Terrorism, bin Laden Topic of Tues Speech

By By Ali Hasnain

By Ali Hasnain

It?s time we had a full realization about what terrorism and the role of the United States in the Islamic world truly means, according to Jefferson Gray.

Gray, a visiting instructor from the University of Chicago, where he received a master?s degree in international relations, spoke Tuesday about the politics of terrorism and dissent.

The Hinckley Institute of Politics hosted the event, titled, ?9-11: The Context, Consequences, and Costs of an Effective American Agenda.? It was broadcasted on KUER radio.

Gray referred to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as ?a grim subject which involves us all.?

However, while saying the event was ?on par with Pearl Harbor,? Gray was not concerned about future attacks.

?I don?t like to call it terrorism,? Gray said, in reference to last month?s attacks. Rather, he referred to it as ?asymmetrical warfare.?

What shocked Gray most was that ?only a handful of people with box cutters could create cruise missiles and place them wherever they wanted?It is not an everyday occurrence?We certainly have our guard up now,? he said.

When questioned about the latest anthrax cases in the United States, Gray had a similar response.

While not ?underestimating the lives lost? already, he said, ?In a society like ours, it?s not as deadly as it could be; everyone is aware of the symptoms?compared to nerve gas, it?s more of an annoyance.?

In discussing an ?effective American agenda,? Gray pointed to three basic goals: containing and eliminating those responsible for last month?s events, undermining the foundations of those organizations and maintaining an American way of life.

Gray gave a brief history of Osama bin Laden, leader of the al Qaeda terrorist ring based in Afghanistan. Bin Laden is suspected for masterminding the Sept. 11 attacks.

Bin Laden found his ?purpose? during the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan by the former Soviet Union, said Gray.

All the patronage he received was, in part, due to the philosophy of the United States during that time.

?Any allies found in the suppression of communism were preferable?no matter what their ideological background or views of the United States were,? Gray said.

In response to a general feeling of wanting bin Laden?s ?head on a plate,? Gray?s opinion was opposite.

?We want Mr. Bin Laden alive,? he said.

According to Gray, bin Laden conducts his affairs without an established base of operations. The only way to find others involved in his activities is through interrogation, he said.

Gray compared bin Laden?s organization to a consultant agency. ?By trying to smash it, it does not shatter like glass; it scatters like mercury,? he said.

According to Gray, it is essential for Americans to consciously realize that the war is against terrorism, and not Islam. He is concerned with some of the recently proposed legislation, which infringes on the rights of many people, he said.

?Many students here from the Persian Gulf have left,? he said. The reason is families of students from the area consulted attorneys, who said there were no guarantees as to what U.S. policy will become in relation to many ethnic minorities.

?It is our turn to clean house?we have to be careful of who we choose to please and how we do it,? Gray said. ?Some of our friends are going to become our enemies.?

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