Prompt: Bin Laden’s “Letter to the American People” criticizes the United States’ role as a global superpower both during and after the Cold War. Much of the letter speaks in rather abstract terms about what Bin Laden considers to be the ideal role of religion in politics and society, and America’s failings in that regard. But in many places, he references specific geo-political grievances held not only by al-Qaeda and extremist groups, but by large majorities of populations in the Global South during and after decolonization.
For this PSA, make a list of 7-10 different, specific historical events or developments from the 20th century that Bin Laden references to explain why (in his mind) al-Qaeda is justified in attacking the United States. (By “different, specific historical events,” I mean that you can only reference his support for the Palestinians against the US-Israeli alliance as 1 point, even though Bin Laden repeats it many times.) For each point, briefly explain Bin Laden’s justification (1 sentence each).
For example: Bin Laden cites American sanctions against Iraq following the First Gulf War in 1991, where “children die every day” from hunger. Bin Laden believes that the US is systematically attacking Muslims around the world.
List your 7-10 items with 1-sentence explanations here:
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