American Role in Creating the Osama Monster

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As crowds gathered across the U.S. to celebrate the killing of Osama bin Laden, ending a more than decade long hunt for the number one suspect in the World Trade Center bombings of 2001, a report in Korea's citizen journalist publication Oh My News urges Americans to reconsider their own country's role in creating bin Laden "the monster."

The 9/11 attacks were an egregious criminal act, the author acknowledges, that took more than 3000 innocent lives, leaving the U.S. and the world in a state of shock that soon evolved into a sense of sympathy for the victims of this tragedy. Still, Osama's death must not be taken as a cause for celebration, but rather as an opportunity to reflect on American foreign policy, both past and present.

For example, by the late 1970s the U.S. began to arm and train Afghan rebels fighting the Soviet invasion. Among this group of mujahadeen was bin Laden himself, who is known to have worked closely with and received training from U.S. operatives looking to counter Moscow amidst the broader Cold War effort. Both the Carter and Reagan regimes provided active support for bin Laden and other Islamic fighters.

Three decades later and these same fighters have turned their guns on the West, the author writes. "America must look to its own past in order to determine a way forward in this conflict. What is it that fuels the continuation of extremist anger and hatred, and what role has the U.S. played in creating this monster?"

"Instead of enjoying the sweet taste of revenge, on this occasion Americans would do well to pause and consider the thousands of lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan as a result of the decades long war on terror. Rather than celebrate, now is a time for respect and recognition."