Saturday, August 14, 2004

Some "Thinkers" Just Think Too Hard

Graham Allison, director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, writes:
What if Al Qaeda acquired a nuclear bomb? In releasing its report, the 9/11 Commission underscored bin Laden's nuclear ambitions. As the commission members said, "Our report shows that Al Qaeda tried to acquire or make weapons of mass destruction for at least 10 years." In commission chairman Thomas Kean's words, "Everybody feels that they are trying to mount another attack, and everybody feels that, given their ideology, they're doing their best to make it chemical, biological and nuclear because it kills more people."

For most Americans, the question of what bin Laden could possibly hope to achieve by such devastation has been confused by Bush administration rhetoric that characterizes Al Qaeda as "nothing but cold-blooded killers."

To the contrary, any careful reader of bin Laden's fatwas, statements, and tapes will find a chilling but quite specific list of strategic objectives. Bin Laden's demands of America include:

Withdrawal of all American troops from Saudi Arabia.

Elimination of American political and economic influence from Muslim countries.

End of the "Judeo-Christian crusades" that have occupied and/or corrupted Muslim countries.

End of American's military, financial, and public support for regimes in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and other Arab countries.
Let's see if I understand this. Suppose you own a store and an intruder rushes into your store brandishing an Uzi. He demands that you close your store because your business "offends" him. You know that he has killed other store owners whose businesses also offended him. Now he threatens to kill you if you don't close your store.

It's true that the intruder isn't just a cold-blooded killer. He's a cold-blooded killer who happens to be a fanatic. His fanaticism doesn't cancel his cold-bloodedness, it only magnifies it.

(Thanks to The American Thinker for the tip.)