Osama, Stingers, and Spam

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The
ruling to kill the Americans and their allies — civilians and
military — is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do
it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order
to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from
their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all
the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim.
This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God, “and fight
the pagans all together as they fight you all together,” and
“fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and
there prevail justice and faith in God.”

~
Osama bin Laden (1998)

Osama
bin Laden has had one overriding goal for over a decade: to create
a jihad between Islam and the United States. He made this goal
clear in a 1998 document, World Islamic Front Statement Urging Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders.
Here, we read:

First,
for over seven years the United States has been occupying the
lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula,
plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating
its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases
in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the
neighboring Muslim peoples.

If
some people have in the past argued about the fact of the occupation,
all the people of the Peninsula have now acknowledged it. The
best proof of this is the Americans’ continuing aggression against
the Iraqi people using the Peninsula as a staging post, even
though all its rulers are against their territories being used
to that end, but they are helpless.

In
this document, he set forth a theory, namely, that the United
States has a goal to control Islamic governments in the Middle
East. American troops stationed in Saudi Arabia were evidence
of this, he said, but more important, the sanctions against Iraq
were compelling evidence. These sanctions would not placate the
United States, he predicted.

Second,
despite the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people
by the crusader-Zionist alliance, and despite the huge number
of those killed, which has exceeded 1 million . . . despite
all this, the Americans are once against trying to repeat the
horrific massacres, as though they are not content with the
protracted blockade imposed after the ferocious war or the fragmentation
and devastation.

So
here they come to annihilate what is left of this people and
to humiliate their Muslim neighbors.

Third,
if the Americans’ aims behind these wars are religious and economic,
the aim is also to serve the Jews’ petty state and divert attention
from its occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there.
The best proof of this is their eagerness to destroy Iraq, the
strongest neighboring Arab state, and their endeavor to fragment
all the states of the region such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt,
and Sudan into paper statelets and through their disunion and
weakness to guarantee Israel’s survival and the continuation
of the brutal crusade occupation of the Peninsula.

He
then called for all-out war against the United States.

All
these crimes and sins committed by the Americans are a clear
declaration of war on God, his messenger, and Muslims. And ulema
have throughout Islamic history unanimously agreed that the
jihad is an individual duty if the enemy destroys the Muslim
countries.

He
presented the United States as an aggressor, a profane invader
into the holy land (Saudi Arabia), as well as an invader of the
region generally. He presented the United States as an aggressor
nation with the goal of suppressing Islam. This, he said, justifies
a jihad by all of Islam against the United States.

On
February 23, 1998, the day this statement was issued, no one in
authority in the United States paid much attention to it or to
the man who issued it. It was not front-page news. On August 7,
a bomb blew up the American embassy in Tanzania, and another blew
up the American embassy in Kenya. This was the eighth anniversary
of the United Nations’ sanctions against Iraq. At that point,
American officials began paying greater attention.

THE
ACTION IS THE REACTION

In
the 1960’s, a radical political organizer named Saul Alinsky made
himself famous by designing legal, non-violent protests that created
havoc for his institutional targets. He operated out of Chicago,
but he was well known throughout the radical movement. In 1971,
a year before he died, he wrote Rules
for Radicals
. Had student protests not ended with the
shootings at Kent State University in May, 1970, the book probably
would have received more publicity. It was published too late.

Alinsky
was a follower of Gandhi’s tactics. His slogan was this: “The
action is the reaction.” He said that it is the tactician’s task
to design a public challenge that will call forth a reaction that
will embarrass and eventually undermine the targeted institution.
He was a master at designing such challenges.

Osama
bin Laden has understood this principle better than any other
radical in our era. He keeps escalating his challenges. His attack
on the World Trade Center on September 11 was either his second
attempt — assuming that he was the inspiration of the 1993 bombing
— or else proof that he was a gifted imitator. He launched a
pre-emptive strike against the symbol of American capitalism.
Why? Probably because he was aware that the United States planned
to launch a pre-emptive strike against his home base, Afghanistan.
The United States had entered into an alliance with Pakistan,
India, and Russia to remove Taliban control over Afghanistan,
a fact reported by the press in India three months before September
11
.

India
in anti-Taliban military plan

India
and Iran will “facilitate” the planned US-Russia hostilities
against the Taliban.

By Our Correspondent

26
June 2001: India and Iran will “facilitate” Russian plans for
“limited military action” against the Taliban if the contemplated
tough new economic sanctions don’t bend Afghanistan’s fundamentalist
regime.

The
Taliban controls 90 per cent of Afghanistan and is advancing
northward along the Salang highway and preparing for a rear
attack on the opposition Northern Alliance from Tajikistan-Afghanistan
border positions.

Indian
foreign secretary Chokila Iyer attended a crucial session of
the second Indo-Russian joint working group on Afghanistan in
Moscow amidst increase of Taliban’s military activity near the
Tajikistan border. And, Russia’s Federal Security Bureau (the
former KGB) chief Nicolai Patroshev is visiting Teheran this
week in connection with Taliban’s military build-up.

Indian
officials say that India and Iran will only play the role of
“facilitator” while the US and Russia will combat the Taliban
from the front with the help of two Central Asian countries,
Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, to push Taliban lines back to the
1998 position 50 km away from Mazar-e-Sharief city in northern
Afghanistan.

America’s
subsequent attack on Afghanistan appeared to be in response to
an Islamic jihad. It placed the United States in the position
of a reactor rather than an initiator. Islam appeared for the
first time as an initiator, which was obviously to bin Laden’s
advantage. He was positioning Islamic guerrillas as responding
to prior aggression against Islamic nations, which is exactly
what he had to do as a private initiator of a jihad — a man without
a state or ecclesiastical office.

In
1996, he had called for guerilla
warfare
.

Today
your brothers and sons, the sons of the two Holy Places, have
started their Jihad in the cause of Allah, to expel the occupying
enemy out of the country of the two Holy places. And there is
no doubt you would like to carry out this mission too, in order
to re-establish the greatness of this Ummah [Islamic
people
] and to liberate its occupied sanctities. Nevertheless,
it must be obvious to you that, due to the imbalance of power
between our armed forces and the enemy forces, a suitable means
of fighting must be adopted i.e. using fast moving light forces
that work under complete secrecy. In other words to initiate
a guerrilla warfare, were the sons of the nation, and not the
military forces, [to] take part in it. And as you know, it is
wise, in the present circumstances, for the armed military forces
not to be engaged in a conventional fighting with the forces
of the crusader enemy (the exceptions are the bold and the forceful
operations carried out by the members of the armed forces individually,
that is without the movement of the formal forces in its conventional
shape and hence the responses will not be directed, strongly,
against the army) unless a big advantage is likely to be achieved;
and great losses induced on the enemy side (that would shaken
and destroy its foundations and infrastructures) that will help
to expel the enemy defeated out of the country.

GUERILLA
WARFARE

Guerilla
warfare is being waged against United States forces in Iraq. When
a suicide driver of a car with a trunk full of explosives opened
the trunk, it killed him and four soldiers. He knew what he was
doing. He had adopted a means of warfare that relies on the opponent’s
assumption that no one will kill himself in a suicide mission.
When an assailant is willing to die, it is very difficult for
his targets to devise comprehensive procedures against an attack.

By
calling Islamic youth to guerilla warfare, bin Laden is taking
advantage of what Alinsky saw was the primary pool of recruits:
idealistic young people. He is offering long-term Islamic victory
and eternal personal delights to those who respond by becoming
martyrs.

Our youths
believe in paradise after death. They believe that taking
part in fighting will not bring their day nearer; and staying
behind will not postpone their day either. . . . These youths
believe in what has been told by Allah and His messenger (Allah’s
Blessings and Salutations may be on him) about the greatness
of the reward for the Mujahideen and Martyrs; . . . “a martyr
privileges are guaranteed by Allah; forgiveness with the first
gush of his blood, he will be shown his seat in paradise,
he will be decorated with the jewels of belief (Imaan), married
off to the beautiful ones, protected from the test in the
grave, assured security in the day of judgement, crowned with
the crown of dignity, a ruby of which is better than this
whole world (Duniah) and its entire content, wedded to seventy
two of the pure Houries (beautiful ones of Paradise) and his
intercession on the behalf of seventy of his relatives will
be accepted”. narrated by Ahmad and At-Tirmithi (with the
correct and trustworthy reference).

Those
youths know that their rewards in fighting you, the USA, is
double than their rewards in fighting some one else not from
the people of the book. They have no intention except to enter
paradise by killing you. An infidel, and enemy of God like
you, cannot be in the same hell with his righteous executioner.

If
young men believe this, and they also believe that only through
terrorism can Islam fight back against the wealth and military
technology of the West, then they will volunteer. We are talking
about a religion with 1.2 billion adherents.

STINGERS

On
the March 30 broadcast of CBS’s “60 Minutes,” a segment dealt
with the fact that terrorist groups now possess shoulder-launched
anti-aircraft missiles, possibly including Stingers. They also
possess Russian-made missiles.

The
following information was posted last December on www.globalsecurtity.org.

Long
before last week’s attempted missile shoot-down of an Israeli
commercial jetliner in Africa, top U.S. transportation officials
had warned chief executives of major airlines of a threat from
terrorists armed with shoulder-fired missiles.

Chet
Lunner, public affairs chief at the Department of Transportation
(DOT), said in an interview that the executives had been warned
on Nov. 5 during a meeting at DOT headquarters that lasted several
hours. . . .

Leaders
of the Senate intelligence Committee said Dec. 1 they expected
more attacks from terrorists with shoulder-fired missiles. “Let’s
be honest about it. There are thousands of these surface-to-air
missiles around the world,” Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), committee
vice-chairman, said on Fox News Sunday. “Eventually, that’s
going to tie one of the methods for the terrorists to hit.”
. . .

“There’s
no way of knowing how many [missiles] or of what type the bad
guys would have,” said John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org.
“It is certain, however, that the number of shoulder-fired missiles
in the hands of terrorists is relatively large in relation to
the number of aircraft that have been shot down.”

“60
Minutes” interviewed a Homeland Security official who described
the threat. It also interviewed Senator Charles Schumer, who is
proposing a $10 billion program to equip American passenger jets
with anti-missile technology. He says that the airlines are too
broke to make the needed investment. He argues that it would take
only one or two downed planes to bankrupt the airline system.

It
is unlikely that any such legislation will be passed until after
a plane goes down. But, in the time between the first downed plane
and the retrofittings, what will happen to the airline industry?
If it decreased travel by (say) 20 percent, this would bankrupt
the industry. It borders on bankruptcy now.

I,
for one, would pay a higher fare to fly on a plane with a missile
defense. But, so far, the market has not responded. It won’t respond
until it has to. Which airline will be the first to build a marketing
campaign around the existence of such a threat?

This
is why I do not think the authorities will admit to the public
what the real cause of such a crash was.

This
brings us to the terrorists’ tool of public paralysis.

SPAM

Every
day, our e-mail boxes are filled with spam. The topics are familiar:
cheap insurance, sex, discount Viagra, and a $2 million offer
from M’Bingo M’Bongo, the former Minister of Finance in the Congo.

A
lot of spam is sent from Asia. Somehow, these mailings to 30 million
or more people get through every day. Counter-measures do not
work well. No matter what internet service providers do, they
cannot eliminate spam.

This
leads me to consider a hypothetical situation. While American
authorities may attempt to do whatever is required to suppress
news of a successful domestic missile attack on a commercial jetliner,
the perpetrators — or fake perpetrators — could use spam to
announce the next attack. A headline such as We’ve Got 6 More
Missiles
would surely get my attention.

They
could announce that they intend to target two planes from a particular
airline for the next 30 days. Then they would carry out the threat.
Think of the economic effect on the next airline that gets identified
as a target.

The
division of labor economy rests on the assumption of peace. Undermine
men’s confidence in this assumption, and the economic system is
at risk.

THE
WHIRLWIND

When
“60 Minutes” ran that segment, it announced to millions of Americans
that the threat exists. I think the producer did the correct thing.
The public deserves to be told about this possible threat to the
airlines. What is not clear is what can be done about it.

The
war in Iraq is said to be a war against terrorism. But the problem
with conventional warfare in the Middle East is that it creates
volunteers for unconventional warfare.

Osama
bin Laden is obviously following some version of Alinsky’s tactic:
the action is the reaction. He has now lured the President of
the United States into doing exactly what bin Laden has said he
wanted to do: prove the necessity of a jihad.

Every
time I re-read his 1998 statement, I marvel at the man’s ability
to define the issue his way and then identify the proof: our sanctions
on Iraq. He wrote, “If some people have in the past argued about
the fact of the occupation, all the people of the Peninsula have
now acknowledged it. The best proof of this is the Americans’
continuing aggression against the Iraqi people using the Peninsula
as a staging post.” And this: “. . . the Americans are once again
trying to repeat the horrific massacres, as though they are not
content with the protracted blockade imposed after the ferocious
war or the fragmentation and devastation.”

In 1998, he framed the debate. Five years later, the United States
has confirmed it. He wrote: “So here they come to annihilate what
is left of this people and to humiliate their Muslim neighbors.”

I
hear Americans say that we had to take action against Iraq in
order to stop radical Islam early, before it becomes deadly dangerous.
I do not hear any Swiss saying this, however.

We
are now caught in bin Laden’s lobster trap. We cannot back out
of this war without empowering the guerrillas. “Allah is with
us! The crusaders have run away!” But to occupy the country will
validate bin Laden’s version of the issues. He wants a jihad.
He wants it based on guerilla warfare. A victory of conventional
forces leaves the Muslim who seeks revenge with little option
other than unconventional warfare. For the United States, it’s
now a case of “heads, we lose; tails, we lose.”

To
imagine that conventional warfare against a state is the long-term
solution to guerilla warfare that is stateless — the Ummah —
is, in my view, nothing short of blind.

CONCLUSION

Almost
a generation ago, journalist Robert Taber wrote a classic book
on guerilla warfare, The
War of the Flea
. This war has now reappeared. I do not
think that most Americans are ready to become casualties in this
war.

Think
of what a half dozen missile launchers could do to the airline
industry. Would-be martyrs can now inflict economic damage far
beyond their investment of money. Their target is the West’s division
of labor economy.

The
Swiss have prospered for five centuries by staying out of wars.
They have high mountains to slow any invasion and an armed citizenry
to make credible their threat of defense. Hitler wanted to invade
Switzerland, but his generals talked him out of it. The Swiss
speak softly and carry a big stick: automatic weapons. The Swiss
have no pretensions regarding their ability or authorization to
save the world. “Save money, not the world,” is their motto. Something
quite similar was George Washington’s motto in his 1796 “Farewell
Address.”

If
we remain one people under an efficient government, the period
is not far off when we may defy material injury from external
annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the
neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously
respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility
of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the
giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our
interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

His
political successors did not take him seriously. We are paying
the price for their decisions. The price keeps going up.

April
2, 2003

Gary
North is the author of Mises
on Money
. Visit http://www.freebooks.com.
For a free subscription to Gary North’s twice-weekly economics newsletter,
click
here
.

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