At the root, the United States was at fault for 9/11.
Debate Rounds (3)
The contention "At the root, the United States was at fault for 9/11" must, obviously, examine the underlying causes of radicalization in the Middle East, specifically of al-Qaeda, and of the causes of their rise to power. "At fault" therefore will be construed as "responsible for."
My contention rests on three major supports:
I. Support of Israel,
II. Funding of Islamist rebel groups,
III. Repeated intervention in the Middle East.
First, the United States' support of Israel directly placed the US in danger by supporting a country that was arbitrarily placed in a region holy to several major religions, and, essentially, giving it a monopoly on Jerusalem. By supporting a state that arouses hostility by Islam countries, both moderate and extreme, the Unites States becomes more vulnerable to terrorist attacks by creating an environment conducive to armed resistance against Israel and, therefore, its prime supporter, the United States.
Second, the United States has a repeated track record of funding groups that later turn to attack us. In the case of al-Qaeda, funding began during the Mujahideen insurrection against the Soviet Union. Viewing the Mujahideen as a lesser evil than the Soviet Union, the United States provided it (the Mujahideen) with automatic assault rifles, grenades, ammunition, and various other non-military supplies. One of the leaders of this Mujahideen was Osama bin-Laden, who, at that time, was openly hostile to the United States. This later turned out to be true after the USS Cole attack and, ultimately, 9/11.
Finally, the United States intervention in the Middle East has served to alienate Muslim groups, which then can turn into adversaries. Examples of this include the 1953 overthrow of the Iranian government, the 1979 Hostage Crisis, the Black September. This repeated intervention has been cited by Osama bin-Laden as the primary reason for the 9/11 attack.
Therfore, because of the United States' support of Israel, funding of rebel groups, and military intervention, the United States' is at fault for the radicalization of extremist groups and, thus, the 9/11 attack.
I would first like to refute my opponents claim that supporting of the nation of Israel placed the US in danger for Muslim attacks. The first piece of evidence I would like to present to dispute my opponents claims is taken from the writings of Ibn Warraq, and Islamic scholar. He states that "It is extraordinary the amount of people who have written about the 11th of September without once mentioning Islam. We must take seriously what the Islamists say to understand their motivation, [that] it is the divinely ordained duty of all Muslims to fight in the literal sense until man-made law has been replaced by God's law, the Sharia, and Islamic law has conquered the entire world." Sharia is defined as the moral code and law of Islam. It's codes and laws range from circumcision of children to the belief that woman must cover their entire bodies, excluding the hands and face. Other customs include speaking in Arabic during certain events such as eating, greeting someone for the first time, and when sneezing.
An interview of Mullah Mustapha Kreikar, the leader of a radical Islamic group known as Ansar al-Islam, also states that terrorist attacks are politically motivated. The interview can be found in the following url: http://archive.frontpagemag.com.... In the interview, Kreikar states in part "The resistance is not a reaction to the American invasion, it is part of the continuous Islamic struggle since the collapse of the caliphate." The Caliphate refers to a form of Islamic government led by a Caliph, which refers to who is believed to be the successor of the prophet Muhammad. This form of government ended in 1924, long before the United States intervened in the Middle East.
I would also like to point out that Muslim countries were taught to hate western countries for centuries. As far back as the middle ages Christian knights invaded "The Holy Land" (Jerusalem) when it was under Muslim rule. What followed were decades of bloody crusades, one side in the name of Jesus and the other in the name of MuM17;ammad.
I would like to end my first round of the argument with a letter released by Osama Bin Laden in 2002 to the American public, stating "What are we calling you to, and what do we want from you? The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam...It is the religion of Jihad in the way of Allah so that Allah's Word and religion reign Supreme." Of course, "reigning supreme" means an international, worldwide caliphate where Sharia is forced upon all resisting non-Muslim nations.
I would like to begin by refuting my opponents' points, then I will reiterate my own.
My opponent's main flaw is that his line of argument relies, almost exclusively, on quotes by the Islamists themselves, rather than any background logical argument. This can be exposed by counter-quotes; Osama bin-Laden said, in 2004, that the United States could have prevented a 9/11 attack if it stopped threatening the safety of Muslims, going so far as to state, "Any state that does not mess with our security, has naturally guaranteed its own security" (Source: http://www.foxnews.com...). In fact, in this same video clip, bin-Laden ridicules the idea that religious motivations and Western hatred was the motivation behind 9/11, and goes so far as to blame the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon for the inspiration for the attack. Moreover, before the 9/11 attacks, in a 1998 fatwa entitled "Jihad against Jews and Christians", bin Laden stated that "First, for over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples", and "third, if the Americans' aims behind these wars are religious and economic, the aim is also to serve the Jews' petty state and divert attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there." Therefore, my opponent's first point is, at the minimun, neutralized, if not refuted.
Since it is not necessarily accurate to ask the perpetrators themselves about their motives, since they could be easily clothed in deception, it is more logical to consult experts on Islamic fundamentalism itself. CIA analyst Michael Scheuer states that, "They hate us for what we do, not for who we are." Other intellectuals, such as Norm Chomsky and Fouad Ajami, affirm this view.
My opponent's non-Osama bin Laden points essentially point to terrorism as a whole. My contention only discusses the 9/11 attacks. Therefore, Mullah Kreikar's quote does not apply. However, another counterargument is that the very cause for radicalization based on religion was caused by the United States. The idea that the attacks were politically and religiously motivated are not mutually exclusive; the United States could be at fault with the attacks still being religiously motivated, as outlined in my first argument.
My opponent's claim that Muslim countries have been taught to hate Western countries for centuries simply falls flat. Monsignor Charles Pope states that, "The first Muslim histories of the Crusades did not appear until 1899," (source:http://blog.adw.org...). Therefore, it is impossible that the Crusades could have fomented a culture of Western hatred by Muslim countries. Furthermore, the United States was involved with the end of the Caliphate; it was a result of World War I, which the United States was involved in. By this line of argument, any attempt to reinstate the Caliphate (which was, in actuality, the Ottoman Empire) would be a reaction against the United States or United States-backed forces. My opponents other claim, therefore, falls as well.
Now, I simply will ask: Does it really make sense that fundamentalists who hate America because of our success and freedom attacked us to make us less free and successful, or does it make more sense that this attack was a reaction against United States' actions, throughtout history, in the Middle East?
I would like to thank my challenger for this lively debate. This debate is my first debate as well, so we should be on even ground!
Drift forfeited this round.
Drift forfeited this round.
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