Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Article excerpt

Osama bin Laden video won't change minds

Regarding the Osama bin Laden video tape mentioned in "Trying Al Qaeda: US vs. Europe" (Dec. 14): I have no doubt Mr. bin Laden sponsored the attacks of Sept. 11. He all but admitted as much in previous videos. The release of the "smoking gun" videotape will not have a significant impact on world opinion. Those who accept bin Laden's culpability need no convincing, and those who doubt his involvement will not be convinced.

A more relevant issue is the failure of the Bush administration to rally more than lukewarm support for the war on terrorism from the Muslim and Arab worlds, where the efforts are viewed with some degree of skepticism. In many instances, the Bush administration's efforts have been clumsy if not outright counterproductive. For example, attempting to suppress the release of some bin Laden videos, while heavily promoting this one, may be viewed in some quarters as manipulative. Criticizing and then bombing (accidentally or otherwise) the most highly regarded news service in the Arab world, Al Jazeera, won't earn the administration any points either.

It will take much more than a "smoking gun" or any other type of gun to achieve true victory in the war on terrorism.

Basil Abdelkarim Torrance, Calif.

I was reading this morning about the Islamic world's reaction to the Osama bin Laden video. As far as the press reported, the consensus was one of skepticism about the veracity of the video. While I will be the first to admit that the US is the ultimate propaganda machine, I sometimes wonder what it will take to convince cynics of Mr. bin Laden's involvement in the terror attacks.

Eric Schwappach Cataula, Ga.

Profiling a necessity in this war

Regarding "Image in US irritates Saudis" (Dec. 11): In World War II, Japan fought in a uniform and conventional manner; there was a clear distinction between combat troops and civilians. When Pearl Harbor was attacked, the Japanese planes were emblazoned with their national logo for all to see. …

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