Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What Osama bin Laden's Teacher and Spiritual Mentor Told Me

By Eric Margolis

To better understand why Osama bin Laden is so far winning his struggle to oust the western powers from the Muslim world, let us go back to 1986, when I was covering the anti-Soviet war in then almost unknown Afghanistan.

I called on the grandly titled "Afghan Information Center" in Peshawar, Pakistan. Peshawar was a wild and dangerous place. I called it, "Dodge City meets the Arabian Nights" in my book on Afghanistan, War at the Top of the World.

The information center turned out to be a drab little office filled with mimeographed pamphlets and piles of dusty books.

The director was a short, thin man in a torn sweater named Abdullah Azzam. We spoke at length of the anti-Soviet jihad (struggle) in Afghanistan being waged by Afghan and Arab mujahidin.

Then, Azzam told me, "when we have driven the Communist imperialists from Afghanistan, we will go on and drive the American imperialists from Arabia and the rest of the Muslim world."

I was absolutely floored. Except for Communists, a notorious bunch of liars, I had never heard anyone call my beloved America an imperialist power. In those days, the US appeared the acme of good – in large part because its rival, the Soviet Union, looked so wicked.

But after the USSR collapsed, absolute power absolutely corrupted Washington’s ruling circles and drove them to seek "full spectrum domination" of the globe and its energy resources rather than a cooperative new world order.

Sheik Abdullah Azzam was the teacher and spiritual mentor of a young Saudi named Osama bin Laden. Azzam gave bin Laden the blueprint for his later war against the west.

Azzam was murdered in 1989, likely by a western intelligence service. His pupil, Osama, launched a seemingly quixotic mission to overthrow the western-backed dictatorships and monarchies that misruled the Muslim world, and drive western power from the region.

Bin Laden proclaimed his grand strategy in the 1990’s. He would oust the modern "Crusaders’ by luring the US and its allies into a series of small, debilitating, hugely expensive wars to bleed and slowly bankrupt the US economy, which he called America’s Achilles’ heel.

Bloody attacks would enrage the US and lure it into one quagmire after another.

Bin Laden was dismissed by western intelligence as a crackpot and "enragé."

But both the dimwitted President Gorge W. Bush and the intelligent President Barack Obama fell right into Osama’s carefully-laid trap.

Read the rest here.

Eric Margolis is contributing foreign editor for Sun National Media Canada. He is the author of War at the Top of the World and the new book, American Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World. See his website.


  1. Margolis' "War At The Top of the World", written just before 9-11, is an excellent book. It provides a clear analysis of the geopolitics and national rivalries of the "Af-Pak" region.

  2. “right into Osama’s carefully-laid trap.”

    Bin Laden / Al-Q now are no closer to overthrowing the Egyptian & Saudi government than they were in 1989. Their real goal.

    Shia heretics now run Iraq and the US has military bases throughout the middle east and central Asian Moslem republics.

    Most of the Al-Q leadership is in hiding or dead. Yeah greatly laid trap. Real careful. How many more victories can Al-Q handle?

  3. Since there is such a dearth of published views from the 'LeftyTarian', mostly Lefty HuffPost contributors like Eric Margolis, I do enjoy reading their historic revisions regarding the Evil USA Empire as well as their undying support for murderous Islamics. It always boils down to 'Bush was dumb & everything wrong with the world is the fault of the Americans that elected BUSH!*tm, Reagan, Nixon, blah, blah, blah'.

  4. If the traps are carefully laid by Osama bin Laden, then the US is an idiot to have hired him to work for the CIA for them in the first place so that he would know how the US works as his employer to be able to figure out how and where to set his traps through space and time to cause the desired effect. However, if one listens to the rhetoric of the US and its attacks on Muslim countries to bust them back to preindustrial times , or the comparison of Iraq to Indian territory, like the North American continent during the expansion of the US govt and its dealings with the aboriginal people there, then one could see that the US mind set, no matter how sophisticated its weapons are, is still in the mindset of the US Calvary and General George Custer, who was defeated by Sitting Bull at Little BigHorn., Osama bin Laden and his group have one advantage that keeps them fighting, and winning is that they do not play by the rules of the US, but the rules of jihad, which most people in the US do not know about, as it is not usually taught in our public schools like history or mathematics.Even if none of Al Qaida's plans to overthrow Saudi Arabia or Eygpt succeed, it will only be seen as a loss by the United States' planning unit and a failure for their Project for the Next or New American Century Plan (PINAP),not Al Qaida's plan, to take over and change the governments of the named countries, whether it is legal or ethical or even advisable. How can the US govt beat terrorists that are going along with their plan to ruin and take over five countries in the Middle East( Iran , Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Eygpt, and Syria) that have Israel attacking them and the US making them arm themselves with US weapons to defend themselves from the attacks of each other or Israel and arming Israel,when they are so busy attacking the countries or having them attacked by other entities to justify the weapon sales for self defense or the need to attack them due to having unauthorized weapons and systems that need to be destroyed so they can sell them an authorized weapon system to use to defend themselves with that , that they have forgotten what the objective was in the first place, to have peace. War makes money for them and creates something to do besides work at dealing with the problems of natural disasters, housing, water, energy, and agriculture. Holding back terror and stopping it is like trying to hold back the ocean after causing the dike to break by setting off a bomb behind it and then wondering why there is so much water coming at one. People can only take so much oppression before they break and start arming themselves and fighting back, It only takes one inhumane act or one joke about ones sacred religion to cause a chain reaction and resentment,or for one instance to forget the Assertiveness Bill of Rights, that says that we are all have the same rights, regardless of our standing in life, to be on this planet. Looking down on one's foes instead of understanding that terrorism is doing violently by attacking the military and trade of other countries in the Middle East and in their countries what a good aboriginal rights attorney would have done nonviolently by issuing eviction notices to nonaboriginal peoples and countries invading the Middle East to get their armies and trade out of the middle East and back to their own countries to defend themselves is just what Mohammed did in the 600s to get Mecca to accept Islam, could go a long ways in understanding what and why terror happens , and what to do to make it stop, by deprogramming the system to use jihad as a means to achieve population control.

  5. If Al Qaida does not succeed in its goals,it will only be because it bled its target out too fast by making it fight battles its victims didn;t plan to fight in the Middle East anyway to try to gain control of the region by attacking the heads of government and their human rights issues as a rationale for the basis of its PNAC (Project for a New American Century) plan and its weapons sales, and it miscalculation of the extent to which its victims would retailiate by raising the price of oil to the point it caused nearly the failure of the world economy, as a method to bleed it dry faster without war. I am always reminded of one of our tribal leaders from our region who always reminded people that life was like a spider web upon which life was placed and that one could not do anything to someone else on the spiderweb without it impacting one's self. That is what is missing is that recognition in the whole scenario,and the realization that fighting on the web between spiders causes not only the web to shake and disrupt the others, it also scares prey away so that spiders have nothing to eat in their determination to keep their web by fighting over it,even though the web of life cannot be made by people as the web maker is not people, but the Creator. Living in respect of that fact that we did not create the web and cannot repair it ourselves if we ruin it by fighting on it and in it over control, will hopefully someday bring everyone to their senses to stop the fighting and disrespect of life which is such a fragile thing on this planet that we could senselessly ruin and only the Creator be able to bring back by a miracle.