Essay on Terrorism and Death
Essay on Terrorism
Tears rolled down the girl's eyes as she answered the questions the doctor asked. The first few had no significance. It was the ones that ensued that caused her tears. Her father had been her best friend, and she had loved him so extravagantly. She had changed since he died, and it wasn't for the better. The doctor began to ask the important questions, the ones that would cause the most pain and grief.
“Can you tell me why you think you are here, Sara?” asked the doctor, with a soothing tone to her voice in an attempt to make the girl feel as comfortable as possible.
“I'm different…than I used to be, than I was when he was here.”
The doctor, of course, knew that Sara was going through a difficult time, but she wanted her to tell her the things that she was feeling. Sara was a twelve-year old girl who, like so many others, had lost her father in the disaster with the World Trade Centers on September 11, 2001. He had worked in the building for as long as she had been alive, and Sara had always felt so proud to tell people that her dad worked at the World Trade Center. She would miss this feeling, but it was nothing compared to how much she would miss the feeling of giving her father a hug every night when he came home from work. Along with all the grief and pain that Sara was feeling, she was also angry. There was something inside her that wanted to make her lash out at everything. She didn't know the exact thing that caused the anger until the end of this session with the doctor. This was the first time she had really said her feelings out loud, and these questions brought one question to her mind. Why? What reason did these people have to cause such destruction and wreak such havoc across her nation? Sara knew that knowing this information would do nothing to help bring her father back, but this is how she was. She wanted to know the exact reason for the incident that would take her father away from her for the rest of her life. If it caused her this much pain, then she wanted to know as much as she could about it.
` Like Sara, thousands of people all across America were affected by the tragedy of the World Trade Centers. Many people sought the reason for this incident just like Sara, and many came up with no conclusion. To gain an understanding of this, research to cover many different aspects of the situation must be done. The people who are responsible for the tragedy of the World Trade Centers are a key factor, including their backgrounds, early life, education, and even the family that they came from. These are just some of the things that influenced the people to make the decision that they made. However, for a decision like this, more things would have contributed to the harsh actions of these individuals. The persons' past relationship with the U.S. over the last fifty years must have affected them and given them their motives. These are all key factors in how someone would conclude that the United States's superior attitude, aggressive actions, and intolerance of different religions plays an important role in the creation of terrorism, terrorist leaders like Osama bin Laden, and the resentment that the Middle East has developed for the United States and most western civilization.
Osama bin Laden was the first of his family to become a terrorist leader and he had no trace of any terrorism in his family background. Bin Laden was born to a rich Saudi Arabian family in 1952. He was one of fifty-two children who all grew up surrounded by wealth and privilege, and he had inherited $80 million by the time he was twelve years old. Bin Laden was an intelligent child all throughout his childhood (Mitch 108). He proved his intelligence as he grew to be an adult. He had always been a quiet person, always one to speak moderately about most things. He is a very tall, thin man who walks with a limp because of a kidney disease that he acquired some time during his life. Despite his appearance, bin Laden is said to be soft spoken, even when he is explaining why thousands of people deserve to die (Mitch 108). Bin Laden was a wealthy man at a very young age. His fortune was estimated to be about $250 million by the time he was an adult. He inherited a lot of this money from his father, who died when bin Laden was ten years old.
Bin Laden's father was called Mohammad bin Laden. He was the man who started the large Saudi Arabian family that his son was born into. Mohammad had four wives, as he believed that a large family was a mark of success. He was indeed a successful man as he started the Saudi Bin Laden Group, which became a billion dollar company. After he died, the company was divided up among all of his sons. This was how Osama was able to pay for something that would play a key role in his future plans, his education. He graduated from a Saudi University in 1979, graduating with a degree in civil engineering. Though his education played an important role in his actions as an adult, his involvement in the Islamic religion was a key aspect of why he became a terrorist.
Abdullah Azzam introduced bin Laden to Islamism. He was known for wanting to bring back the Caliphate, the Islamic government that had once united all Muslims under a single ruler. Azzam was the person who influenced bin Laden and got him into religious politics. This soon became bin Laden's greatest passion, one for which he would fight loyally and risk his life for many times. Azzam sparked Osama, and he immediately began to create strong motives and theories against the United States.
Osama bin Laden had many things against America, but there were a few key ones that caused his strong resentment for this country. He began his campaign against America because he believed that it was Islam's biggest enemy (Mitch 109). “Every grown-up Muslim hates Americans, Jews, and Christians. It is part of our belief and our religion. Since I was a boy I have been at war with and harboring hatred of Americans”-Osama bin Laden (Corbin 3). Osama had three main reasons for starting him on the path to jihad (Margulies 21).
The first reason was the 1978 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. The President of the United States at the time was Jimmy Carter. He negotiated as well as encouraged the peace treaty. The Egyptian President at the time was Anwar Sadat. He also became the first Arab leader to declare that Israel had a right to exist. Three years later, in 1981, he was assassinated by Egyptian Islamic Extremists who shared the same beliefs as bin Laden himself. The extremists killed him for what they considered to be an unacceptable compromise with Israel and for the betrayal of Islamic Interests (Margulies 22).
The second reason for bin Laden starting on his path to jihad was the 1979 Iranian Revolution. In this case, the Western-supported leader, the Shah, was dethroned and sent into exile by the country of Iran. It was because of this instance the Islamic fundamentalists, like bin Laden, gained the upper hand. The law of the whole land became an extremely strict interpretation of the Koran. The Koranic Law stated that no land that had been inhabited by Muslims could ever be permitted to fall into infidel hands (Margulies 22). This was the reason that Ayatollah Khomeini became the most powerful man in Iran. He was a religious leader who came to be known as the guiding spirit of the revolution (Margulies 22). Many people, including Osama bin Laden, looked up to him. Bin Laden was inspired mostly by Khomeini's
example of how to defeat Western interests and install a strong and enduring Islamic Regime (Margulies 22). In Iran's eyes, America was “a nation of hypocrites, returning a Monarch to power while ignoring the peoples desire for more freedom” (Mitch 67). They believed in freedom for themselves, but they helped dictators repress other people, therefore causing great resentment towards them from the Middle East.
The third main reason was the 1979 Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan. The Soviets had offended their god, and what had merely been a struggle against their well-equipped army became a holy war (Margulies 22).
Not only had these three events started Osama bin Laden on his path to jihad, but these were also the reasons for his involvement in religious politics. He got involved in it to such an extent that when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, he joined the Afghan Mujahedeens' to fight back. Not only that, but he was also one of the first Mujahedeen of Afghanistan to resist the Soviets and attempt to stop them from occupying their land. The Middle East could not concede defeat to the Soviets without turning against America. It was apparent that the Middle East was going to become very important to the United States soon after the war.
The Middle East wasn't even a slight concern to America until after World War II. It only became important because of Iran and the oil it held. It was at this time when the Iranians began to come into contact with Americans through business deals and many other things, such as receiving aid from the United Sates.
America has sent aid to the Middle Eastern countries for over fifty years. During the time after the Soviets invasion, they sent aid to keep the Middle Eastern nations stable and loyal to the United States. However, Americas plan backfired and caused the average Middle Eastern people deep resentment towards the United States. They saw the actions of the United States as “meddling in their own affairs and as keeping them from political freedom on their own terms” (Mitch 64).
The resentment that was formed by the Middle Eastern people was not helpful, as the United States wanted the Middle Eastern countries as allies to fight against the Russians. However, they did not want this to be known publicly, so they came up with an alternative reason that would rationalize their actions of sending aid to those countries (Mitch 64). The United States claimed that they were sending aid and money to the Middle Eastern countries to help convert them to democracy. However, the rulers of these countries were corrupt and used the money given to them to help them stay in power (64 Mitch). America, keeping their motives intact, was not concerned with the fact that these rulers were using the money to stay in power. America was focused on keeping the Soviets out of the Middle East. In 1953, America helped start a revolt in Iran in order to keep the ruler of Iran in power. All of this put together helped exacerbate the Middle East's resentment for the United States.
To be productive with their detestation of America, people like Osama bin Laden began to create organizations in which they could express their utter repugnance towards the United States. All of the organizations that were started around this time had very similar motive- fight America to protect Islam as a religion and as a culture. One of the first organizations that bin Laden helped start was the Arabi. They were a group that recruited Muslims from around the world to fight in Afghanistan. This group became a very popular topic in the news throughout the world, as they were known for many undesirable traits. The Arabi gained a reputation for ruthlessness and were best known for their tendency to kill those they captured and completely ignore international conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war and innocent civilians (Margulies 12). The Arabi were also involved in violence towards journalists and relief workers. They were ruthless in their actions in that they would perform beatings, kidnappings, and attacks on vehicles. They became a very powerful group as they were well funded and had new weapons, new vehicles, and new clothing. The Arabi wanted to create a unified Islamic state as well as decide who ruled Afghanistan later even though it was not their country. The Arabi turned out to be much wealthier than the Afghans and used their money differently. “The Arabi formed a stark contrast to the impoverished Afghans…. To help achieve their goal, rich Arabi like Osama bin Laden paid money to Afghan guerilla commanders to buy their loyalty” (Margulies 12).
Another organization that Osama bin Laden helped found was the Maktab-al-Khidamat. He co-founded this organization with Abdullah Azzam, primarily to help raise and channel money to the ongoing Afghan resistance.
Bin Laden also helped create a group that has proven itself to be among the most dangerous terrorist organizations in the world, Al Qaeda (Arabic for “the foundation” or “the base”). This organization's main endeavor, according to the United States government, is to unite all Muslims and establish a government that follows the rule of the Caliphs who are the spiritual leaders of Islam, and they are viewed by the people as direct successors of Muhammad, the founder of the religion (Margulies 9). The rule of the Caliphs is that all Muslim countries should have a single ruler and the Koran should be the law of the land. Al Qaeda's primary target has always been the United States because of its influence in the Middle East. This group has shown extreme odium towards the United States in the most extravagant manner:
To Al Qaeda, and to many others who share the beliefs of its members, the United States is `the Great Satan'. They hate the United States for its secular lifestyle, which Muslim clerics feel lures followers away from Islam; for the presence of American soldiers in Muslim lands; and for the United States's support of Israel, the Jewish homeland that has long been in conflict with its Arab neighbors and occupies land that most Muslims believe belong to the Palestinians (Margulies 9).
The organization offers a way for Islamic fundamentalists like bin Laden to put their utter distaste of the United States into a “proactive” state. Bin Laden wanted to get his feelings against America out to the world. Therefore, he and his advisors concluded that CNN was the best forum to broadcast his first television interview, on behalf of Al Qaeda, to the English-speaking world (Bergen 1). In this interview, he would tell the motives of Al Qaeda and the reasons for its creation.
Bin Laden created Al Qaeda, using Sudan as a base of operations as soon as the Islamic fundamentalists had taken power there in 1991. He raised money in Sudan through his construction business and did a few things to build up resources for the organization. He recruited members from around the globe and stockpiled weapons for the organization's use. During the creation of the organization, he publicly advocated the overthrow of the Saudi government (Margulies 23). The Saudi Arabian government reacted by revoking his citizenship in 1994. As well as this, bin Ladens family disowned him after hearing his avocations.
Osama bin Laden fought for his beliefs and the beliefs of many other Muslims throughout the Middle East. His actions drove his family to the point where they disowned him. His state of mind was that he would fight by any means for the Islamic religion.
Osama bin Laden gave up his family's palatial estates and luxurious lifestyle for the Afghan deserts, caves, and mountains, risked his life in combat against the Soviets, and has preached an Islamist version of Ted Roosavelt's “Strenuous Life”, urging Muslims to struggle by sacrificing their wealth and life as long as their holy places are not liberated from subjugation of Jews and Christians (Through Our Enemies' Eyes 196).
This illustrates how the infamous terrorist showed extreme dedications in his fight for Islamism as well many other desirable traits. He portrayed such characteristics as personal responsibility, piety, and professionalism, which all provided a powerful base from which bin Laden was able to persevere in the face of setbacks and delay (Through Our Enemies' Eyes 69). Bin Laden was a man who had many admirable traits but used them to wreak havoc across the West.
In Conclusion, terrorism throughout the Middle East has caused much damage to the United States and many other nations because of people like Osama bin Laden who would stop at nothing to hurt America. September 11 affected millions of people across America, and Al Qaeda did it. The organization was certainly an effective way of portraying the beliefs of Osama bin Laden and many other Islamic Fundamentalists. There were so many cases (like the one that Sara had) and they were all as bad as the other. America was hurt severely by the attack on the World Trade Centers and because of this and multiple other reasons, they reacted in a violent manner towards Iraq. The United States reacted by bombing Iraq with hope to wipe out Osama bin Laden and any other organizations that may have been established there to fight against America. Although there are many controversial reasons of whether America's actions were the right ones, one can be sure that what they did was react to an action and prove that action to have some true meaning.
To understand the actions of the Middle East towards the United States, people like Sara must partake in research to cover many different aspects of the situation. The first key factor is the people who did it. Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda, and many other Islamic fundamentalists were the people responsible for the devastating bombing of the Twin Towers. Their backgrounds in the Islamic religion may have been a one reason that these people chose to perform such terrible actions. Their past relationship with the United Stated has been one that has struck up much controversy among the Middle East and the Islamic religion. These people felt that their religion, which became their reason to live, was being subdued and restrained by the United States. After one has concluded this, then it can become possible for one to start trying to understand the actions of Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda, and the other Islamic fundamentalists throughout the Middle East.
†he Middle East has made some changes due to the actions of Osama bin Laden. These changes will be the ones that lead the nations of the Middle East into a new type of government, one that will make it possible for them to become the powerful and productive nations that they are indeed capable of becoming.
Five years from now, the Middle East will be a group of nations that have fought a long and strenuous battle to change the ways of their corrupt governments. They will have come across numerous struggles that were preventing them from being a powerful group of nations. The Middle East will, however, be economically sound because of their rich oil resources. Ten years from now, the Middle Eastern Nations will have made the leap of starting to form their new governments. They will have successfully rid their nations of corrupt rulers and actions. They will be fighting a new battle of starting a government, one that is new to them and is very different form what they are used to. It will be another set of struggles and problems that they will have to fight through with the same traits that they used to fight for the existence of their Islamic religion. After the Middle Eastern Nations have accomplished their battle in starting their new government, they will become top candidates for becoming a powerful and proactive nation that will be successful and wealthy. They will be starting a new battle, one which they will have to fight to become some of the powerful nations in the world, After their last two battles, they will be able fight this last and become a super power one day in the future.