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  • Five years later not much has improved

    by Sunny
    11th September, 2006 at 12:30 am    

    In the five years since his plans came to fruition, Osama Bin Laden must have been a bit peeved off by the fact that some of his own Muslim bretheren and conspiracy theorists continued to believe 9/11 was an “inside job”.

    All that time and effort and yet these fools continued to deny him his own actions! So he finally did the obvious thing and sent a tape to Al-Jazeera not only showing him talking to the 19 suicide bombers but talking of the preparation that went into it.

    Will this now lay to rest? I get the feeling even this will not satisfy the conspiracy nuts who will continue to blame the “global Zionist conspiracy” or whatever to satisfy their own agendas.

    Bin Laden may have followed George Bush’s cue, given the President recently rediscovered his zeal in pursuing the former. In a recent speech Bush mentioned him nearly 20 times. On the fifth anniversary of 9/11 both sides have an incentive to remind the world that Bin Laden is still out there.

    Bush needs to shore up his flagging popularity and help everyone forget about his incompetence over Katrina. According to his team only Republicans can deal with terrorism and their opponents suffer “moral and intellectual confusion”. This is amusing coming from an administration that not only continues to fudge issues but also to pounce on idiotic events as a mark of progress.

    Remember the jubilation that greeted Zarqawi’s death? While sceptics said it would change nothing, the neo-cons jumped for joy and claimed that the situation in Iraq had reached a turning point. I think that was their 20th turning point. They continue to deny that Iraq is in a state of civil war despite the fact over a 100 people die daily through bomb attacks and general anarchy.

    The Bush administration and their supporters are loathe to admit that not only has the former blundered catastrophically in Iraq, but that this is because there was never a good understanding of ground realities in the first place. Bush cannot peace or curb extremism in the Middle East because he continues to exacerbate it through his own folly.

    Osama Bin Laden knows this which is why he is happy to remind everyone of 9/11. Bush not only continues to make him popular but does his work for him. The civil liberties and “our freedom” that keep getting cited as what Bin Laden hates are being enroached upon by our own political leaders. Bin Laden is probably jumping with joy.

    As Simon Jenkins brilliantly put it last week:

    What has changed, grotesquely, is the aftershock. Terrorism is 10% bang and 90% an echo effect composed of media hysteria, political overkill and kneejerk executive action, usually retribution against some wider group treated as collectively responsible.

    This response has become 24-hour, seven-day-a-week amplification by the new politico-media complex, especially shrill where the dead are white people. It is this that puts global terror into the bang. While we take ever more extravagant steps to ward off the bangs, we do the opposite with the terrorist aftershock. We turn up its volume. We seem to wallow in fear.

    We should apparently be grateful of racial profiling because it is in our own best interests.

    Slowly but surely we are being turned into paranoid freaks fearful of each other. The national debate becomes more shrill day by day where each side only wants to retreat into their own defensive enclaves rather than make more of an effort to build bridges.

    Five years on we still face a charade where the only choices being presented are either Bush, Blair and their incompetent cronies, or Bin Laden and his supporters (such as the former Al-Muhajiroun crew and Hizb ut-Tahrir).

    For me both sides are dangerous and I don’t wish to play down either. Tonight Channel 4 will broadcast the first in a two-part series of Cult of the Suicide Bomber.

    It should be an eye opener to those who play down the extent of Muslim extremism here in Britain. At the same time Bush supporters may be advised in reading an interview with its presenter Robert Baer, a long standing CIA agent, on his government’s incompetence in understanding and dealing with the Middle East.

    The way forward can never be a state of affairs promoted by either. Those who want to take sides are welcome to. The vast majority of us in the middle have to forge our own path and force them to come to our way of thinking.

                  Post to

    Filed in: Middle East,United States

    40 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. Fluid Mind

      Bin Laden and Greg Felton….

      I dont know but Bin Laden does not agree with Felton about who was behind 9/11. As Sunny says. In the five years since his plans came to fruition, Osama Bin Laden must have been a bit peeved off by…

    2. C L O S E R » Blog Archive » The ‘9-11′ hijack

      [...] It has caused the Left to be confused about their role in society and the Right the framework to address problems with migrant youth in their own way without being demonized as happened before. Many ‘ordinary’ people were shocked of course by the atrocities of ‘9-11′ and questioned the loyalty of Muslims; declarations of Islam scholars that condemned ‘9-11′ were not heard any more. The world seems to be divided in black and white.   [link] [...]

    1. Robert — on 11th September, 2006 at 1:35 am  

      Its interesting to compare the reaction to the Malegon bombings three days ago, to the reaction to 9/11. I saw a news report today which showed how Hindus were rushing to give blood to help the Muslim community there, and to continue their comings-and-goings in the vicinity of the blast. Their message to the terrorists was unanimous: “You will not divide us, we will not dance to your tune.”

      Three days after 9/11, however, George Bush was already drawing lines in the sand. Bin Laden following George Bush’s cue, Sunny? Five years ago, it was the other way around.

    2. Debbie(aussie) — on 11th September, 2006 at 7:29 am  

      Thank goodness. I finally found someone who connects the loss of civil liberties and “they hate us for our freedom” speel, together. I can’t understand why this does’t get more media and govt opposition attention (in Aus, US and UK).

    3. Kismet Hardy — on 11th September, 2006 at 10:17 am  

      I think the tape showing Osama talking to the bombers was cleverly doctored by Oliver Stone. How do we know the Osama we see is the real Osama? How do we know he’s not been an American actor all along? Did we learn nothing from the fake Saddams they paraded on TV? First they lie to us about the moon landings, now this. It’s all part of what I like a call a ‘global zionist conspiracy’

    4. Leon — on 11th September, 2006 at 10:22 am  

      And don’t forget folks today is the anniversary of another September 11th; when the US decided to bring democracy to Chile and force out the democratically elected government of President Salvador Allende.

      That was way back in 1973, interesting to see that the US’ love of instilling democracy worldwide has changed little in the years since…

      More here:

    5. Kismet Hardy — on 11th September, 2006 at 10:25 am  

      ‘Memorably vandalises to skinhead.’

      is an anagram of ‘Osama bin laden loves Kismet Hardy’

      ‘Madman’s kind, sheepish ambulatory.’

      is an anagram of ‘Kismet Hardy humps Osama bin Laden’

      I wank you

    6. Kismet Hardy — on 11th September, 2006 at 10:26 am  

      PS. Can we all please start calling it 11/9?

      We’re not American… yet

    7. Leon — on 11th September, 2006 at 10:41 am  

      I’m with you on that one Kis.

    8. Kismet Hardy — on 11th September, 2006 at 10:46 am  

      I also think the M15 picked 7/7 so it didn’t confuse Americans.

    9. Kismet Hardy — on 11th September, 2006 at 10:49 am  

      I lost you didn’t I Leon?

    10. Leon — on 11th September, 2006 at 10:54 am  

      Nope, I’m still here.;)

    11. Kismet Hardy — on 11th September, 2006 at 11:31 am  

      Ah so you agree. Excellent. Leon agrees that 7/7 was masterminded by the MFI and is a devotee of my mission to uncover the ‘global zionist conspiracy â„¢

      You read it here folks

    12. Jagdeep — on 11th September, 2006 at 11:32 am  

      Guys, seriously, read this article, it chimes with my own experience, not only through its observations, but retrospectively as a student in the 1990′s I was sensing all of this (note the Hanif Kureishi quote and the Saudi historian from Manchester). The line at the end, The wave had been building for a long time, is a statement of truth, the rise in attacks on Jews, the security scares, the bullying opportunistic craven ‘community leaders’ demanding things of society (those old campaigners from the Rushdie campaign). If you are honest you will recognise some truths contained in here.

      The gestation and form of British Islamist violence

      Altogether depressing. He posits that something about Pakistani Islamic identity makes it particularly vulnerable to the preachings of extremists fomenting hatred.

      The more I think of things, the more pessimistic I become. I think that things are going to get worse before they get better and I see a long line of atrocities carried out by British Pakistani extremists, and that is going to corrode our society like nothing else could. Everyone should be mentally preparing themselves for this, especially writers here at Pickled Politics.

    13. Leon — on 11th September, 2006 at 11:37 am  

      The more I think of things, the more pessimistic I become.

      Welcome to my world.

      Everyone should be mentally preparing themselves for this, especially writers here at Pickled Politics.

      Point taken…

    14. Jagdeep — on 11th September, 2006 at 11:52 am  


      I was at the Gurdwara a couple of weeks ago attending an akhand paath which is a family function and was talking to my cousin who owns a shop in Birmingham. And we were talking about this subject and he was telling me about one of his customers, who is a guy he went to school with, who he talks to alot, and he was giving it loads of anti west hatred, Jewish hatred, the usual stuff, how this society is plotting to destroy Islam. Then he predicted to my cousin that there will be suicide bombings of shopping centres in the run up to Christmas. I asked my cuz if he had told the police, but he said naaah, that’s just my man, he’s always larging it, he’s only talking big and puffing his chest out, and even if he knew anything he wouldnt talk about it in public, plus he wouldnt want to falsely accuse someone of that.

      But what would you do in a situation like that? Because I tell you, that’s not untypical of the kind of discourse you hear occasionally. To even chat like that in a joking manner is demented. I would have told the police I dont care what someone says. And it’s little things like that which accumulate and make me think that things are going to get worse before they get better. I do believe we’ll see bad things happen, bombs in nightclubs, that kind of thing.

      So, you guys should start thinking about these things now, because as I understand it, you are quite widely read and respected.

      In the meantime, here is another link for you to mentally arm yourself with and put in your bookmark for future reference (I have a feeling it will be needed)

      Why random profiling is wrong and ineffective

    15. Jagdeep — on 11th September, 2006 at 11:55 am  

      This line needed a comma:

      I would have told the police, I dont care what someone says.

      Yeah….Mondays play havoc with my punctuation….

    16. Leon — on 11th September, 2006 at 12:09 pm  

      Jag, do you write a blog?

    17. Roger — on 11th September, 2006 at 12:09 pm  

      “I see a long line of atrocities carried out by British Pakistani extremists, and that is going to corrode our society like nothing else could.”

      I’m much more frightened by the possible responses from the native population and others.

    18. Jagdeep — on 11th September, 2006 at 12:32 pm  


      I’m not. The potential for backlash is frightening, but this country is not India, where in the recent history they have re-defined the concept of indiscriminate backlash against innocents. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there.

      In fact I think that to be worried about that in the primary instance is to have a complete inversion of concern. I am more worried about the lives of people who will be targetted. It is inevitable that there will be some backlash, but people who characterise this country’s people as populated by rabid barbarians waiting to lynch on sight are wrong. More than that, it is a displacment of focus from the primary offence.

      Although having said that, I already know that the moment something happens, the first thing I will do is phone my male relatives and tell them to lay low for a few days and avoid certain situations, especially the ones that live in areas where people are not so used to seeing Asians. Sikhs are usually the first to experience hostility.

    19. Jagdeep — on 11th September, 2006 at 12:35 pm  


      Sadly, my job, children, and a demanding wife (she’s outrageous!) would prevent me from blogging! What to do.

    20. Leon — on 11th September, 2006 at 12:38 pm  

      That’s a real shame, although if you can manage to comment here maybe a quick and easy blog might be a possibility?

    21. Rakhee — on 11th September, 2006 at 1:29 pm  

      => I think that things are going to get worse before they get better and I see a long line of atrocities carried out by British Pakistani extremists, and that is going to corrode our society like nothing else could.

      Good posts Jag, just careful with your definitions. It isn’t so much about nationality i.e. someone who comes from Pakistan, it’s more about the faith these people follow.

    22. Jagdeep — on 11th September, 2006 at 1:29 pm  

      I’ll give it some thought Leon! Although I think that I’d lose all spontaneity if I had to write things regularly, like an article or post to keep it updated. With posting comments here, you respond to articles or other posts spontaneously, like a conversation, and it’s a good way to discuss things. Although my wife probably would not trust me if just before bedtime I sneaked off to look at the computer in order to compose my articles. You know, Indian women are very suspicious of their husbands computer activities these days (I wonder why)…..they are so paranoid (maybe my arguments with her about Nirpal Dhaliwal have something to do with it - she actually accused me of wishing I had his lifestyle! You just can’t win I tell ya)

    23. Col.Mustafa — on 11th September, 2006 at 1:32 pm  

      Its been 5 years on since 9/11, but the mentality that Islam should once again be at the top of the food chain, has been lurking around in various extreme minds probably since the last time islam was at the top of the food chain.
      Several hundred yrs i would say.

      Although its true, things are getting worse, and not enough is being done to settle the fire.
      The fire burns and burns, every now and again superman tries to get hold of a huge ice block from Lake Lurleen but half of it melts before even getting to the fire, and even when he drops it, nothing much happens.

      Thats all i can really say, as im out of ideas of how to help the situation.

    24. Jagdeep — on 11th September, 2006 at 1:37 pm  

      Good posts Jag, just careful with your definitions. It isn’t so much about nationality i.e. someone who comes from Pakistan, it’s more about the faith these people follow

      Hi Rakhee - if you read the article I linked to it does suggest that there is something about the Islamic identity of Pakistan and British Pakistanis that makes it more vulnerable to fomenting hatred than other Muslim groups in Britain, for example, Bangladeshis or Turkish. So it says that it is not so much the religion, as the historically constructed identity and dynamics. It’s an interesting article, I do reccomend reading it.

    25. Rakhee — on 11th September, 2006 at 1:49 pm  

      Hi Jag,

      I take your point and saw that the article suggests that the link between ‘extremism’, British Pakistanis and Islam is perhaps stronger in than in other Muslim groups.

      However, your point “I see a long line of atrocities carried out by British Pakistani extremists” didn’t perhaps make the link with Islam which is why I picked up on it. Forgive me, I’m just being picky and it’s a small point, but if I turned that sentence on it’s head, someone might read it and think you are defining extremists as those who are British of Pakistani origin which isn’t strictly true.

      As for your wife accusing you of wanting Dhaliwhal’s lifestyle, well, don’t get me started. That man is a waste of space and is doing wonders to p**s off Asian women everywhere. I burst a blood vessel every wednesday when he writes his column in the ES. Classless man. Humph.

    26. Jagdeep — on 11th September, 2006 at 2:02 pm  

      Rakhee - thanks for correcting me.

      Well, I like Nirpal Dhaliwal, precisely because he annoys my wife so much and it allows me to have a right old argument with her! I think I’m going to buy a copy of his novel and leave it lying around just to provoke her.

    27. Rakhee — on 11th September, 2006 at 2:37 pm  

      I have a copy and would offer to give it to you but not if you plan to use it to aggravate your poor wife.

      Friendly advice, be careful of admitting you like him in public….;)

    28. Jai — on 11th September, 2006 at 3:03 pm  


      Superb article in post #13. (I’ve submitted it on the News tab on Sepia Mutiny and have included a ‘thanks’ to you for originally supplying the link — I hope this is okay with you). It should be a lead article on PP, or at least mentioned in the main text.

      I was a student in London during the 90s too and agree completely with the gradual radicalisation that was underway “behind the scenes”. The idea of the recent invasion of Iraq being the main factor is nonsense — there were Khilafat-type people in colleges talking about “the coming jihad” all the way back in the early/mid-90s. And, worryingly, this included individuals amongst the most highly qualified “professional” degree courses amongst top-tier “redbrick” colleges/universities (not just former polytechnics).

      Iraq is just an excuse. It may be a contributing factor these days but it’s not the root cause.

    29. raz — on 11th September, 2006 at 3:23 pm  

      The real root of all this was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. It’s no coincidence that when this ended in 1989, the following decade (the 90′s) saw Islamic extremism flourish.

    30. Jagdeep — on 11th September, 2006 at 3:25 pm  

      No problem Jai.

      Rakhee, is he really that bad? Imagine if you bumped into him at a shaadi because your cousin was marrying his cousin or something LoL my wife would pour samosa chutney over his head or something.

      I support him though, in order to have leverage against Mrs Jagdeep. I am definitely buying his book.

    31. Leon — on 11th September, 2006 at 3:26 pm  

      I would argue that Iraq is a significant contributing factor, but agree that the ultimate causes for this lay elsewhere.

      The whole thing is multi-layered and one cannot dimiss or assign in general terms the factors that have created the current conflicts.

    32. Leon — on 11th September, 2006 at 3:30 pm  

      The real root of all this was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. It’s no coincidence that when this ended in 1989, the following decade (the 90’s) saw Islamic extremism flourish.

      Flourish is one word for it, spawned out of CIA money is another way of looking at it…

    33. Sunny — on 11th September, 2006 at 4:43 pm  

      I don’t like the article mentioned above - I think the article is quite simplistic in its analysis. Neither do I agree with the point that maybe Islam or being Pakistani is the problem.

    34. Arif — on 11th September, 2006 at 4:57 pm  

      I can’t tell whether al Qaeda is getting more or less influential, or how proportionate the bangs are to aftershocks. But the discussion on the roots of terrorism in the name of Muslim solidarity or whatever, got me reflecting too.

      I feel for a long time preceding 9/11, that shrill voices have been intimidating those Muslims who make their own minds up in politics, and manipulating our identities to feel we are not real Muslims (or at least will not be considered real Muslims) unless we sign up to their interpretations.

      But they don’t get an ominous edge until their interpretations get put into a particular context. 9/11 provided that context in the global mass media, the US, UK etc. But that context was also there in other contexts - In Pakistan, the attacks in Kashmir, Afghanistan and Karachi made it already ominous there, but I feel it was ignored by elites who felt they could manipulate and manage them. And I think this has been the case on a more global scale too - with support for radical Muslim groups as a means of destroying secular left movements in Muslim countries.

      In that sense, it seems like progress that these alliances between religious authoritarians and neoliberals have been broken up. And some of the reasons given have been encouraging too - for the sake of defending democracy, liberty etc.

      But I think I have not only long-feared the religious sectarians with bigoted rhetoric, but also observed the right-wing of western political elites moving from alliance with the religious right against the secular and religious left, to a kind of alliance with the secular left against the religious right.

      Political and religous groups work out their resulting confusions in different ways, and there are new kinds of non-aligned movement which is another hopeful sign. But in the midst of all this, the modus operandi of the religious right has not changed - the shrill condemnation and selective conscience posing as truth and justice - and there’s no reason to think it’ll become ineffective.

      We are all prone to such influences to some extent, and I don’t think my relative lack of nationalism makes me more prone to it. Saying I am a Muslim before being Pakistani - which the article #13 suggests makes Pakistanis more prone to terrorism - is an interesting point to ponder, but it seems like a symptom among others or an insufficient cause among others, which might take us down a blind alley.

    35. raz — on 11th September, 2006 at 5:27 pm  

      There was no Islamic terrorism, sectarianism, AK-47 culture or Saudi-imported Wahabi madrassas spouting hate in Pakistan before 1979. No religous party ever won more than 5% of the vote at elections. Everything revolves around what happened in Afghanistan. The Soviets may have been defeated, but the blowback has fucked with everyone.

    36. Jai — on 11th September, 2006 at 7:11 pm  

      Small but significant typo in my post #30:

      “I completely with the gradual radicalisation that was underway”

      ….should read: “I agree completely with the point about the gradual radicalisation that was underway”

      I know you guys got the gist of what I was trying to say, but I thought I should clarify my comment for the benefit of any newcomers on PP or lurkers who may be present. For obvious reasons I don’t want anyone to misunderstand my stance on all this.

    37. Rakhee — on 11th September, 2006 at 7:44 pm  

      Jag, it really is that bad I’m afraid. It isn’t just females that get pissed off with him, it’s males too. In fact he’s a bit of a legend in these pickling neck of the woods. Kismet has written hilarious stuff on him too. Will try and find the link for you.

    38. PFM — on 14th September, 2006 at 10:32 pm  

      i think bin laden did it, the americans knew he was going to do it and let him do it. infact i think they opened the gates purposely for him and even did a few pyrotechnics (did i spell that right?) for good measure.

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