- (july 2009)
Why the USA hasn't captured Osama yet.
A little noticed poll taken by the Pew Center showed
For the first time since Pew began asking the question, Muslims in some key
countries (Turkey, Egypt, Indonesia) had a better opinion of the USA president
than of Osama bin Laden. Throughout the Islamic world the USA has been widely
seen as the villain, and Osama as a folk hero.
One reason is the biased way in
which international events have been presented by Al Jazeera, the most viewed
and trusted television station in the Islamic world. Al Jazeera has
consistently sided with all sorts of anti-USA conspiracy theories (particularly
popular in the Islamic world) and consistently found excuses for Islamic
terrorists or even doubted that they existed at all. The average Al Jazeera
viewer has the impression that the whole war on terrorism is a USA invention:
there are no Islamic terrorists (by definition, Muslims can only be good)
and the USA has been killing Muslims simply because it is bent on a crusade
Another reason is that the governments of the Islamic world are mostly failed
governments, and mostly dictatorships. They use Israel as a scapegoat to
distract attention from their failures. Israel could not possibly exist without
the protection of the USA, and therefore the USA is the source of all evil.
This logic is not publicly promoted by the dictators (who are mostly USA allies,
at least in theory) but it is tolerated because it relieves the pressure on
the dictators themselves: instead of staging a revolution against Mubarak or
the Saudi family, the masses enroll in the jihad against the USA.
The anti-americanism created by this view of the world helps boost the
reputation of anyone who leads the anti-USA jihad.
viewed as being on the right side of the jihad, not on the wrong side.
Thirdly, Osama is an enemy of the secular dictators that rule these countries.
While these dictators have been able to deflect blame to Israel and the USA,
the average citizen of their countries is aware that all these dictators are
no good. While Muslims can be fiercely nationalistic when their country is
attacked, they show little affection for their rulers. In fact, they tend to
blame the decline of their country on the inability of the rulers to stand up
in world affairs. Hence Osama is right to fight these dictators (Osama and
Zawahri started their terrorist careers fighting respectively Egypt and Saudi
Arabia, not the USA).
Few Muslims would admit it openly, but there is also a bit of pride among the
Muslim masses (both the educated ones and the destitute ones) that finally one
Muslim has become famous worldwide for his actions. In one century the Islamic
world has prodeced only a handful of major writers and scientists (in the
same century, Jews have won more than 100 Nobel prizes). The only famous
Muslims have been either dictators or terrorists. There is little in the history
of the last century that can make a Muslim proud of being a Muslim. Osama is
the one Muslim who achieved something spectacular (an attack on the soil of
the USA, something that not even Hitler's Germany, the Japanese or the Soviet
Union ever achieved). It is terribly difficult for the subconscious of the
average Muslim to condemn and curse the one Muslim who has become an
international icon. A few Muslims are ashamed that their civilization can only
produce dictators and terrorists; but for the majority the temptation is to
prove that Osama is not a terrorist, and then everything flows well: the
Islamic world has finally produced a great hero that the West misrepresents.
Last but not least, Osama is a Muslim. It remains terribly difficult for Muslims
to side with infidels against a fellow Muslim, no matter what this Muslim has
done. Muslim brotherhood prevails over anything else. Ask Muslims in which case
Muslims have been on the wrong side of a war, and they will not find one
single case: to them Muslims are always right, whether in Bosnia, Kosovo,
Chechnya, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Philippines, etc. There is never a
war in which the Muslim side is wrong, according to the Muslims of the world.
It is culturally and psychologically very difficult for an infidel nation like
the USA to convince the Muslim masses to side with it against a Muslim entity.
It is just plainly un-Islamic.
Of course, the USA bears some responsibility too. The whole world (not only
the Muslims) is still puzzled why it was so important to remove Saddam Hussein
from power at the cost of hundreds of thousands of civilian lives when the USA
is perfectly happy to sleep with the brutal dictators of mainland China, Saudi
Arabia and Egypt (to name only a few). Bush's tone got on the nerves of just
about every person on the planet. There are countless precedents in which the
West (mostly Europeans, but also the USA) schemed against regimes and
manipulated regimes in the Islamic world to advance its own economic or
geopolitical interests. Etc etc.
However, no matter how much the USA redeems itself, it will ultimately remain
very difficult to obtain the collaboration of the Muslim masses in fighting
a famous Muslim for as long as the cultural psychology remains the one
advocated by Islam. Like it or not, the USA is indeed fighting a religious
war against Islam, because it is Islam that propagates the notion that Muslims
should never side with infidels against fellow Muslims. The reason Osama has
not been caught is the same reason that for many decades the Mafia bosses were
able to elude the Italian police: the masses did not cooperate at all.
When belief in the Mafia declined, the Italian police began making
inroads in its war against the Mafia.
TM, ®, Copyright © 2007 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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