Osama bin Laden being interviewed by Hamid Mir, circa March 1997 – May 1998 (Hamid Mir/Canada Free Press)

Endless Cycle of Violence

The United States will never capture Osama Bin Laden. Any chance has passed and will never come again.

The United States will never capture Osama Bin Laden. Any chance we ever had at detaining him has passed and will never come again. He has learned our tactics and isn’t easily fooled. So don’t think for a second that he will do the same thing twice. Bin Laden is a head terrorist and a mastermind at a deadly game of hide and seek. From birth, he was bright and simple, disliking any extravagant things.

In his youth he was very religious and began to dedicate all his time to the mosque, becoming a religious zealot and devoutly following the Koran. His thinking changed when he met Syed Qtub. Qtub wrote the book Milestones, which challenged traditional Muslim faith.

Qtub said, “Don’t wait for your enemies to strike; you make the first move.” He saw the United States as the biggest threat, enemy and terrorist to Muslims. To bin Laden, American troops are the invading force of his Holy land.

Bin Laden had nothing against the United States until the first Gulf War. Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. The exiled Kuwaiti government asked the United States to help and intervene. At the same time, bin Laden had offered his own holy fighters to defend Kuwait, but he was denied the honor.

This made Bin Laden furious. Not only did they deny his help, but they also brought outsiders into an Islamic country. Despite his feelings, Bin Laden thanked the U.S. for their assistance, but said that now that Saddam and the Soviets were gone, the U.S. was no longer needed in the Middle East. He warned the U.S. to leave or it would be the last war the country faced. We should have heeded his warning.

Terrorist attacks began around the world in the name of Jihad and after each devastating attack, retaliation would occur – an endless cycle of violence. Bin Laden’s early life choices led him down a path to running from the rule of law. He would push himself to the limits through numerous exercises such as heading into the Saudi desert, bringing less equipment each time. This intense training acclimated him to harsh conditions and strengthened his resolve.

To his followers, Bin Laden is a simple man with a lifestyle close to theirs. He would sleep on the floor or dirt, not use the modern comforts of air conditioning and only drink warm water. This has not only strengthened his survival, but also made him a legend among his followers. Bin Laden is always on the move and always has an escape plan. It is very unlikely that we will ever capture him alive. There is also a likely chance that he will strike again. He has declared both a Jihad and a Fatwa, which allows attacks on civilians, against the United States – why wouldn’t he continue his campaign until his demands are met?

Bin Laden will strike again – he himself has said that this is only the beginning. It’s only a matter of how and when.

He is a master at this game of manhunt. It seems as if he was preparing for this life on the run from the time he was young. Even if the intelligence community could somehow capture or kill bin Laden, it could rain down consequences of Biblical proportions. Martyrdom, which is viewed as almost godlike, would encourage his followers to continue on his path, unleashing a new wave of terrorist attacks.

United States military installations like Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia should have been abandoned as soon as the call for jihad and fatwa was declared. Perhaps the best way to end the violence is a refusal to engage such zealots. The U.S. government might sometimes forget that its main concern is the people it governs. Right now they are entrenched in a war.

This article by Rich Polley was digitized in accordance with the Eye’s archival policy. The original PDF is available here.

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