Originally Posted by Cuddles
The chronic error made in almost every conspiracy theory for 9/11 (and some others) involve trying to approach the issue as if it were a provincial criminal case instead of an international one, even though the evidence points to at least involvement from non-Americans. It is easier to come to wild conclusions when looking at things like motive and means than it is to hold such conclusions in the face of known activities by known hostile groups to the United States.
The basic motivations for OBL are split into two main groups, and if being thorough a third group as well: 1) stated motives, 2) ideological motives, and 3) personal motives. The first group applies to the rhetorical motivations by organizations like al Qaeda to not only state goals/demands, but to draw in members and converts. The second group is used mainly for expanding into as many areas where potential converts may be located as possible, sometimes used in rhetoric as with the first group, and sometimes used for reinforcement and 'programming' for operatives (especially suicide operations). The third group is specific to the higher leadership positions, and is pretty much separate from (and unknown to) the average members of such organizations, not unlike a cult-ish hierarchy with the top echelons having goals that the lower echelons are often unaware of (think business structure with even less
A very reductionist breakdown of motives:
- First group (stated goals):
- Palestinian state
- Religious rule as government rule
- Very anti-Western 'colonialism'
- Second group (internal goals):
- Undermine powerful Western governments
- Fighting against the "oppression" of pro-Western governments
- Destabilize any perceived threat to the organization's goals
- Third group (leaders' goals):
- Take over governance of nations with themselves as rulers
- Expand their influence to other nations, establishing themselves (or their peers) as rulers
- Eliminate all opposition, both internally and externally
Like I said, that's a very reductionist model of the motivations behind al Qaeda. The whole inception of al Qaeda as an organization stems from bin Laden's influence after he fled from Saudi Arabia, where he attempted a coup (through assassination) of the Saudi royal family. Osama received his early extremist indoctrination through groups like the Egyptian Islamic Brotherhood and the more extreme Wahabbist ideologies from his own nation if Saudi Arabia. Whether he totally believes the extremist ideologies or is playing the part of a demagogue for power is debateable, but the way al Qaeda has come to be structured is evident in how they operate in a franchise-like manner across as many national borders as they possibly can cross. Unlike a cult of religion, which can sometimes be dangerous for individuals in particular, groups like al Qaeda operate as a cult of ideology, which are damaging to pretty much any societal construct that the group finds distasteful or disagrees with, and the group goes to extreme lengths to assert themselves and their ideology. One of those ways is through constant terrorist activities.
This is why attempting to look at it like we see the cops on CSI
or Law & Order
on television work a case is not effective, because it isn't just a matter of a crime, it is a pathological series of activities stemming down from the initial goals of the leadership to the operational goals of the executors of the operations. The 'police detective' model of trying to attribute culpability in the case just doesn't translate over properly. It can't, because the methodology doesn't scale on a 1::1 basis.
Originally Posted by negativ
No, it really is rhetoric. "Freedom" is a relative term, depending on who is saying it and what "freedom" they are talking about. No society is completely "free" or it isn't a society. The differences in the interpretations have to do with the separate definitions on responsibility to the society. It's not our "freedom" that the group hates, it is the fact that they
aren't running things on the leadership level, and the fact that there are genuine diplomatic gripes that feed the anger on the operational levels. In most cases, they couldn't give a rat's patootie about our nationalistic concept of "freedom," except that they are convinced we are determined to push our own concepts on everyone and allegedly kill whoever doesn't accept them. That doesn't make their view correct or accurate in any realistic sense, but reducing things down to "they hate our freedom" is insanely naive and just jingoistic propaganda.