‘American aggression breeds terrorism’

“George Bush did exactly what Osama Bin Laden wanted him to do – he over-reacted,” argues Ivan Eland, a senior fellow at the Independent Institute.

­“Only about 25 per cent of Americans think that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq had a positive effect on fighting terrorism, while 75 per cent believe they had a negative effect,” said Eland.

“The US has many terrorist groups on its terror list but most of them do not attack the US” - therefore the US should have focused on Al-Qaeda instead of on Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden, believes Eland.

“Obama is making the same mistake that Bush made – he is just going into more countries so US popularity in the Muslim world is below what it was at the end of the Bush administration” which Eland says is due to due to operations and drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen that kill innocent civilians. “Now every move that America does, like the operation in Libya, is considered to be just another intervention.”

“Americans tend to focus on events when they are attacked, like Pearl Harbour or whatever, and just say there was nothing before that – and the same as 9/11,” says Eland, adding that “America never questioned why Bin Laden did what he did.”