Imperial Hubris by Michael Scheuer, 2004, Excerpts
An appreciation of the Muslim perspective – this does not mean acceptance – allows the West to gauge bin Laden’s appeal and staying power. His name is legend from Houston to Zanzibar to Jakarta, and his face and sayings are emblazoned on T-shirts, CDs, audio and videotapes, posters, photographs, cigarette lighters, and stationary across the earth.
In a world where Muslim leaders are mostly effete kings and princes who preach austere Islam but live in luxuriant debauchery; or murderous family dictatorships, like Iraq’s Hussein’s, Egypt’s Mubaraks, Libya’s Qadahfis, and Syria’s Asads; or coup installed generals holding countries together after politicians have emptied the till, bin Laden and al Qaeda have won the aura of Robin Hood. Bin Laden is not a ruler, and therefore not tainted with tyranny and corruption. Osama bin Laden presents the inspiring spectacle of one who, by his own free choice, has forsaken a life of riches and comfort for one of hardship and danger, has left the life of luxury to the trenches, the trenches of jihad.
Bin Laden also killed more than three thousand Americans on 11 September 2001, and with that act – defying the mighty in deed as well as word – completed the composite picture of a classical Islamic hero. What the West sees as tragic brutality practiced by despairing or deviant individuals is perceived in much of the Muslim world as a heroic act of self-sacrifice, patriotism, and worship, an act to be greeted not with condemnation and revulsion, but with awe, respect, and a determination to emulate.
A coalition that includes Russia, China, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Yemen; the dictators of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the UAE, Kuwait, and Egypt; the titans of nineteenth-century colonialism in the Middle East, Britain, and France; and the state of Israel makes bin Laden look like a prophet of old, as his supporters or sympathizers believe they see the truth of his argument that America wants allies only among those willing to oppress Muslims and eliminate Islam.
VP Joe Biden, Sep 2012
“Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive!”
See also: Osama bin Laden and Opium