I was reading Scott Burchill at the AFR Review section (comes out every Friday and is pretty much the only part of the paper I read). He’s got an online version of his article here. He puts forward a common argument that we (as in much of the Western world) should recognise that we bear part responsibility for Islamic extremist terrorist activity due to “the occupation of Palestine and Iraq, to the puppet government we installed in Kabul and our ongoing collusion with repressive tyrannies across the Arab world and beyond”.

He doesnt actually go on to say what we should do about the terrorism although a good starting step would be to stop “asserting of the superiority of our values” which presumably does not at the same time acknowledge the superiority of their values.

Anyway, it also got me thinking. What does Al-Qaeda want?

I started looking through the net hoping for a page with a mission statement, clearly lined out objectives (in dot point form preferably) and maybe some kind of timeline as to when each objective should be fulfilled. I wasnt too surprised to find no such thing.

However, I did discover this excellent site which collects translations of statements and interviews from Osama Bin Laden as well as a whole host of other papers and analysis from the west. Of note is the statements and interviews section which details every statement and interview issued by Bin Laden.

Even though I had read some of them before, reading the source material was still worthwhile and I would recommend it to anyone as background reading on the current Islamic extremist terrorist issue especially if it’s a question of values.

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