Afghanistan, Afghanistan war, al-Qaeda, Bush Doctrine, foreign policy, George W. Bush, Harry Kreisler, Imperialism, Iraq, Iraq War, Lawrence Wright, Red Army, September 11th, Shia, Sunni, Taliban, USSR
Harry Kreisler: From the start, Jihadists came to believe that it would be ideal if American troops would be drawn back into the middle east. The idea was that if they attacked [on 9/11] and we came back at them in Afghanistan, the US would be destroyed in Afghanistan like the USSR had been.
They were wrong about that. But then… the invasion in Iraq.
Lawrence Wright: Iraq looks a lot like what bin Laden had in mind for us in Afghanistan.
If you read the memoirs of the inner-circle and ideologues of al-Qaeda, they confess that al-Qaeda was essentially dead after November, December 2001, when American and coalition forces swept aside the Taliban and pummeled al-Qaeda, accomplishing in a few weeks what the Red Army had failed to do in 10 years.
Eighty-percent of al-Qaeda membership was captured or killed, according to their own figures. And although we didn’t get the leaders, the survivors were scattered, unable to communicate with each other, destitute, and repudiated all over the world.
So this was a movement that was in a kind of zombie-like state.
It was Iraq that set the prairie on fire, that gave them another chance. Ironically, Iraq was never on bin Laden’s list of a likely candidate for Jihad because he knew it was a largely Shia nation, and al-Qaeda of course is an Sunni organization.
So it wasn’t high on his list. But we gave him an opportunity. And he took it.
- The story of how Christopher Hitchens was almost killed in a lynch mob in Pakistan
- In 1907, Joseph Conrad already realized the psychology of terrorists
- From Wright’s book — inside the mind of Muhammad Atta