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Thu, July 18

Osama duped America into war

What I'm going to write about today could be upsetting to some. If you think that President Bush's decision to invade Iraq was a sound move, then, please, quit reading right now and move on to O'Reilly. There's no way I can convince some of you that the War on Terror is a farce, that America's response to 9/11 is and was misguided, and that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was more about oil and revenge than it was about stopping terrorists.

America has been duped. Big time. By Osama bin Laden and his followers. He used us, and what's worse, we allowed ourselves to be used. His plan to achieve his ultimate goal is playing out just the way it was conceived. America took the bait, just as the jihadists thought we would, and now we are doing their bidding, we are fighting the war they lacked the power to conduct properly. We are the big, dumb kid in the schoolyard who is easily tricked into pounding some innocent schmuck.

Here's how it worked. Jihadists, who make up just a tiny portion of Muslim societies, have waged war on Muslim rulers since at least the 1960s. Why? Because jihadists adhere to the strictest interpretation of their religion, and they've been hell-bent on snuffing out atheist order in the Middle East for the last 40 years. According to Fawaz A. Gerges, author and Middle East expert, as modern Islamists compromised with secular groups, and even questioned some of the sacred principals of Islam, jihadists scorned them. When mainstream Muslims utilized nonviolent methods to recruit followers, jihadists drew blood.

Jihadists see Israel as the perfect example of how Islam has been diluted by Muslim leaders, be they from Egypt or Saudi Arabia, Pakistan or Turkey. The fact that Israel has been allowed to survive, and prosper, jihadists were convinced that a change had to be made in Muslim society. And so they killed Muslim leaders, with little effect. Then they killed innocent followers, with little effect. Then the jihadists, probably Osama, hit upon a marvelous idea. Why not get the West, especially its superpower - America - to join the fight. Hmm ... how could the U.S. be tricked into waging war against Muslims? Let's see. Well, first, you've got to make them mad.

So, the jihadists began their campaign to piss America off. It had to be done in such a way that the U.S. would include all Muslims in its vengeance. Osama and his followers began by bombing the World Trade Center in 1993, which killed six Americans and injured more than a thousand. America's response. No response. So the jihadists followed that up with a car bomb at a U.S. military headquarters in Saudi Arabia in 1995 that killed five U.S. servicemen. America's response. No response. So, the extremists ramped it up a bit.

Seven months later, they detonated a truck bomb outside the Khobar Towers military complex in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. That attack killed 19 American servicemen. America's response. No response. So, two years later, the jihadists triggered truck bombs almost simultaneously in front of two U.S. embassies in Africa, killing hundreds. America barely noticed. At this point, Osama & his Jolly Band of Idiots must have realized that it would take far greater violence aimed at the very heart of America to get us to take the bait.

Twenty-six months later, the jihadists murdered 17 U.S. sailors when they blew up a small boat next to the USS Cole Navy destroyer in Yemen. America was (finally) shocked, but a month later, President Bill Clinton was on the way out and George W. Bush took over. The jihadists must have been watching that chad count like an expectant father, praying that Dubya and his fiery Republicans would secure the White House. The terrorists got their wish, and soon, 9-11 was conceived and carried out. Immediately after the last plane went down in that Pennsylvania field, a cool breeze of hatred and fear blew across America. Many Americans blamed Muslims and Islam.

Bush sent U.S. troops to Afghanistan to dethrone the Taliban for harboring Osama, then saw the opportunity in Iraq to set the Muslim world straight ... er ... free. The seed was planted. Americans' fear and hatred of Islam began to grow, so the jihadists made sure to water their creation with attacks every year on U.S. interests: 2002 - bomb kills 12 outside U.S. consulate in Pakistan; 2003 - suicide bombers kill 34, including eight Americans, at housing compounds for Westerners in Saudi Arabia; 2004 - three attacks in Saudi Arabia kill nine more Americans; 2005 - suicide bombers attack three American hotels in Jordan, killing 57; 2006 - attack on American embassy in Syria is foiled; 2007 - a missile is fired into the U.S. embassy in Greece, but, thankfully, no one is injured.

And then there's the 3,000-plus Americans who've fallen in Iraq and the tens of thousands seriously injured in a war against who really knows.

Face it. America has been duped. We've been bamboozled! Six years after 9-11, many Americans still possess if not a hatred then at least a weary indifference to Muslims. The jihadists have used our ignorance of political and social Islam to poison our view of the Middle East. Our fear/anger turned toward our borders when it became apparent that the War in Iraq would not end soon and the ringleader of 9/11 was not going to be caught. We were no less afraid when the Taliban was kicked from power in Afghanistan or when the statues of Saddam crumpled to the streets in Baghdad. They did not cause 9-11.

Not only has Osama duped us into two wars, he has convinced thousands of young mainstream Muslims to become soldiers and suicide bombers by portraying America as the "real" enemy of Islam. America has played its part well, setting up shop in Iraq and Afghanistan, making it easy for the jihadists to recruit fresh, young "soldiers."

I see but one solution to this mess. The world must come together to combat these jihadists, and the war must be waged on just them, not on Muslims. The U.S. needs to pull out of Iraq, when it can, and it must lead a campaign to get all the world's countries behind a multinational force, soldiers and intelligence, with the power to go wherever the jihadists are hiding and training. This force must be allowed to go into any and every country to weed out these extremists and have the financing to create an intelligence network to crush these groups and keep them crushed. The United Nations is unwilling to do this, so, as always, it's up to America to make it happen.

That's what I want from our next president. I'm looking for a candidate who can convince the world that the War on Terror is a war against every human on Earth, and it will take a world effort to snuff out terrorism once and for all. Bush couldn't do it. Who's next?

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