The big wind-up from that Times’ “news” story this morning — no editorializing here:
[Simon] Reeve [who wrote a book about bin Laden] said that while traveling recently in Indonesia he heard of many baby boys being named Osama in honor of Mr. bin Laden. In part because of the Iraq war, he said, “We’re seeing a radicalization of the ummah, the larger Muslim community around the world.”
So try to follow this — though, of course, you’ll need the high-brow nuance of a State Department careerist or the Council on Foreign Relations to grasp it. In the decade after we left Saddam Hussein in power rather than deposing him, representatives of the umma responded by bombing the World Trade Center (1993), Khobar (1996), the embassies (1998), the U.S.S. Cole (2000); unsuccessfully plotting to blow up much of Manhattan (1993), a bunch of airliners (1994-95), L.A. Int’l Airport (2000) and the U.S.S. The Sullivans (2000); and finally killing almost 3000 of us in suicide hijackings that destroyed the WTC and damaged the Pentagon.
But it was the Iraq war of 2003 that radicalized them.
It couldn’t possibly have been, say, the Koran’s Sura 9:5 (“Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolators wherever ye find them, and take them captive, and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush.”)
Naaaaaaaaaahhhhh, must have been the Iraq war.