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:: 8.25.2006 ::  

bin Laden's "indispensable ally": US foreign policy

Ex-CIA analyst says US policies in Islamic world have given boost to Al-Qaeda and its leaders.

WASHINGTON - The former head of the CIA unit hunting Osama bin Laden unit said Wednesday that US policy in the Middle East has given a boost to Al-Qaeda and its leader.

"Today, bin Laden, Al-Qaeda and their allies have only one indispensable ally: the US foreign policy towards the Islamic world," said Michael Scheuer, who led the bin Laden unit from 1996-1999.

"Time is not on America's side. We're clearly losing," Scheuer told a government security conference in Washington.

"We're at a point where Al-Qaeda and bin Laden are changing into Al-Qaedism and bin Ladenism - a philosophy and a movement rather than a man and an organization," the former CIA analyst said.

"More than any other factor, the US invasion of Iraq and the prolonged occupation of this country has produced this transformation."

Scheuer said bin Laden has focused on US policies in the Islamic world, such as the US military presence of Iraq and Afghanistan, its economic and military support to Israel and its "decades old support for apostate and tyrannical government across the Islamic world."

"The cumulative impact of several events over the past two years have gone a good ways towards increasing Muslim hatred for Americans simply because they are Americans," he said, pointing to the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, the treatment of detainees at the Guantanamo prison camp and caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed printed in European and US newspapers.

"Each of these events are unfortunate but not terribly serious for the Western minds. But from the Muslim perspective they are deliberate and vicious attacks against the things that guide their lives and their faiths," he said.

Scheuer, who resigned from the CIA in November 2004, is the author of "Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror," which was published with the approval of the CIA despite its damning conclusion that US actions are inflaming a global Muslim insurgency.
On Middle East Online; link thanks to Jonathan Schwarz on Tom Tomorrow's blog.

:: Deb 10:44 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::


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