Osama bin Laden

NickOtani's picture
Submitted by NickOtani on Tue, 2007-07-31 19:45

In the 1930s, Mohammed bin Laden was not a wealthy man. He lived in poverty in Yemen, amid ancient skyscrapers built from mud and grass. However, across the Red Sea, in Saudi Arabia, there was opportunity for construction from the in-coming oil money. Here, Mohammed bin Laden made his fortune. He moved his family there, formed a construction company, and received contracts to build Saudi Royal Palaces. Then, King Abdul Aziz awarded Mohammed bin Laden the contract to renovate the Mosque at Mecca. This was a great honor for a devout Sunni Muslim, and it also made him rich.

Mohammed bin Laden had a large family of about fifty children with twenty sons from four different wives. In 1957, the family resided in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, and Osama bin Laden was born.

In Saudi Arabia, the bin Ladens were technically outsiders but accepted into the inner
circle of the royal family. They traveled to Europe and became worldly, and Mohammed never gave up working on Mosques. He felt blessed. However, in 1968, he died in a plane crash in a dessert in Saudi Arabia. His family inherited his empire.

Osama went on to study management and economics at King Abdul Aziz University. And, like other wealthy Saudis, Osama made trips to Beirut, Lebanon, in the 70s, to have a good time with the vices forbidden in the more conservative Saudi society. He went to nightclubs and chased women and so on, but he was also influenced by the Islamic professors at his university who preached that the salvation of Saudi youth could only be achieved by a return to strict Islamic teaching. And, as he was put in charge of renovating holy mosques in Saudi Arabia, he became very religious, like his father.

At this time, in the late 70s, Saudi Arabia was going through political turmoil and blaming it on influence from the west, and Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini had overthrown the Shah and taken American hostages. Then, on December 26th, 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. There was a call for Jihad, for Muslims everywhere to come to the aid of this Muslim country and fight off the evil atheists. The United States entered the conflict on the side of the Afghanis, and President Carter called for a boycott of the 1980 summer Olympics held in the Soviet Union.

Osama bin Laden was on the side of the Americans in that battle. He answered the call of Jihad, and met others who shared his passion to defend the faith. He provided aid with his family’s fortune, and he used bulldozers from his construction company to build defense lines. Sometimes, he drove these bulldozers himself, during bombings. This made him a hero in the eyes of many Muslims. He didn’t have to put himself in harm’s way. Yet, he used his money, his influence, and also got down and dirty with the fighters of the ground.

In 1986, the United States sent stinger missiles and helped turn the tables on the Soviets. The Soviets pulled out in 1989, and this was the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union and the cold war.

Osama compared himself to Saladin, who fought against the Crusades. When he returned home to Saudi Arabia, he was regarded as a hero.

On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, and the Saudis feared they might be next. When they asked for help from the Americans, Osama objected. In his eyes, they were making a deal with the infidels. He didn’t like the idea of non-Muslims, mostly interested in Arabian oil and supporting Jews, enemies of Islam, on Muslim soil attacking a Muslim country. He warned that once the U.S., once in Saudi Arabia, would never leave. Osama fell out of favor with his former friends, the royal family of Saudi Arabia, who were also criticized by Islamic fundamentalists for being too moderate, and, in April of 1991, Osama left Saudi Arabia for Afghanistan and then the Sudan, where a militant Islamic government had taken power. He was more than welcomed there.

Osama flourished in the Sudan. He started construction companies and met with hundreds of extremist Muslims, like himself, who shared his views about the Americans. He lived quietly and had several wives and children. However, he was quietly forming his organization of Al Qaeda.

In 1992, U.S. troops were sent to Somali for a humanitarian relief effort. On October 3, 1993, a Blackhawk helicopter went down and the bodies of Americans were dragged through the streets. Years later, Osama took credit for sending his Al Qaeda members there to cause that incident, but there was never conclusive evidence of his involvement.

In 1993, there was the first attack on the Trade Center in New York. It killed six and wounded a thousand. The bomber, Ramsey Yousef, was caught and, when searched, a card with Osama’s name on it was found.

In 1994, the Saudi government revoked his citizenship and moved to freeze his assets. His family, then, disavowed him.

Several terrorist attacks against Americans have been blamed on Osama, and, when asked, he doesn’t affirm or deny. He says, “This is Jihad, the holy war.” He is not the centerpiece, but he supports any actions which will get Americans off Muslim soil.

In 1996, under pressure from the United States and Saudi Arabia, Sudan expelled Osama to Pakistan. In this country, also a radical Muslim country, he is harder to find than even in Sudan. From there, though, he could also return to Afghanistan to help the Taliban. He was helped by his old friends and allies.

When interviewed, Osama defended himself. When accused of calling for violence against innocent people, something forbidden in the Quran, he said that Americans don’t distinguish between civilians and military. They dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. His call for religious war applies to all who support the killing of Muslims.

In many of the terrorist attacks on Embassies in Africa, which were credited to Al Qaeda, Muslims were killed. Osama said that this was Allah’s will.

To many people, Osama is still a hero because he makes Americans crazy. President Clinton fired millions of dollars worth of missiles at training camps where Osama’s people had already left, and this is seen as a victory for Osama. The U.S. was also embarrassed about not being able to cut off Osama’s economic support, and they keep spending millions of dollars in security against attacks by Al Qaeda. Many people respect Osama bin Laden for having this power over Americans, and even terrorist attacks which are not directly ordered by him are said to be inspired by him.

bis bald,

Nick


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Okay, Richard,...

NickOtani's picture

you have a right to your opinion.

bis bald,

Nick

I call you dishonest because you are dishonest.

Richard Wiig's picture

Nick said: "I don't know exactly what "innocent" means by Islamic standards"

Then hadn't you better find out?

Nick said: ", but I think the standards of extremists are not the same as that of all Muslims."

We are not talking about "personal" standards here. We are talking about "Islamic standards", and those standards are set by the Qur'an, Hadith and Sunnah, not by you, or me, or any individual muslim.

Nick said: "I know Muslims who are nice people just trying to get along. They are "innocent" in my book. I may not agree with everything in their religion, but I'm not going to make rash statements like you do, that they deserve a bullet through the head,"

But I've never suggested they deserve a bullet through the head. The violent Jihadists do. Like I said, this dishonest canard keeps popping up again and again.

Nick said: "that they are dishonest. Direct your hatred toward Osama and the people who act toward non-Muslims the way you act toward Muslims."

Nick, if you really want to help the muslims who you consider to be a victim of the global Jihad as much as anyone else is a victim, then the best thing you could do for them is to face Jihad ideology head on and confront it. But no, the likes of you, and Rick, and all the other mealy mouthed appeasers, won't even confront it. In fact, in Ricks case, he even says it doesn't matter what the Koran says. And he's trying to help those he considers to be victims? My arse he is.

Don't call me dishonest, Richard!

NickOtani's picture

If you keep escalating the rehtoric in this debate, it is going to become unproductive very quickly. I don't lump all Muslims into one group. You say you don't either. I don't know exactly what "innocent" means by Islamic standards, but I think the standards of extremists are not the same as that of all Muslims. I know Muslims who are nice people just trying to get along. They are "innocent" in my book. I may not agree with everything in their religion, but I'm not going to make rash statements like you do, that they deserve a bullet through the head, that they are dishonest. Direct your hatred toward Osama and the people who act toward non-Muslims the way you act toward Muslims.

bis bald,

Nick

You're as dishonest as Rick is, if not worse.

Richard Wiig's picture

Nick said: "I'm glad to know I'm not the only person here who thinks the way I do. Would you be as aggressively opposed to what I say if I said everything in Islam is evil and all Muslims should be shot?"

I went past the superficial that you dish up. What does it mean to be "innocent" by Islamic standards? That's a valid question. It is erroneous to assume that what you mean by innocent, and what Islam means by innocent, will be one and the same thing. Know thy enemy. That requires going past the superficial and examining things such as what I have just pointed out. But in your "objective" analysis, you see someone who has said that all of Islam is evil and all muslims should be shot. You are worse than Rick. At least doesn't even pretend to examine Islamic law. He even outright says that he won't bother. But you pretend to, but your sole purpose is to appease.

Innocent people

NickOtani's picture

I'm glad to know I'm not the only person here who thinks the way I do. Would you be as aggressively opposed to what I say if I said everything in Islam is evil and all Muslims should be shot?

bis bald,

Nick

Innocent people

Richard Wiig's picture

Nick said: "When accused of calling for violence against innocent people, something forbidden in the Quran,"

Again, you use a term without examining what is "innocent" by Islamic standards. We all know what is "innocent" by our standards, but when the Qur'an "forbids the killing of innocents" it is talking about it's standards, not ours, not the commonly accepted western view of "innocent". It is a mistake that you make. It is a mistake the Rick makes. It is a mistake that Fraser makes. It is perhaps a mistake that the majority makes.

P.S. I echo Aaron's sentiments. Thanks for the info, but no thanks for the implied moral equivalence. 

I may be

Elijah Lineberry's picture

missing something, but...ummmmmm....how on earth do you build Skyscrapers out of mud and grass?!?!

Osama bin Laden is a bad man. Are you satisfied?

NickOtani's picture

No thanks for the implied moral equivalence arguments.

Where are the moral equivalence arguments? If he makes any points worth considering, should I not consider them, just ignore them? Isn't this what he would do with us?

bis bald,

Nick

Thanks for providing some

Aaron's picture

Thanks for providing some background information on OBL that many people may not know. No thanks for the implied moral equivalence arguments.

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