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Why does Osama bin Laden hate the US?

 
  

Project: History of US Interventions

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No one denies that Osama bin Laden is a crazy fanatic, the type of person this world would be much better off without.

However, it is important to understand the reasons he and other terrorists have for hating the US and perpretating their terrorism. Obviously Osama's fanatic interpretation of Islam is a major factor, but there are many others which cause him to focus this hate on the US. While we cannot change the fact that the world will always have fanatics, there are some things we should be able to change which would help prevent them focusing their zeal on the US.

Of course, in explaining the causes of his hate against the US I am not attempting to justify Osama bin Laden's actions in any way, rather to provide insight into why he picks the US as the target of his religious fervor. In my opinion the best way to avoid a repeat of the tragedy is to eliminate the causes, rather than exacerbate them through war.
       It incenses Osama bin Laden that non-believers are stationed in the birthplace of Islam. [Article]
          
       The troops were put there in the first Gulf War, due to Saudi Arabian fears that Iraq would attack. These fears were based on reports leaked by the Pentagon estimating that up to 250,000 Iraqi troops and 1,500 tanks stood on the border to Saudi Arabia in preparation for an invasion. Soviet satellite photos however show no such build-up, Iraq denies it, and the US government has refused to release its alleged evidence for such a build-up. [Article; Article; Article]
          

US military bases in Saudi Arabia.

       [Article; Article]
          

Israel's occupation of Palestine

       [BBC transcript; Article]
          
       Osama connects Israel to the US due to the US's extensive support of Israel. Part of this is the US's vetoing of 30 UN resolutions passed against Israel's occupation of Palestine. [Summary]
          
       In addition to the UN resolutions vetoed by the US, Israel stands in violation of around 50 UN resolutions over a period of 30 years (the link references 65 resolutions). [Article; Article; Article]
          

The millions who have died and continue to die due to the Iraqi sanctions

       [BBC transcript; Article]
          
       The US has also provided Israel with what Bush would term 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' - Israel has hundreds of nukes (these it has obtained mainly through assistance from France) and has also created biological and chemical weapons with US help, which it has been accused of using on Palestinian civilians. [Article; Article; Article]
          
       Israel is also the world's largest benefactor of US military aid, to the tune of $2-3 billion per year. [Washington Post article; Article; Article]
          
       UNICEF estimates the sanctions have caused 500,000 Iraqi children under 5 to die in the eight year period from 1991 to 1998. [UNICEF report; Article; Article; Article; Article]
          
       Halliday (who started the oil-for-food programme in Iraq), and Von Sponeck (his successor) - both of whom resigned their long UN careers after calling the embargo "genocide" - write: "The most recent report of the UN secretary general, in October 2001, says that the US and UK governments' blocking of $4bn of humanitarian supplies is by far the greatest constraint on the implementation of the oil-for-food programme. The report says that, in contrast, the Iraqi government's distribution of humanitarian supplies is fully satisfactory ... The death of some 5-6,000 children a month is mostly due to contaminated water, lack of medicines and malnutrition. The US and UK governments' delayed clearance of equipment and materials is responsible for this tragedy, not Baghdad." [Guardian article; Article; Article]
          
       Bush's terming of Iran, Iraq and North Korea as an 'axis of evil', and his current war against Iraq, only further serve to confirm the idea that this is a clash between Islam and Christianity. [Article; Article]
          
       Bush has termed the war on terrorism as a 'crusade'. [Article; Article; Article]
          

He sees Bush as a modern 'crusader' fighting against Muslims

       [BBC article]
          
       i.e. the US+UK are responsible for a tragedy greater than Sept 11 occurring every week in Iraq.
          
       The UN estimates 1 million Iraqis, mostly children, had died under the sanctions in this period. The Iraqi health ministry claims 1.5 million people. [CNN article; Article; Article]
          
       Although Bush is a little more diplomatic, Bush's spiritual advisor terms Islam an 'evil' religion. [Article; Article; Article]
          
       This point is really an illustration of what an insane fanatic Osama bin Laden is. The fault of the UN and the world's superpowers (US, France, Britain etc) was not in finally granting East Timor independence in 1999, but their support of Indonesia's occupation of and genocide in East Timor for the previous 24 years.
          

UN separation of East Timor from Indonesia

       [BBC article]
          
       Recent comments by a general charged with finding Osama also don't help. The general said the US has been battling Satan during the war with Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, that he had nothing to fear from Muslims because their god was an idol, and that the main reason terrorists attack the US is 'because we're a Christian nation'. [Washington Post article; Article; Article; Article; Article; Article]
          


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