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Re: Brilliant. Not nice, not good, but brilliant.

On Sep 12, 2001 Seneca <nobody@home.sorry.net> wrote
   in <%Zzn7.19297$151.1654367@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net>:

> I would agree that tactically it was brilliant, a master stroke, remarkably
> well executed.

I have to confess that the same thought crossed my mind.

> But I believe that strategically it will prove to be a monumental blunder.
> Assuming it really was Bin Laden who masterminded this, which is the
> conventional wisdom at the moment, what he has really done is:
> 1. Inflicted enormous damage on a major U.S. city and financial center, and
> an important military organizational center, with immense loss of life and
> property--but all the property damage is TEMPORARY and everything necessary
> will be rebuilt, probably better than before;

Yes there is no "military" gain for him if he considers himself at war
with the US.

> 2. Incurred the PERMANENT hatred of virtually all Americans,

I don't think that that matters to him.  I suspect he likes that.

> made himself and his organization a much more important target than
> before, and greatly increased U.S. determination to destroy them;

I don't think that that bothers him either.  Remember, a substantial
portion of his organization wish to die fighting the US.  They don't
expect or want to survive.

> 3. Seriously weakened sympathy for his own people's plight among Americans,
> including those many Americans who in the past have been highly critical of
> Israeli policies and sympathetic to Palestinian refugees; and

Yes.  It has always been difficult for the US to loosen its ties to Israel
and Israel is exploiting the opportunity now to say "there are no neutrals
in the fight against terror.  Everyone has to decide now which side they
are on."  (I think I got that quote right.)  Which, in context, is just an
inch away from "If you are not with us, you are against us".   This will
only make it more difficult for the US to take a more reasoned approach to
that region.

> 4. Accomplished much the same change of sentiment through most of the
> rest of the western world, which previously has tended to be
> pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli.

Yes.  That may be the real damage that he has done to his own cause.


Jeffrey Goldberg
 I have recently moved, see http://www.goldmark.org/jeff/contact.html
 Relativism is the triumph of authority over truth, convention over justice
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