Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Forlorn Anniversary

Today is February 26. Exactly 16 years ago today Islamic terrorists under the guiding hand of a Baluchi mastermind named Ramzi Yousef attempted to blow up the World Trade Center, toppling one tower into the next with the goal of perhaps killing over 100,000 people in lower Manhattan. Said the perp during his trial:
Yousef justified his terrorism as both punishment and revenge. Since the United States never learns, he argued, it must be punished. Yousef equated the U.S. punishment inflicted on Libyan and Iraqi civilians with the punishment he had dispensed: “the United States is applying the system of collective punishment against Iraq and Libya—when either government makes any mistake, the United States punishes the people in their entirety for the government’s mistake. We are reciprocating the treatment.
It's interesting he singled out Iraq and Libya, two countries headed by major facilitators of terrorism over the years and one, Iraq, that had a PLO office in its capital city. We still haven't found Abdul Yasin.

I've often wondered--had Yousef and crew been successful in 1993 against whom would Bill Clinton have retaliated? Osama bin Laden had yet to become a known bogeyman and our main terrorist enemies were still probably Hizballah, housed in Syria and Lebanon, and the Abu Nidal gang, housed in Iraq. Or perhaps he did retaliate.


Darth Rob said...

Clinton would've probably bombed the crap outta Afghanistan, because thats where Osama Bin Laden was at the time, if you recall Clinton ordered the bombing of terrorist training camps run by Al Qaeda. In the speech he made on t.v. he named Osama Bin Laden as leader of Al Qaeda. I'll always remember the day, I watched it with my mom, and she was afraid it was the beginning of world war III.

A.C. McCloud said...

Actually Rob, I think Osama was in Sudan at the time and did not go back to Afghan until 1996 or thereabouts. He was not well-known to the public until after the Embassy bombings in 1998, and even then few paid him serious attention.

With 100,000 dead and lower Manhattan in ashes I think Clinton would have been under tremendous pressure to attack Iraq and maybe a few other places, since Yousef used an Iraqi passport to enter the country and his bomb mixer buddy Yasin fled to Baghdad after the attack.

Thankfully, the decision never had to be made but his inaction in dealing with these guys certainly contributed to 9/11.