Abdul Bari Atwan was one of a very few Western journalists to interview Osama bin Laden before 9/11, spending three days with him in the mountains of Afghanistan in 1996.
As Atwan relates it, Bin Laden wanted to draw the US into a fight in the Middle East and was disappointed when the Clinton administration withdrew from Somolia.
It seems Osama bin Laden had a long-term strategy. He told me personally that he can’t go and fight the Americans and their country. But if he manages to provoke them and bring them to the Middle East and to their Muslim worlds, where he can find them or fight them on his own turf, he will actually teach them a lesson. It seems the invasion of Iraq fulfilled Osama bin Laden’s wish. That’s why the Americans are losing in Iraq, financially and on a human basis, and even their allies, including Australia, are really losing patience, losing money, losing personnel, losing reputation in that part of the world.
One might ask what sort of a moron falls so easily into this kind of a trap. But then, we all know the answer to that one.