Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bin Laden hurts U.S. without weapons

by Tim Roemer from The Times Union

As a prominent businessman in Sudan and Saudi Arabia, bin Laden has a keen sense of the role economics plays in the strength of nations. In a videotaped appearance in October 2004, he emphasized the successful "scissor" strategy of asymmetric war and costly Soviet expenditures in Afghanistan that "bled Russia for 10 years until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat." Expanding on this line of thought, he indicated that by goading America in Iraq, al-Qaida is "continuing this policy in bleeding America." The United States is spending about $12 billion each month in Iraq. Total spending on the war over the past few years is about half a trillion dollars. Then there are the direct economic costs of the Sept. 11 attacks. Bin Laden meticulously enumerated these costs in a message delivered in December 2001. He measured the job losses, the effect on the federal budget deficit and the devastation to the stock market.

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