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Is Osama happy right now?


Henry

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Well, I hope you're right and I'm wrong.

In one of those links I posted there is a discussion of the increasing impotence of the Arab nations. The war only makes it more so, which on the surface would seem to support your position that we needn't be concerned about their anger. But its my feeling that its precisely this helplessness that spawns terrorist attacks.

I agree that there aren't a lot of Arabs willing to die in a terrorist attack in support of Saddam. But, of course, there are many possible attacks that don't require the suicide of the attacker. A fella could do a lot of damage with anthrax and live to brag to his buddies. As far as the hatred of Saddam, my point is simply that civilian casualties are increasingly causing the Arab world to view this as a war on Islam, not a war of liberation from Saddam. That, together with a demonstrated powerlessness, is where terrorist plots for revenge may be born.

As far as my piecemealing the quotes from your post, if you feel I distorted your words then I apologize. I didn't think - still don't - that it changed the meaning in any way, I was simply highlighting the statements relevant to my question.

But, like I said, this is one of those cases where I'd be very happy being wrong.

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Jimbo,

I didn't think you had misrepresented my comments until you expanded my words to fit a new meaning when I saw you indicate that I was saying there wasn't growing resentment in the Arab world. I recognize fully that such resentment is growing. My comments were to how that resentment extended to thoughts that these people will sacrifice themselves for Saddam and his Iraq, which I find to be a very difficult connection given all of the reasons given.

Otherwise, I hope you're wrong too, and your concluding post is fair, understandable and reasonable. I do see this line of thinking, as you appear to see mine. Good discussion :).

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You don't get to define that any evidence that happens to weaken your assessment is irrelevant in the equation.

That's amusing, Art, because this is precisely what you do all the time. You have tended, in this debate and others, to see things only in black and white. There are many shades of gray here.

Just like Osama used arab resentment over the Palistinian cause for his own purposes, despite the fact that, as you correctly point out, he could have cared less for the cause itself, Osama will, if he can, use the invasion of Iraq to his benefit. Why you refuse to see this basic truth is beyond me, but that's just you.

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Egypt seems to think so.....

Egypt urges new peace push in face of growing Iraq war toll

1 hour, 43 minutes ago Add Mideast - AFP to My Yahoo!

CAIRO (AFP) - Key US ally Egypt called for a new Iraq (news - web sites) peace push in the face of the "appalling human tragedy" resulting from the fighting there, warning that it could produce "100 Osama bin Ladens".

AFP Photo

"The armed confrontation in Iraq between the coalition forces who are seeking to overthrow the regime and the Iraqi armed forces who are defending their territory ... is resulting in an appalling human tragedy with victims on both sides and the destruction of a people," President Hosni Mubarak (news - web sites) said Monday.

"We must all work rapidly for a peaceful settlement which satisfies the will of the international community and preserves the unity, sovereignty and dignity of Iraq," the president told army officers in a televised address.

Mubarak warned that far from eliminating a possible terror threat against the United States, the campaign against Saddam's regime was liable to inflame world opinion and spark more attacks on US targets.

"I fear this war will have enormous consequences and lead to an increase in terrorism. When this war ends, there may be 100 bin Ladens instead of just one," he said, referring to the head of the al-Qaeda terror movement.

"The war will have political, economic and social consequences that will be difficult to face," Mubarak said.

Mubarak denied that the US-led invasion of Iraq had caused differences between Egypt and the more radical regime in Syria, which has taken a more hostile position to the war against its eastern neighbour.

Relations between the two Arab governments were "longstanding and strategic," the Egyptian leader said.

Last Wednesday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher called in the Syrian ambassador here to protest against what he described as "irresponsible machinations" during anti-war demonstrations in Damascus.

Some protestors had chanted slogans criticising Egypt for not going further in its opposition to British and US military action.

Mubarak also responded to repeated protestors' demands that the Suez canal linking the Mediterranean to the Red Sea be closed to coalition warships, saying this was not possible under the Constantinople Treaty of 1888, which is binding on Egypt.

"The passage of ships through the Suez canal is the right of all states, unless Egypt is at war with one," he said.

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Actually, Joe, that's completely incorrect. I tend to process the totality of what information there is. I do not, in the slightest, ignore the potential of an Arab uprising in the face of an American invasion of Muslim lands and an Arab nation. But, you must also factor in all the mitigating issues that would limit such an uprising, including, but not limited to, the fact that it's uniformly predicted any time we whisper at the Middle East and it never happens.

The fact that Bin Laden attempted to attach himself to the Palestinian cause after the fact is clear. That it failed to resonate with the Arab world is also clear, because, simply put, they knew he wasn't a true believer in that cause, and, nothing has come of it. Certainly latching on to Iraq, as he has now done, is LESS likely to inspire unity of the sort required for any real danger to our nation given what Iraq is.

That you refuse to see the broad issues here is a failing in you, not me. I was moved by, and believed strongly in the gloomy predictions that our actions in Afghanistan and against Bin Laden himself would lead to more acts of terrorism against us. That made sense. It rung true. It still does. The same can not be said, in the slightest way, for the current climate in Iraq.

You need to distinguish between valid, powerful, meaningful usage of Arab outrage and attempts at such that fail to resonate. When Saddam obstensibly prays five times a day for the last few weeks, it is an attempt to unite the Arab world against the U.S. But, that attempt fails because the Arab world knows it's not genuine.

In fact, I do see the basic truth. I see the rationale behind your fears. You refuse to see the mitigation. That separates the two of us because, unlike you, I actually do recognize your points as existing, while you have chosen to close your mind to the points that make it less reasonable. But, that's you, I guess.

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Code,

The point is the Arabs and their leaders will point to the rise of the Arab street in response to half a dozen actions by Israel and the United States a year. If it was meaningful to see these warnings, it would have to be followed by actual action once since the Arab world got kicked in the teeth by Israel.

I have no doubt we'll see the media and members of Arab leadership warn over the possibility of inciting the Arab street to rise up and fight the Americans. We'll see it when we engage Iran and Syria as well. And when we do, it'll probably be something that happens. It just won't happen over Iraq.

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Originally posted by Art

Code,

The point is the Arabs and their leaders will point to the rise of the Arab street in response to half a dozen actions by Israel and the United States a year. If it was meaningful to see these warnings, it would have to be followed by actual action once since the Arab world got kicked in the teeth by Israel.

I have no doubt we'll see the media and members of Arab leadership warn over the possibility of inciting the Arab street to rise up and fight the Americans. We'll see it when we engage Iran and Syria as well. And when we do, it'll probably be something that happens. It just won't happen over Iraq.

Point taken,,, I think I only caught the tail end of this conversation.

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Lowghost,

To be honest, I'm probably not an ideal source for Mongol history. I have seen various reports on the numbers of Muslims killed by Saddam numbering over a million and some even greater. I really have no idea if Ogodei is attributed with more killings. But, assuming it is so, simply correct my point from Saddam has killed more Muslims than anyone ever to Saddam has killed more Muslims than anyone currently alive, and I think I'm still ok :).

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Sorry Art, I must have missed those points that do not support your position that you acknowledged in earlier posts. I certainly don't remember you ever allowing that Bin Laden had used the Palistinian plight as fertile ground for anti-American sentiment. which was, and remains, my original basis for believing that he could easily use sentiment over the invasion of Iraq for the same purpose if he can.

I believe that the invasion of Iraq will lead to resentment of the US that may well lead to addititional terrorist attacks in this country. Certainly this is not something that should have given us pause. But I think it is naive to think it won't happen because of ideological differences. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. This is the bottom line.

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Joe, you wrote, "Sorry Art, I must have missed those points that do not support your position that you acknowledged in earlier posts. I certainly don't remember you ever allowing that Bin Laden had used the Palistinian plight as fertile ground for anti-American sentiment. which was, and remains, my original basis for believing that he could easily use sentiment over the invasion of Iraq for the same purpose if he can. "

I'm sorry you missed it as well. In fact, I'm somewhat shocked you missed it. Here's why. In my second post in this thread, and in reply to you, to start my reply, I wrote, "Bin Laden didn't even know Palestine existed until after 9/11 when he attempted to latch onto it. No one in Al Queda joined because of Palestine or Israel. Simply put, that wasn't what Al Queda was about. After 9/11 Bin Laden tried to join the cause, but, since he was never part of the cause, it fell flat."

Certainly, that would clearly express recognition that Bin Laden didn't care much about "the Palestinian plight" prior to 9/11, but he did attempt to latch onto it since, and since he had never made a public statement about the "plight" in Palestine prior to 9/11 it's fair to say he didn't get aid in recruitment for his cause prior to 9/11 and if he did afterward, it's hard to say since we haven't been attacked.

Further, you recognized I said this because in your reply, you point out, "...as you correctly point out, he could have cared less for the cause itself..." which displays clearly that you did, in fact, read what I said. Now, however, you've chosen to play dumb and say you missed where I acknowledged that Bin Laden is attempting to play on those feelings.

In fact, what's clear is we both recognize that he's playing on those feelings where he can, just as he's playing on the Iraq feelings, and we know, to this point, that nothing has come of it. We KNOW nothing has come of it, therefore, the conversation is more of a hypotetical one as to what could possibly come of it. My guess is nothing because, if his call to arms after 9/11 couldn't inspire people to his madness when he latched onto the Palestine situation, it's unlikely people will flock to his late arrival to the Iraqi "plight".

In the end I think it is too accepting and devoid of thought to assume there's any real danger of increasing terrorist recruitment due to what we're doing in Iraq. In order to foment that belief you have to ignore far too many factors that are simply too obvious to be ignored and allow an intelligent belief on the matter.

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