Osama Bin Laden's letter on social media and the origins of Islamic terrorism

Even in death, the ghost of Osama Bin Laden, killed in an American special operation in Pakistan in 2011, continues to haunt America and the West.
As part of the debate regarding the war in Gaza between Hamas and Israel, which has already caused over 11 thousand victims – of which 70% are women and children – this week his "Letter to America" written about twenty years ago ago went viral on TikTok.
In a video, which has surpassed 900,000 views in just a few days, one TikToker said that "everything we learned about the Middle East, 9/11 and 'terrorism' was a lie." In a statement published Thursday the social platform had to take action, stating that "the content promoting this letter clearly violates our rules on supporting any form of terrorism.
We are proactively and aggressively removing this content and investigating how it arrived on our platform" Why the Emir's letter is a hit on social media On YouTube, according to Google Trends, searches for Bin Laden have increased by 400% and The Guardian, after the Emir's letter went viral, decided to remove the article – dating back to 2002 – from the newspaper's website.
After the transcript was widely shared on social media without the full context, the English newspaper reports to TIME, "we decided to remove it and direct readers to the article that originally contextualized it." The letter accuses the United States of hypocrisy for allowing Israel to occupy the Palestinian territories for decades in violation of United Nations resolutions and for violating human rights by imprisoning – and torturing – people at Guantanamo Bay without due process.
The media, such as TIME and CNN, say that the letter represents a sort of justification for the killing of civilians and terrorism in general.
The Israel Defense Forces weighed in on the debate, noting that “Osama Bin Laden was a genocidal terrorist personally responsible for one of the greatest crimes in modern history.
Like Hamas, Al Qaeda has used radical anti-Semitic ideology to justify the large-scale murder of thousands of men, women and children,” they say in a post published on X the IDF.
The accusations contained in the letter Bin Laden's letter condemns American support for Israel and accuses the Americans of favoring the oppression of the Palestinian people and also denounces US interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Kashmir, Chechnya and Lebanon.
Yes, Bin Laden was certainly a dangerous terrorist – although, it should be noted, he had no "operational" role in the terrorist organization – but his letter remains an important historical document and reading it does not mean embracing his (dangerous) propaganda.
On the contrary, this Western closure towards what Bin Laden represented is somewhat hypocritical.
First of all because Bin Laden, despite his anti-American propaganda, lists a series of terrible mistakes committed by the West in the Middle East which have fueled Islamist terrorism.
Example above all, the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the (false) accusation that Saddam Hussein was in possession of weapons of mass destruction: do you remember the famous thread shown by Colin Powell? Neither George W.
Bush nor Tony Blair ever paid for that horror which cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and (and military personnel).
Furthermore, from the ashes of the destabilization of Iraq was born, as we know in 2014, the ISIS of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Does admitting that it was a serious mistake mean justifying Islamic terrorism? No.
The great hypocrisy of al-Qaeda's mentor Another great hypocrisy, recalled by White House correspondent Simon Ateba: before Bin Laden became a terrorist, the US government worked with him and supported him in the fight against the Soviets.
They called him a freedom fighter then.
He only became a terrorist after turning against the United States.
Subsequently, Washington pretended that it had never collaborated with the powerful emir, that it had never supported him, and to do so it censored any previous interviews he had given before 9/11.
It is known, in fact, that the US government's first contact with Bin Laden dates back to 1979, when the recent graduate of the University of Jedah came into contact with the US embassy in Ankara, Turkey.
With the help of the CIA and intelligence services, in the early 1980s Bin Laden began to organize and create a network to raise funds and recruit fighters for the Afghan mujahidin fighting the Soviets.
He did it from the city of Peshawar, Pakistan, on the border with Afghanistan.
In a 2004 article entitled “The origins and links of Al-Qaeda”, the BBC wrote that “during the anti-Soviet war Bin Laden and his fighters received American and Saudi funding”.
In this regard, in an article published in the Guardian, Robin Cook, British Foreign Secretary from 1997 to 2001, recalls that "Bin Laden was, however, the product of a huge miscalculation on the part of Western security agencies.
Throughout the 1980s he was armed by the CIA and financed by the Saudis to wage jihad against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan." Furthermore, if Bin Laden's invectives are disconcerting, it would be enough to reread the words of Putlizer Prize winner Chris Hedges, a journalist who previously headed the Middle East bureau for the New York Times, written in 2011, when the news of the terrorist's killing circulated Saudi born in Riyadh in 1957: “I am in no way naive about what al-Qaeda is.
It's an organization that terrifies me.
I know this intimately.
But I also know well the collective humiliation we have imposed on the Muslim world.
The expansion of military occupation that took place throughout the world, particularly in the Arab world, after 9/11 – and that this presence of American imperial bases, scattered not only in Iraq and Afghanistan, but in Kuwait, Arabia Saudi Arabia, Doha – has done more to generate hatred and acts of terror than anything Osama Bin Laden ever orchestrated.” Are these words that justify terrorism? No: they serve to make self-criticism and not to repeat the same tragic mistakes.
What the West is committing in tolerating the massacre in Gaza to the detriment of the Palestinian people.
A spiral of hatred and violence that will continue for decades.
read also Ukraine, the internal feud in Zelensky's court and Washington's objectives

Author: Hermes A.I.

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