I haven’t finished: one thing no one picked up on in Amanpour’s carefully constructed and fascinating feature is this: Bin Laden was a quiet, studious, youth who shied away from violence. Then, during the fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan, it turned out he could face the enemy in battle. He won a resounding victory. Some time later, he went into another battle against the advice of others, and lost miserably. That was Jalalabad. Big disappointment. Sometime after that, Saddam invaded Kuwait, and Bin Laden offered his army to the Saudi monarch – his monarch – to rout them. He was told, essentially, to stay inside and play. Then came the bombings at Khobar towers in Saudi Arabia: again Bin Laden offered fighters and was told thanks but no thanks.
Maybe I’m fantasizing, but could it be that 9/11 was in part Bin Laden’s way of “showing them”? Showing his own country, where only money was taken seriously, that he was as good a leader as an American general?
The Saudi Princes preferred to allow an army of infidels on sacred Muslim soil, and now, all Americans, all Jews, are targets.
It’s too easy to say that the terrorists hate us because we’re free. We’ve got a lot of homework to do.