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How to Deal With Bin Laden

We must condemn the massacre that occurred on Sept 11. The terrorist organizations that took part in it, and those that are entangled with it, need to be ferreted out and neutralized. Bin Laden included.

We have not fully won the war on poverty started 35 years ago by Lyndon Johnson. We have not come close to winning the war on drugs. We can't stop the flow of the millions of illegal immigrants now in our midst.

If terrorism were easy to wipe out, Europe would still not be faced with the IRA, the Basques, and fighting in Chechnya and the Balkans.

In the eighties, we helped fund, arm, and train the Muslim liberators who freed Afghanistan from Soviet control. We did so to screw the Soviets to give them their Vietnam. Osama bin Laden on the other hand, aided the Afghani resistance to help the Afghani people.

A million Afghanis and other Muslims gave their lives to free their country. At the end of the war, having achieved our objective, we left, and Afghanistan devolved into civil war killing another 50,000 Afghanis. Bin Laden stayed to help rebuild the country. It's therefore understandable that bin Laden is a hero in the eyes of the Afghanis and other Muslims around the world.

We must condemn the massacre that occurred on Sept 11. The terrorist organizations that took part in it, and those that are entangled with it, need to be ferreted out and neutralized. Bin Laden included.

But we must clearly on how best to achieve this, and the degree to which we can. For if we don't, the laws of unintended consequences may once again befall us.

Bin Laden became the person and the symbol he is for three reasons. First, our support of the corrupt and brutal Shah of Iran caused the first wave of Islamic backlash. Bin Laden was caught up in this idealism of Islamic rule for Muslim countries. Second, bin Laden was trained, and through military success, emboldened with our help during the Afghani/Soviet war. And third, he was deeply angered by our placing non-Islamic troops on holy Saudi Arabia land to protect our oil interests during and after Dessert Storm. It would be for Catholics, as if the Vatican harbored Communist troops. That we still support pro-western dictatorships in the Muslim world doesn't help our cause.

I don't think anyone in the world doubts that for many years to come, the US and other free countries will put significant effort towards eradicating terrorism via intelligence agencies, economic and political pressure, and perhaps clandestine operations. The big question, and to me, the only important question is: What are we going to do in the short term, and how will that affect the 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, most of whom do not currently hate America for its dominating cultural, economic, military, and political power.

Are we to bomb and starve hundreds, thousands or perhaps millions of innocent people in our attempt to kill the most well known branch on the terrorist tree? Are we going to topple governments and cause others to be overthrown by militants in their street? Through our hubris, will we create 10 times as many terrorists and untold hatred towards us? In a recent British poll, 67% agreed that military action will make matters worse between Western and Islamic countries.

Let's not forget that if we condone the bombing of nations that allowed the funding of terrorists, then we should allow England to bomb the US since Americans are the largest source of funding for the IRA.

I believe we have been bestowed with an unprecedented opportunity to advance world peace. Here is a blueprint for a win-win situation the world hasn't seen since the Marshall Plan at the end of WW II.

What if, instead of bombing the hell out of Afghanistan, Iraq, and whomever else harbors these terrorists, we acknowledged the tremendous death and suffering of the Afghani people over the last quarter century, as well as our understanding of their legitimately heroic feelings for bin Laden. We continue, saying that none-the-less we have substantial evidence that he and others have participated in several international bombings against non-military targets, and that they must be brought to justice. We state our desire to try them at the Hague under an Islamic court of law. Any country not willing to route out the suspected terrorists for trial will be economically and politically quarantined. Most importantly, we pledge not to attack militarily.

Immediately we gain the moral ground by not attacking when we ourselves have been so savagely attacked. Instead of extracting an eye for an eye, we should, as Jesus commanded, turn the other cheek. Further, by placing bin Laden and others on trial in the Hague under Islamic court, it will no longer be Satanic America extracting revenge, but the international community under Islamic law, who will extract justice. Instead of creating a million more militants in reaction to our bombs, we will hopefully generate unfathomable goodwill.

Such an atmosphere would accomplish four ends. First, it might hasten the surfacing of bin Laden, something the US military may never be able to accomplish in bin Laden friendly Afghanistan. Second, it will ease Muslim tempers with the US, with untold positive consequences for the future. Third, it will make it that much safer for all countries currently on the fence to join in the effort against Muslim terrorists. And fourth, having reduced the threat of war today and the future, and it's ramifications regarding oil and world economies, the US and other economies can more quickly recover from our current economic recession.

Thus despite our deep desire for revenge and blood-letting, on the world stage, the most patriotic and positive course of action is not war, but for the US to show compassion, resolve, and lead the world in peacefully bringing the terrorists to justice.

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