by Gary North
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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