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This Work Is Basically A Critical Review Of Bergen's Book: Holy War Inc. But It Is Also A Good Source To Aid A Student In His/Her Research Of Us International Policies, Oil, Etc.

2263 words - 9 pages

In the book Holy War Inc. acclaimed journalist and CNN terrorist analyst Peter L. Bergen's attempts to uncover the events, individual players and political factors that lead Osama Bin Laden to grow to be the mastermind behind the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11th. Throughout the course of his book, Bergen investigates the crucial proceedings that facilitated the evolution of Osama Bin Laden's Islamic extremism, following him from his beginnings in Afghanistan to his eventual place as the figurehead of a greater world wide Islamic movement. Bergen aims to identify a number of events that he argues are key to understanding the development and purpose of Osama Bin Laden's Jihad. The significance of the Afghan-Soviet conflict is a crucial event that Bergen contends consequentially contributed to the key meetings between Bin Laden and other prominent terrorist leaders. Furthermore, the Afghan victory resulted in a renewed purpose, "leaving them with the confidence that they could defeat a superpower and replacing the notion of Arab nationalism with that of a larger Islamic movement." Moreover, Bergen renders other events such as the failed US mission 'Project Restore Hope' in Somalia, observing Bin Laden's growing confidence from the event. "He exulted the fact that the United States withdrew it troops from the country, pointing to the withdrawal as an example of the 'weakness, frailty, and cowardice of US troops.'" As well, events such as the 1998 US embassy bombings in Africa and the terrorist strike against the U.S.S Cole in Yemen, Bergen claims were the first initial attacks on the United States' military and economic might; an obvious foreshadowing of September 11th:"The dual attacks in New York and Washington were the deadliest salvo in Osama Bin Laden's holy war against the United States---a war that had begun a decade earlier with the little noticed bombing of two hotels in Yemen housing American soldiers. An Australian tourist was the sole casualty of that assault, but with every passing year the attacks became more sophisticated and more deadly. The bombing in 1998 of two embassies in Africa killed more than two hundred people; the October 2000 bombing of an American warship, the USS Cole, in Yemen left seventeen American sailors dead."Bergen's concludes his book by maintaining that Osama Bin Laden's Holy War is not a cultural attack against the West, but rather, a condemnation of the United State's Middle Eastern foreign policies: "?the continued American military presence in Arabia, U.S support for Israel, its continued campaign against Iraq and its support for regimes such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia that bin Laden regards as apostates from Islam." Bergen then further insists, "Bin Laden is at war with the states, but his is a political war, justified by his own understanding of Islam, and directed at symbols and institutions of American power." Unlike many previous works on al-Qaeda, Peter Bergen takes a new...

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