hunting bin laden
Join the Discussion: What are your thoughts on Osama bin Laden's holy war against the U.S. and his multinational terrorist organization?   How should America deal with terrorism?
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Dear FRONTLINE,

As always, Frontline, a terrific body of journalism. The key question here is why we have taken so long to remove this menace and his network around the world.

He has made no secret about his ends or means and has proved pretty good on his word to date. The Islamic fundamental-ists want Saudi Arabia, Eqypt, Jordan, etc. and the U.S. is standing squarely in their way.

He declared war on us almost a decade ago; so what will it take for us to truly respond...a biological, chemical or nuclear weapon in Times Square with a death toll in th millions?

Time is wasting..we need to begin taking out these organizations now.. covertly or overtly; and then formulate a Middle East policy that gives the Palestinian people a nation of their own. Otherwise, we'll be looking at Taliban-type governments throughout the Middle-East in a decade.

James Nolan
king of prussia, pa


Dear FRONTLINE,

At first i would like to present in name of all arabics and above all muslims condoleances to America and all american,britsh,dutch and others who had find their death in terrorists action...

You cannot know at what point we are with you...And you know why? Because we had suffer and suffer during 50 years of these kind of action and had feel the same feeling of [..] being mal treated and terroristed...We know better than others what bombs can do and what killing hundreds of people[..]can make...We deal with this every day and so we can't be and supported these actions....Because it is HORRIBLe and INHUMAN...

And those who said that the majority of arabics and muslums are with these terrorist action is failing [...] We did not judje that american people are all criminal and terrorist when the politics in america decided to strike Bagdad and Lybia...Also we had never beat american tourist or [those] living with us here in arabic countries because of the Pro-israelien position of the USA in meadle east....So don't beat and don't accuse arabics and muslums and ISlam because a group of inhuman people do what they do... Thank You

lidou fattou
kelibia, tunisia


Dear FRONTLINE,

First, I would offer my condolences to all the innocent victims and their families. Norway grieves with you all. But, in a time like this, there are not enough tears in the world...

I think that Bin Laden will achieve his goals if:

1. The terror of Al- Qa'ida spreads fear and chaos.

3. The expected US revenge after the WTC terror starts an unconditional conflict (the final war) between Muslims and Christians.

It is unimportant for Bin Laden and his case if he was captured, punished or killed.

The international Al- Qa'ida organisation has to be completely extinguished from the face of the earth. The only way to accomplish this is through cooperation between nations. A military attack on either Afganistan or Iraq could lead to a violent international conflict that Al- Qa'ida will see as the final glorious victory.

Per Hermansen Nymo
oslo, norway


Dear FRONTLINE,

I watched your program last night with interest. While I now know more about Bin Laden's history, I was greatly troubled that his version of Islam went uncontested by your reporters and interview subjects. In fact, when one of the interviewees called Bin Laden's opinion of something "bad Islam," it went without challenge or explanation.

Since we're about to go to war, and since part of the issue will be religion, I think it's crucial that programs like Frontline do what they can not to demonize the religious beliefs shared by a third of the world (at least) by tacitly accepting the narrow interpretation of those beliefs by a few. I am a Christian, but I would not like to see fundamentalism represented as the sole interpretation of Christianity.

In fact, without highlighting that the fact that the interpretation of Islam embraced by Bin Laden and the Taliban is not shared by the majority of Moslems, by not showing how such beliefs have subjected those who do not hold power (like women) to oppression and attrocities--by instead simply showing his fight against Western aggression and corrupt regimes WITHOUT examining what he'd like to put in their place--is a very dangerous imbalance, that I hope will be put right as soon as possible. Thank you.

new york, ny


Dear FRONTLINE,

As Osama Bin Laden has pointed out, we are the terrorists. Now that the U.S. has gotten a taste of its own medicine, will it be cured of its disease? I doubt it. We are spoiled children who are used to getting what we want, and the Israelis are no different. Let us learn our lesson from this tragic event. Its time that Americans find out about and stand up to their own government and to Israel and say, We will not allow you to put our lives, our childrens lives, or our freedom in danger. And we will not allow you to reap anymore destruction on innocent people in the middle east. Israel stop your violence now and ask no more for special treatment. America...be brave and do the right thing.

los angeles, ca


Dear FRONTLINE,

I have read most every link and word on this site since 9/11. I am one of the most non-politcially motivated people in the USA, but i have thoroughly enjoyed your insights and divurgent views by the public, Islamic voices, newspaper columns, etc. If the talking heads on TV revealed many of the things I've learned on here, the citizens of this country would have a cleaer picture of what's truly happening/and will continue....

Can the USA mole bin Laden out? How? An army of 2-3K holed up in app. 16 countries, tiny cells, is like trying to find one drone in a beehive. When I was a little kid all I ever wanted was to slide home safely with the winning run. Then we grow up and see that coming home safely is all we should ever want.

take care, gregg kalina

gregg kalina
seattle, wa


Dear FRONTLINE,

I feel the U.S. should procede very carefully in the pursuit of bin Laden. He has the potential of becoming (if he isn't already) the Ho Chi Minh of the Muslim world.

We should not underestimate his influence throughout Islam. Labeling him solely as a terrorist minimizes his impact. Even if we eliminate him as a threat, his legacy may live on and grow.

Perhaps a better course of action would be to look at the root causes that brings people like him to prominence and address those.

seattle, wa


Dear FRONTLINE,

America was founded with the belief that no man/woman should be oppressed. "Bring us your weak, your weary" we said and based upon those great words and others we developed the basis of humanity that "all men are created equal". We stood up for the little guy, the person who didn't have his own voice. Because of this notion we have declared it our responsibility to take care of those that we don't think can take care of themselves. Who can say for certain whether this kind of action is just or not? If we have the resources and ability to fight the "Hitler's" of the world then shouldn't we do so? Isn't it our responsibility as a fellow human being to protect those who can not protect themselves?

The line between helping and interfering is becoming unclear. America has fought itself to insure that every human have an equil opportunity at life and freedom. And in the past when it struck out at other nations it was with the intention at insuring the same for those who do not have the resources to protect themselves. Actions such as these are honorable.

But our heads have become too big if we think that our ways should not be forced onto other regions. The Muslim community should be embraced for their differences. Their laws should be abided and religion respected. When we are in their land we are to follow their rules as that is what we expect from the Muslims living in America.

I believe that America made a terrible mistake when it decided to send troops into Saudia Arabia. We deployed our forces not as an act of mercy for people being oppressed but for our fear that the tap we had on their oil would run out. It is a shame that America's "natural" resources come from the Middle East.

September 11, 2001 will forever be a scar on my heart. Should we prove that Osama bin Laden be a mastermind behind it, I am sure we will bring him to justice. But I pray that Americans will not view this as a holy war. The Muslim religion was based on peace and therefore criminals such as bin Laden do not truly represent their faith.

Mary Crowther
salt lake city, utah


Dear FRONTLINE,

I could not believe Bill Moyers comments at the end the show on Bin Laden. He was worried about proving that Bin Laden was responsible for the WTC. Bin laden has been proven responsible for the Cole bombing and the embassy bombings. How many Americans need to die before Mr Moyers feels we are justified in going after him?

marble falls, tx


Dear FRONTLINE,

Allah is the same God as Christianity's Father of Jesus Christ. Here we can find some common ground. I don't know very much about Islam, but I can deduce that Islam would place a high value on human life, given my understanding of God.

Both Americans and the followers of bin Laden have committed wrongful acts. We can do something about our acts with some resolve. I think our defacto collonialism in the Middle East in order to protect our prized oil supply is wrong. I think the responsible thing to do would be to develop more of our own resources and use less of theirs. Would this mean making choices regarding changing our life-style vs. destruction of precious American lands? Yes, we would have to make some hard choices. As a people we could benefit greatly from consuming less of the world's resources per capita, of understanding the nature of finite resources as it pertains to each of us.

Finally, when poor and oppressed people of corrupt governments see thier loved ones suffering from disease and dying of starvation, there is strong motive for retaliation. Perhaps, we, as a nation, could forge a more humanitarian effort as both a show of good faith and as an authentic means of coming to better understand the culture of Islam.

Laura Reilly
de forest, wi


Dear FRONTLINE,

Thank you for the excellent program. Let's not haggle about one or two missed steps. The program served it's ultimate goal: educating the American people who Bin Laden is and how the US government has attempted to track him. It's easy to say why the US government didn't do this, or why it has a major presence outside of American soil. It's pretty much damn if your do or damn if you don't. Thousands of people died in Yugoslavia as America pretty much sat back and watched. I'm sure the dying individuals last words were NOT "I'm glad the US minded it's own business".

Many people wonder why Americans still question all Muslims and not just the "radical" ones. I have many friends who are Muslim and no one supports the death of innocent people. However, the question remains: why do major Muslim leaders continue to support/condone Bin Laden? This is the irony: Law abiding Muslims state that Bin Laden does not represent their ideas, yet leaders of their country (if their not Americans, etc) seem to condone his actions.

Either way, Bin Laden will soon find out how quickly your friends and followers abandon you when enough pressure is being applied.

Eddie Johnson
tampa, fl


Dear FRONTLINE,

your documentary asserts that bin laden's chief complaint against the united states is the continued presence of american troops in saudi arabia.

i wish you had gone into that subject and explained to us why they remain there, a decade after the gulf war, and what are the arguments for and against their remaining.

i assume their presence has a lot to do with saudi arabia's oil. but they weren't there before the gulf war, and saddam had to know that we would finish the job on him if he moved against the saudis after that war was over.

so how come they're still there??

sandy goodman
rockville, md


Dear FRONTLINE,

Your piece on Osama bin Laden was interesting and it gave me some idea of who he is. I am a Muslim American and I am appalled by the terrorist actions in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. I have non-Muslim friends whose husbands have died in World Trade Center tower 1 and I have Muslim friends who are being threatened and harrassed by ignorant people. Anyone who acts in such a horrendous manner against innocent people is not a Muslim. Islam has always endorsed cooperation and peaceful coexistance with non-Mulims, e.g. Ottoman empire.

greenwich, ct


Dear FRONTLINE,

I thought your presentation was balanced and open. In exploring the opinions of American Muslims, as well as those of Muslims in ths Sudan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia a picture emerged, for me, of a country, the U.S. intent on domination of the Islamic world. The views expressed by "our" government officials, mostly CIA operatives, paint a picture of cultural and religious indifference, resource exploitation and business protectionism. It is time for a new foreign policy as regards the Middle East.

Peter Bonyun
port townsend, wa


Dear FRONTLINE,

Thank you very much for the very interesting and informative program. I as a muslim really appreciate the work and effort put in this documentry, to tell people the truth. I lived in Saudi Arabia most of my life, and I was there during the gulf war. It was very nice of the US to help the kingdom and protect them, but the truth is, only people in Saudi Arabia could see what was happening after the war. It's true that the US troops helped the people, but on the other hand, they didn't respect the islamic laws with in the country. For example, in the islamic religion women are required to cover certain parts of their bodies as advised by the holy prophet, but the female members of the US army were not following these laws. This was seen clearly on the streets of Riaydh. And only god knows the things that they were doing that weren't seen. Even today, the troops and other American citizens in Saudi Arabia are having their gatherings in the compounds and corrupting the young Saudi youth.

Nadir Sid
vancouver, b.c

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