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Bin Laden as a Revolutionary

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Text Preview Robert Snyder's main argument in "Hating America: Bin Laden as a Civilizational Revolutionary" is that not only is all the literature written about September 11th confusing strategy and tactics but that people fail to look at Bin Laden as a revolutionary. The attacks against the United States on September 11th were in Snyder's view a tactic that was part of a much grander strategy. The actual attacks on the United States were a tactical maneuver designed to maximize destruction and kill as many westerners as possible. However there were much broader strategic motives behind the September 11th attacks, one of which was to alienate and weaken the moderate pro western Muslim states from the rest of the Islamic community. This point matters greatly when questioning why it matters if September 11th was a tactic or strategy because a tactic would have been a militant maneuver to achieve a direct attainable goal while a strategy would have greater planned goals using tactics as a means to an end. A plan to destroy the world trade center itself would be considered a tactic but Snyder argues that this was not the case. Although the destruction of the twin towers and the hit on the pentagon were the goals of the 19 hijackers they were not the sole goals of Bin Laden. These attacks were essentially a means to an end. Even though the attacks did do great harm to the United States not only in way of their destruction in full or partial to key landmarks and infrastructure but the attacks took thousands of civilian lives and hurt the morale of the American people as well. Surely Bin Laden knew that he would not be able to destroy the United States with one mighty blow and that these attacks would be the waking of a sleeping giant. So why would Bin Laden do this if he knew that the United States would use all its resources and military might to try and destroy him? Like Snyder I would argue that drawing the United States into a war was the strategy behind the planning of these... Show More

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