Why Osama Bin Laden doesn’t like the Unites States of America
It troubles me to hear our president saying things like, "Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. . ."
"Americans are asking, why do they hate us? They hate what we see right here in this chamber -- a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms -- our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other. "
(from the Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People - Sep. 20th, 2001)
Terrorists may or may not be freedom hating crazy people, but that's not why they (especially the al-Qaeda) hate the US. Rather, they have some fairly specific gripes about our foreign policy, especially concerning the middle east. Their motives are not mysterious; Osama bin Laden has been quite vocal about his complaints, which are mainly:
(1) Our establishment of permanent bases in Saudi Arabia (which he liked to Russia's occupation of Afghanistan), as well as other bases in the middle east.
(2) Our support of Israel's military occupation. He cites numerous incidents of humiliation, subjugation, and killing of Palestinians which are made possible by our diplomatic, economic, and military support.
(3) The joint US/British assault against the people of Iraq, which he blames not only for hundreds of thousands of deaths, but also strengthening Saddam Hussein's control of the area.
Despite the excellent posts above, I thought a distillation was in order. I'm not saying these complaints are legitimate, or that if they were legitimate they would justify terrorism, but they are something that as a nation we need to be aware of, and address.