the Middle East to better their own lot within their own countries, they appear to simply advocate destruction (if we are to believe what the powers-that-be attribute to them in terms of random terrorist acts).

It has never appeared to me that Osama bin Laden had any sort of coherent agenda that would actually lead to improvements in the lives of the Islamic peoples on whose behalf he is supposedly warring -- but he DOES make a damn useful bogeyman for Western governments (ours especially). In fact, he has been an excellent enabler for fullfilling all the police state and imperial power desires of our ruling junta.

There are some of us who have wondered all along, of course, if -- in the context of the long-standing relationship between the Bush & bin Laden families -- there hasn't been something a little too convenient in the timing of Osama tapes over the years, for instance. And the speed with which the CIA (the same CIA that helped organize and fund the original Afghan Mujahdeen from which Al Qaeda evolved, btw) always confirms that the latest tape IS "most likely" from Osama.

And there are some of us who have been suspicious about the *reality* of Al Qaeda all along...

However, if the above is just all too tinfoil hatish, then just think about the surface ramifications if the Financial Times' speculation is correct. The ascendence of Hizbullah's example of indigenous empowerment and focus on IN-country activism -- they are not declaring "jihad" on the West, they are entering into the political process of their national government -- is an entirely different paradigm than Al Qaeda's blow-shit-up modus operandi.

This ought to be an excellent development in the "War on Terror" (if the WOT were actually real, and not just a convenient propaganda set for political control) -- the fading away of the rabid global jihadists and the evolutionary rise of a locally focused, new Islamic form of populism integrating itself into the democratic polity.

But of course, that is the LAST thing that the neocon/global power axis wants.

sw
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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:50 PM
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1. Since Hezbollah and Al Qaeda both target civilians,
...if more people in the Middle East choose Hezbollah over Al Qaeda, is that really good for us?
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Hizbullah is localised, it's not a global jihadist group like Al Qaeda. nt
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 08:57 PM by scarletwoman
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Fredda Weinberg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:13 PM
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3. I see nothing new
Islam arose from scarcity and like the other middle eastern religions, adapts poorly to abundance. The early christian church splintered several times, went to war within its own factions for centuries and to this day is still coping with fundamentalist revivals.

Islam also holds a different sense of social justice - charity is a fundamental pillar, not just a virtue. Pressures we would call sexual repression manage drives without reliance on constabularies or prisons for enforcement ... if you stop to think about it, our legal system is a luxury and personal liberty an indulgence.

I can understand why the presence of infidels on holy soil would become a rallying point for jihad - and no, that's not an affirmative program for improving the lives of those who live in the region. For the faithful, souls are more important than creature comforts and the decadent west is not a model to follow.

Israelis thought they understood this when they encouraged Hamas to oppose the PLO. In fact, it may turn out all right - but there's an ancient relationship between Judaism and Islam that's been distorted by modernity and can't be restored. Zionism means Jews will no longer live in subservient affluence and that's not an easy change to accept.

So I take the pundits' views with a large grain of kosher salt - and see the future unfolding from the pleats of the past. From each perspective, it makes sense ... it's only when you misapply values that the situation appears hopeless.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I'm sorry, I have no idea what you mean by "subservient affluence" --
which makes it difficult for me to understand the point you are making about Zionism.

In any case, I really was looking at the analysis in this article from the Arab POV. That the old Nasserite dream of pan-Arabism still lives within the hearts of the Arab populace is fascinating -- and ought to be given consideration, imho.

If we are truly anti-imperialism, we ought to be cheering on ANY people's attempt to throw off the shackles of government by corrupt power elites.

sw
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Fredda Weinberg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. During the inquisition, Jews did extremely well
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 09:46 PM by Fredda Weinberg
in Muslim courts. Of course, you had the occassional messiah who dreamed of restoring Israel's glory, but when Shabbetai Tzvi converted it Islam, it was at the edge of a sword. So I understand the animosity towards zionism - Islam can be tolerant, as long as it is not challenged for political dominance.

As for pan-Arabism, I see nothing of the Maghreb movement ... that kind of nationalism died long ago and has nothing to do with Persian pride in their ancient culture. The unifying thread is the lure of Islamic virtue, which is hardly appreciated by those who embrace western values.

Corrupt power elites? When have we been free of them? The French tried and brought on a reign of terror; the British brought back their monarchy, however constitutionally limited - and the nobility never let power slip from their grasp. Islam attempts to deal with social justice in ways big and small, from the unity of the Haaj to the beheading of a Saudi princess.

I'm a first generation American, and a misfit at that ... I've been offered several opportunities to gain wealth at the expense of my scruples and had no trouble declining - but that's not the western way. On the other hand, I suspect anyone who advocates throwing off the shackles of government - anarchy has not served us well.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. T'is true: "Corrupt power elites? When have we been free of them?"
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 10:15 PM by scarletwoman
Still, I think it's a freedom worth fighting for -- before the madmen destroy the world for all of us.

sw
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