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September 11, 2006



I've got a question about Atwan's assessment of Al-Qaeda's goals: "to draw the United States into military interventions in the region, giving the jihadists the opportunity to attack Americans directly and begin to bleed America's wealth and will."

Is there any sort of widespread agreement that this is indeed the goal that's primary among the various goals they had back in 2001?

Are any of those sources in English or French? What kinds of people in what kinds of organizations say, "Yeah, that's pretty much what they were after?"


I don't know how reliable this is, but it's pretty interesting... what bothers me is that they seem to be playing us (ie the West) like marionettes.

The Master Plan, Lawrence Wright

Of particular interest is Al-Qaeda's 20 year plan:

Al Qaeda’s twenty-year plan began on September 11th, with a stage that [Jordanian journalist Fouad] Hussein calls “The Awakening.” The ideologues within Al Qaeda believed that “the Islamic nation was in a state of hibernation,” because of repeated catastrophes inflicted upon Muslims by the West. By striking America—“the head of the serpent”—Al Qaeda caused the United States to “lose consciousness and act chaotically against those who attacked it. This entitled the party that hit the serpent to lead the Islamic nation.” This first stage, says Hussein, ended in 2003, when American troops entered Baghdad.

The second, “Eye-Opening” stage will last until the end of 2006, Hussein writes. Iraq will become the recruiting ground for young men eager to attack America. In this phase, he argues, perhaps wishfully, Al Qaeda will move from being an organization to “a mushrooming invincible and popular trend.” The electronic jihad on the Internet will propagate Al Qaeda’s ideas, and Muslims will be pressed to donate funds to make up for the seizure of terrorist assets by the West. The third stage, “Arising and Standing Up,” will last from 2007 to 2010. Al Qaeda’s focus will be on Syria and Turkey, but it will also begin to directly confront Israel, in order to gain more credibility among the Muslim population.

In the fourth stage, lasting until 2013, Al Qaeda will bring about the demise of Arab governments. “The creeping loss of the regimes’ power will lead to a steady growth in strength within Al Qaeda,” Hussein predicts. Meanwhile, attacks against the Middle East petroleum industry will continue, and America’s power will deteriorate through the constant expansion of the circle of confrontation. “By then, Al Qaeda will have completed its electronic capabilities, and it will be time to use them to launch electronic attacks to undermine the U.S. economy.” Islamists will promote the idea of using gold as the international medium of exchange, leading to the collapse of the dollar.

Then an Islamic caliphate can be declared, inaugurating the fifth stage of Al Qaeda’s grand plan, which will last until 2016. “At this stage, the Western fist in the Arab region will loosen, and Israel will not be able to carry out preëmptive or precautionary strikes,” Hussein writes. “The international balance will change.” Al Qaeda and the Islamist movement will attract powerful new economic allies, such as China, and Europe will fall into disunity.

The sixth phase will be a period of “total confrontation.” The now established caliphate will form an Islamic Army and will instigate a worldwide fight between the “believers” and the “non-believers.” Hussein proclaims, “The world will realize the meaning of real terrorism.” By 2020, “definitive victory” will have been achieved. Victory, according to the Al Qaeda ideologues, means that “falsehood will come to an end. . . . The Islamic state will lead the human race once again to the shore of safety and the oasis of happiness.”


Here are the two things that I'd most like to say to anyone who subscribes to that line of reasoning:

1) Why gold? It's a limited resource. Extraction of it is very harmful to the environment, and if you significantly increase demand for it, then you'll be poisioning our earth quite a bit despite how many poisons you'd save the earth from by setting Western consumption back a bit.

2) Again, why a material that has to be acquired in dangerous conditions? Who's going to go get the gold? Why do you feel that it's okay for mine owners and rulers to make people hurt, suffer, get terrible chemicals in and on their bodies, work long hours for little pay, etc. just because it's at the command of your economic system rather than the status quo economic system?

Other than that, I don't have any strong arguments with the plan as a whole. I feel like I can tell someone what I know is a bad effect, but that I can't tell someone whether or not his/her idea of who should rule the world is...........good for humans as a species. I might not like it, but I haven't thought about the subject enough to have an idea as to whether or not it'd work.

I mean, look at Orson Scott Card's "shadow" novel series. He chronicles exactly how peaceful actions to take over populations can lead to more suffering later on and how violent actions to take over population can lead to less suffering later on. He also shows that it's nearly impossible to predict the next "later on" just by seeing what happens in the "now" and first "later on," since all the influential & brilliant people of that "later on" generation will have their own ideas about what's going on.

With that in mind, how could I jump to say, "That's a bad idea!" except on those two points?

But I definitely want to look some Al-Quaeda person in the eyes and ask him to revise his plan around those two objections I have before he struggles for it.

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