September 11th will now replace December 7th as the most notorious date on the American calendar. A brilliantly executed terrorist attack, likely masterminded by Saudi-born Islamic fundamentalist Osama bin Laden, has wiped the World Trade Center towers clean from the Manhattan skyline, caused more than 5,000 deaths, and penetrated and gashed to the core the Pentagon, command center of the world's most powerful military.
While most Americans are focused on quick retribution for the terrorist tragedies of September 11, the question of why this happened needs to be considered. What were the circumstances in the preceding years that provided an environment where so many in the Middle East would dance in the streets celebrating such horror and the death of innocents? Many believe that Bin Laden and other "evil souls" in the Middle East live for terror, want to destabilize America because of its support of Israel, and are glorified by dying for their cause. This all may be true, but another compelling explanation of the tragedy that unfolded in New York and Washington is that this was American foreign policy backlash, or "blowback" of covert deeds done abroad, as the CIA calls it.
Like former Panama President Manuel Noriega, and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden was cultivated, funded, and armed by the CIA to help further America's foreign policy objectives at that time. In 1979, bin Laden and several hundred of his loyal workmen in the Saudi construction industry moved to Afghanistan to fight Soviet "infidel invaders." Like the Soviets and Chinese who armed and assisted the Vietnamese in their war with the United States, the U.S. -- in one of the last great geopolitical skirmishes of the Cold War -- funded and assisted Afghan freedom fighters against the Soviets. Bin Laden's fundamentalist zealotry was commissioned by the U.S. to fight our cause, but when the United States decided to semi-permanently deploy more than 30,000 troops in the Arab region, the U.S.-trained bin Laden fanatics mobilized against America.
In an interview with biographer Peter Bergen, Bin Laden states: "The collapse of the Soviet Union made the U.S. more haughty, and it has started to look at itself as a master of this world and established what it calls the new world order. . .The U.S. today has set a double standard, calling whomever goes against its injustice a terrorist. It wants to occupy our countries, steal our resources, impose on us agents to rule us
Copyright 2001, NRC Handelsbad