Roots Of Rage

  • Share
  • Read Later

(3 of 3)

It's a powerful message to many Arabs who otherwise see a future bereft of pride. "Islam Is the Solution" is the slogan of the Islamic movement, and to many it seems a better bet than the Arab nationalism that has brought them poverty, corrupt governments or both. Even if the U.S. succeeds in routing bin Laden and his network, the message will continue to resonate, especially given new resentments kicked up by any U.S. military action.

On the other hand, it is the triumphalist religious convictions of bin Laden that make him and his followers so dangerous. "This is not violence in the service of some practical program," says Steven Simon, a former member of the National Security Council who is writing a book on religiously inspired terrorism. "It is killing infidels in the service of Allah. To a secular person, it's crazy. How can that be an end in itself? The facts speak for themselves: there is one objective here, to kill an enormous number of people and humiliate the Satanic power. There is no claim of responsibility because there is only one audience, and that is God." With a God they perceive to be admiringly urging them on, bin Laden's associates have no self-restraint. They are limited only by their capabilities, which the U.S. has now decided it has no choice but to destroy.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Next Page