In his last video release, a rather stressed out Osama bin Laden calls the Americans an “arrogant” people deserving of attack. He also says the destruction of our country is “imminent.”
That’s interesting. By “arrogant” bin Laden presumably means that Americans hold an inflated opinion of themselves. In other words: we see ourselves as greater and stronger than we really are.
His opinion is contradicted by many facts. We could use nuclear weapons against our enemies, but we don’t even raise the subject. It’s doubtful such an option is even on the table behind closed doors, especially since the Bush administration has already proposed destroying most of our nuclear arsenal in exchange for Russia “allowing” us to have a missile defense system.
We could tell all terrorist sponsoring nations (not just Afghanistan) that every time there’s a terrorist attack, we’ll bomb them — every one of them. We could continue this process after each attack until they stop sanctioning and secretly supporting terrorism. This is a similar strategy to what Israel is at the moment, quite correctly, attempting against the PLO. The U.S. should follow Israel’s lead: bomb terrorist sponsoring governments until they stop the terrorists. Period.
Do we do any of these things? No. Is there any remote chance that our current leaders will even consider such steps, in the absence of more days like 9/11/01 — and not necessarily even then?
The answer seems obvious.
My point is this: We are a country with much more power, and much more reason to be angry, than we are currently displaying. We are not an arrogant country; we are a humble country. We are not an overconfident nation; quite the opposite. We act as if we have much less power and moral authority than we really do.
America does not suffer from too much arrogance. America suffers from too much humility. Unless we check, challenge and correct this error in thinking — this widely possessed psychological problem — we will perish. Our demise may be imminent — but not for any of the reasons the irrational bin Laden claims.