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Louis Untermeyer


Weekly Muse
My humble opinion on current events

December 17, 2001

A Muslim Crisis?

By now, I'm sure you've seen or at least heard of the Osama bin Laden videotape, in which he rejoices over the World Trade Center attack and removes any doubt that he was responsible for it.

"We calculated in advance the number of casualties from the enemy, who would be killed based on the position of the tower," said the Evil One. "We calculated that the floors that would be hit would be three or four floors. I was the most optimistic of them all. (...Inaudible...) due to my experience in this field, I was thinking that the fire from the gas in the place would melt the iron structure of the building and collapse the area where the plane hit and all the floors above it only. This is all that we had hoped for."

Even the O.J. Simpson jury would convict bin Laden based on that quote.

But he reveals his true wickedness when discussing the hijackers. "The brothers, who conducted the operation, all they knew was that they have a martyrdom operation and we asked each of them to go to America but they didn't know anything about the operation, not even one letter. But they were trained and we did not reveal the operation to them until they are there and just before they boarded the planes."

Think Osama's rabid followers caught the utter contempt their wonderful leader apparently holds for them? These supposedly brave heroes of Islam weren't even worthy of the truth of the operation. Osama the twisted shepherd led them like blind sheep over the cliff, and they joyously plummeted to their deaths. They (and other suicide bombers) are no heroes, just stupid, meek little lambs led to the slaughter.

The reaction to the videotape among the civilized world was predictable. For most, including most Muslims, it was the last bit of proof they needed to be convinced of Osama's guilt. 

But many couldn't believe their own eyes. "Many Arabs Shrug At Bin Laden Video" announced the Washington Post this past Friday. A Muslim researcher told the Qatar-based al-Jazeera news channel that the tape "was fabricated." I wonder what evidence he presented to support his theory.

"It's a forgery, of course," declared the sadly delusional Mohamed Atta, father of the hijacker leader. "Damn America, the land of forgery and fabrication."

Abdul Latif Arabyati, leader of something called the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, asked, "Do the Americans think the world is that stupid?"

An Egyptian housewife offered this illuminating comment. "I still don't see anything that proves he did it."

Such denial was not unique to the Middle East. In Cleveland, a Lebanese man told a shopkeeper that "You can't hear the Arabic too well. Who knows what they're actually saying?" Another customer thought the dialogue was fabricated and dubbed over a harmless tape of Osama eating dinner. 

Even the shopkeeper, Ameen Hammad, was skeptical. "It just doesn't make sense. Why would he just sit there and talk about it, and leave the tape lying around?"

It must be said that most Muslims accepted the obvious, even those who gave Osama the benefit of the doubt. But the reaction of many, many others, especially in the Middle East, is troubling, because it reveals a deep hatred and irrational suspicion toward the United States. That does not bode well for long-term peaceful relations with the Middle East.

In fact, the Muslim world is facing a critical choice, and some say even a crisis. Does it align itself with the terrorists or with the civilized world? Many seem to be siding with terrorists. 

Many Arabs in the Middle East, taught since elementary school that Americans and Jews are lying devils out to destroy Islam, are inflamed by these same terrorists and their willing accomplices in the radical mosques. They may be beyond even the truth. There's no convincing them of our good intentions, of our desire only for peace and prosperity in their land. They seem ready to side with the terrorists, which is unfortunate. If they make that choice, then the Muslim world will truly be in crisis, one of its own making.

Arafat in Trouble

Yassir Arafat is in serious trouble. The recent orgy of suicide bombings and bus shootings by the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas shows that he is either unwilling or unable to halt violence against Jewish civilians. Either way, negotiating with someone who has nothing to give is fruitless, which is why the Israeli government has cut off all ties with Arafat and launched its own offensive against terrorism.

Many people have convinced themselves that Arafat desires only peace, and would be happy with his own little Palestinian state next to an Israeli state. I don't believe it. I don't think he's ever given up on his ultimate goal of the destruction of Israel. To this very day, Palestinian textbooks demonize Israel and Jews, and their maps don't even show Israel.

I think Arafat either leads these terrorist groups or at the very least allows them to freely operate, while trying to show the West he's doing his darndest to stop them but they're just so popular that he'd lose power or be killed if he stopped them. But that's a dangerous position, because if he can't control them, how can he deliver peace? And if he can control them, why are they still killing? 

Many Arafat supporters and apologists have ignored this, but that's now impossible. Arafat's ineffectiveness is now on display for the entire world. So why keep him around? But if Arafat goes away, many ask, who replaces him? Hamas? Hezebollah? That's not any better. 

Perhaps it is. With an "honest" terrorist in charge, we know what and whom we're dealing with. We know their true goal, which is killing innocent Jewish civilians. Terrorism is an extremely unpopular activity right now, and I don't see even the surrounding Arab countries doing much if Israel wipes out the Palestinian terrorists, which they could do any time. These same Arab states, like Syria and Iran and Saudi Arabia, claim to support the Palestinian cause, while denying Palestinians entry into their country. Their hypocrisy is also on display. 

So if Arafat falls, Palestinian terrorism could fall with it. That's a bad thing?

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