Category Archives: Usama Bin Laden

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Is the ‘Dead’ Arab World Really Waiting to be Led by Iran?

by Ehsan Ahrari on September 15, 2015, No Comments

Reading Boualem Sansal’s recent interview in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, was a stimulating experience. In that interview, Sansal, after depicting the Arab world “in terms of history,” as “dead,” thinks that Iran “is well armed intellectually, scientifically and economically, and could one day lead Islam globally.” He is also of the view that “…soon the Sunni Arabs will accept the domination of Shi’ite Iran, because only Iran enjoys recognition from the West, and even instills fear in it.” He regards Iran’s nuclear program as “proof” of Iranian “capabilities.” He also regards “Western Islam” as a “serious rival” of Iran. Western Islam, in Sansal’s estimation, “too could one day compete for the right to lead the Muslim world.” (more…)
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Heading Toward Failure: A Coalition of the “Reluctantly Willing”

by Ehsan Ahrari on September 17, 2014, No Comments

As the Obama administration is busy forming a coalition to fight-eradicate the Islamic State (IS) or (ISIS/ISIL), the evolving coalition that gathered last week in Paris was a far cry from the one put together by George H. W. Bush in 1991 to fight and expel Saddam Hussein's forces from Kuwait.  Today's participants of the coalition of the "reluctantly willing" are probably thinking, but not voicing, that defeating the IS will be a difficult, if not impossible, challenge for a variety of reasons. (more…)
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The Synonymity Between Dispensability and Decline

by Ehsan Ahrari on June 22, 2013, No Comments

In his second inaugural address in January 1997, President Bill Clinton stated, "America stands alone as the world's indispensable nation."[1]  Since then, that phrase has been used on a regular basis.  America, as an indispensable nation, underscores its dominance in resolving conflicts of all portions since the end of World War II.    It has been a major enabler of global economic stability and prosperity of Western Europe and Japan, and, most important of all, it contained the former Soviet Union–playing a crucial role in bringing about its eventual implosion.  (more…)
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The Surveillance State of America, Part II

by Ehsan Ahrari on June 12, 2013, No Comments

We now know for sure that, not just Americans, but the whole world is under the constant surveillance of the "Surveillance State of America."  However, if you are living in Congo, Guatemala, China, or another autocratic hell, you will not be surprised by this news, because most of us have assumed that the "security state" is everywhere. (more…)
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Bin Laden’s Cherished Dream: Turbulence Between the US and the World of Islam

by Ehsan Ahrari on September 15, 2012, No Comments

Before we allow a sense of despair to color our judgment about the future of the Arab Awakening, let me say that it is very much alive and kicking.  In the past few days and weeks, it not only has been trying to kick out Bishara Assad, but it seems to be turning against the United States.  One has to wonder whether the movie, "Innocence of Muslims," which insults the Prophet of Islam could generate so much hatred toward the United States or whether there are other hidden agendas.  I tend to be inclined to view both factors as resulting in the so-called Muslim "rage." (more…)
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Book Review: Ahmed Rashid’s Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan

by Ehsan Ahrari on April 14, 2012, No Comments

Allah, Army, and America used to be catchphrases to describe the internal political dynamics, as well as the foreign policy behavior, of Pakistan in the previous several decades.  That reality has undergone palpable erosion regarding the influence of the United States on Pakistan under the presidency of Barack Obama.  That is certainly not good news for him, since his political stakes are high.  The Afghan war is a "war of choice" for him as much as the Iraq war was a war of choice for George W. Bush.  Obama cannot lose the war in Afghanistan.  However, for him to win, he needs Pakistan's cooperation and help, which has been getting increasingly hard to come by in the past several months.  Since the support for the Afghan war is steadily in the American domestic arena, Obama has deftly set a date of withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.  He is hoping that such a decision would help him win his reelection campaign. However, wars have their own logic, in determining the winner
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Say It Again, Jim, About Pakistan!

by Ehsan Ahrari on December 7, 2011, No Comments

I watched former General James (Jim) Jones, Jr. on the Charlie Rose Show.  He was President Barack Obama's ineffective National Security Advisor; not ineffective because he was not fit for the job, but because he was not one of the Obama groupies. As such, he remained in the outermost circle of the concentric rings established every time a new president enters the White House. Frustrated about his lack of effectiveness, he resigned after serving the administration for two years. (more…)
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Afghanistan: The Enduring Battlefield of the ‘Weak’ and the ‘Strong’

by Ehsan Ahrari on October 9, 2011, 1 Comment

India and Pakistan are two strange countries in a number of ways.  I will mention only one such trait here, to get the discussion going.  Despite India's denial to the contrary, Pakistan is its chief obsession.  Pakistan feels similarly toward India, but it has many reasons to feel that way.  First, on the scale of economic development, these two countries are really a world apart.  Despite India's intricacy as a multi-ethnic and multi-religious state, it is relatively trouble free, while Pakistan is a simmering cauldron of sectarian and ethnic hatred.  The Takfiri extremism – which was prevalent in Egypt, post-Saddam Iraq, and Saudi Arabia – has found a home in Pakistan throughout the first decade of the 21st Century.  India is envisaged worldwide as a secular democracy and an up-and-coming cradle of modern education and technological development, while Pakistan is a place where Islamist-driven obscurantism is running rampant.  In view of these contrasting featur
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The Only Way to Eradicate al-Qaida is to Eliminate the Making of a Failed State

by Ehsan Ahrari on October 7, 2011, No Comments

The best metaphor to describe the resilience of al-Qaida is to compare it with a weed that is common in the American south –Kudzu.  You can't kill Kudzu, because it sends underground runners that keep it alive even when you cut off the above-groundportion of it.  So, the killing of Usama Bin Laden in May of this year and that of Anwar al-Awlaki only a few days ago, like the eradication of Kudzu, is not likely to kill al-Qaida.  What keeps it alive are the political and economic conditions of a number of countries depicted under the rubrics the "failed,"  "near-failed," or "failing" states.  President George W. Bush never understood that fact.  Now, President Barack Obama is treading the same path. Unfortunately, the nature of the American electoral politics is such that false (or, as in this instance, tactical) gains can be packaged as long-term solutions – and politicians run for office on such mystifying platforms.  Voters tend to buy it, as long as American cas
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Are Muslims Still Angry at America?

by Ehsan Ahrari on September 7, 2011, No Comments

In America, there is a season for everything.  There is a season to be thankful, to be good to your loved ones, to be jolly, or to feel contemplative, and so on.  Now is the season for taking a close look at the Muslims at large, who, in the minds of a majority of Americans, are still linked with the terrorist attacks of 9/11.  That link is more symbolic in nature, but its power is being felt as this country approaches September 11, 2011.  I accentuate the notion of symbolism related to this issue because very few Americans bothered to study its nuances.  Even though writing about Islam and Muslims' attitudes and feelings has become a cottage industry in the post-9/11-era inside the United States and in other countries, quite a few of those projects contain nonsensical explanations by the authors who have little knowledge of Islam and Muslims, or who have barely travelled to any Muslim country, much less lived in any of those countries for a long period of time.  Steven Kull's es