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The Arab tide turns against bin Laden

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Bin Laden had hoped that by killing thousands of innocent Americans he could make the U.S. lash out angrily and murderously against Muslims, thus precipitating a clash of civilizations. But the Bush administration did not play into his hands, and the Muslim community did not rise up. Although surveys showed that 40% of Arabs sympathized with Bin Laden's criticism of the U.S. and the pro- Western regimes it supports, they rejected his terrorist methods. Bin Laden's loss of the propaganda war does not imply that the United States has won. Poll results show that anti-American sentiment is a staple of Arab politics. Today, to be politically conscious in the Arab world is to be highly suspicious of the United States, its foreign policies, values and institutions. In the eyes of many Arabs and Muslims, Bin Laden or no Bin Laden, the United States has become a scapegoat for the ills and misfortunes that befell their world in the second half of the last century.

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