So I was thinking about about "The Power Of Nightmares"
In the documentary "The Power of Nightmares" is the claim that Al Qaeda does not exist. That the concept of a vast terrorist network was invented by our own intelligence agencies and politicians. One of pieces of evidence central to that claim is that Bin Laden is never recorded as even having uttered the words "Al Qaeda" until after 9-11. The idea being that he only adopted the name after we made it so infamous.
I did a few Google searches to see what I could dig up but searching terms like "Bin Laden" and "Al Qaeda" hasn't proven very informative. But then I remembered something. I own a book called "Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War On America" written by a man named Yossef Bodansky.
I seem to remember that it was given to me not long after 9-11 so I wondered if it had been published prior to 9-11. There is a mention of 9-11 on the back cover but a brief scan of chapter titles seem to indicate the book was originally published pre 9-11.
The inside cover contains copyright dates of 1999 and 2001.
In any event I went to the index and sure enough there is no reference to Al Qaeda in the entire book. At least not one that warrants an index entry.
Does anyone else find that odd considering the man this book is about purportedly created this organization? I am open to explanation as I am honestly trying to figure this out. I assume if the theory in "The Power of Nightmares" is wrong it should be easy to find some documentary evidence to refute it.
I know some of you will respond with mockery and hysterics, but I hope that at least a few will be able to muster a cool headed response with some solid information or maybe just a useful observation.
So what say you people of 88?
without a doubt
Originally Posted by gmaki
In that context, it does seem true.
My understanding is that "they" don't really exist as an entity, it is more a loose term for various people who might have some common/compatible aims, or use similar tactics.
So they share information etc. under the "Al Qaeda" umbrella.
It is a bit like inventing some term like "virus squad" that is supposedly ultimately responsible for propagation of virii across the internet. Sure, they might co-operate with each other, but virus authors are probably not part of a group as such.
As an indication of where Al-Qaeda fits into the scheme of things, this guy Juan Cole writes about the middle east all the time.
Here he is talking about "Al-Qaeda's frontman in Iraq" (per the mainstream US press) Abu Musab al-Zarqawi:
"If Zarqawi did die, what difference would it make? He is responsible for only a fraction of the violence in Iraq, and has lots of jihadi lieutenants who would gladly take his place.
So, we cannot know if it is true. If it is true it is old news. And it wouldn't matter much to the situation in Iraq. I'd file that under "not a story."
If "Al-Qaeda's frontman in Iraq" is "responsible for only a fraction of the violence in Iraq, then that "group" is really not a big deal in that part of the world.
That is what Juan Cole seems to think.
He said earlier that recent studies indicated that "Al Qaeda" had very little support iamong Muslims anywhere.
It seems to me that their mystique is a creation of the fear machine.
I am certain that is a lot more elusive than the boy scouts as an organization and that it is used as a blanket organisation to cover a lot of different groups - from Armed Jihad to what not... but google
Yossef Bodansky and Qaeda and you'll find plenty of refs.
I did Google that and I did find lots of references. I did not find anywhere that he was quoted using the term but I am not claiming that he has not used the term since 9-11. As a matter of fact I would expect him to. He works for the government so I am sure if "Al Qaeda" was the term they decided to use after 9-11 he would go along with it.
Originally Posted by zenmonkey
So yes he can start using Al Qaeda anytime for any reason, but he can't go back in time and change his book (my copy anyway) which was published in 1999. And the fact that this man spent who knows how many years researching Bin Laden, who is considered by many to be the foremost authority on Bin Laden, and who described Bin Laden's organization and all his closest associates, but never once used the term "Al Qaeda" in his book should tell you something.
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