March 22nd 2010
Bin Laden. The man who declared war on America. Yossef Bodansky. 2000. ISBN 0761535810. This is a chilling book. On one hand you have a thoroughly researched series of briefing notes on how the Islamic militants grew their network of reources worldwide from the late 80s through to 2000. These notes were prepared for the US Govt Antiterrorism desk. Then you have the sheer blindness of some of the American powers that be that had this material, yet still became dupes of the Islamist extremists in Somalia, Africa, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan. In practise terrorism exercises the US found that in the 90s their groups such as the FBI, CIA and so on could not work together or share information.
Then you read how supposed US allies ( Saudi Arabia, & Pakistan) manipulate US liberal tendencies to their own ends – on the one hand funding and locating terrorist raining camps and on the other getting US help, aid and nuclear know how given to them . The author lays out lots of evidence on how the Pakistan secrets service is still a major supporter of Islamic militants and how much of the the worldwide terrorism in the 90s was planned and funded by the Iranians (which they still do) as well s Syria and Jordan.
When you read the dates of the various meetings, militants announcements and activities you have to wonder what the Clinton administration was doing when they had all this information in front of them Even more disheartening is the realization that the root anger over what the Crusaders did in the 12th century is still part of the Islamic fundamentalists belief structure. That and the ongoing existence of Isreal are anger spots that will not go away.
The sheer numbers of youth who are being inculcated into retrograde Islamaic fundamentalism that is really stuck in the 12th century, is overwhelming. This creates armies of undereducated hard liners who will die for a cause. This is not an easy book to read yet it is a must read for an eduacted man and woman. I had a hard time not to see much of what is being tried as eventually futile efforts since for the militants Islam is the only future for the world. Unless the masses of citizens in these repressive monotheistic states such as Iran, Syria, Jordan, Sudan, Somalia can somehow come together to remove the top levels that promote this hatred, little can be done.
Bin Laden appears to be a very bright educated individual, who built a network that could well outlive him. (Some say he is already dead, and is a figurehead since 2001) . Certianly funding, resources, and an organization of terror is well entrenched.
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