loomingtowers - Jonathan Mann Essay 1 History 20 Professor...

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Jonathan Mann Essay 1 History 20 Professor Eisenberg Why did Al Qaeda attack the United States? It’s an answer that goes way back before the attack on September 11 th , and before Osama bin Laden. It also happens to be an answer with three parts, or causes if you will, that stimulated the attack on 9/11. These causes are culture, history, and power. With these motives Osama bin Laden executed one of the most horrific attacks on American soil, when he crashed two planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. This paper will explain why. If I had to answer this question of why Al Qaeda attacked the United States solely based on readings in Lawrence Wright’s “The Looming Tower”, I would say, without a doubt, that the reason the Al Qaeda attacked the United States on September 11 is directly linked to culture, as it is one of the main themes expressed consistently through
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the book. “The Looming Tower” focuses mainly on the difference between the cultures, constantly going back and forth between the American and Muslim correlating stories. It poses an interesting question in morality between both cultures. For example, John P. O’Neill, Assistant Deputy Director of Investigation for the FBI and Osama bin Laden’s top hunter, is portrayed as a shady character. He is often portrayed as unmoral, as he cheats on his wife and often is quite profane. Simultaneously Osama bin Laden is described as shy and gentle. However while one could question the morality O’Neill for adultery and profanity, where is the morality in killing thousands of innocent people? Wright starts off chapter one with the character of Sayyid Qutb, an Islamist radical with intriguing world views. Throughout the chapter Qutb has a constant concern with modern values. One of these values is materialism that he found often in the American culture. “What I need most here is someone to talk to. To talk about topics other than dollars, movie stars, brands of cars—a real conversation on the issues of man, philosophy, and soul.” One Qutb’s reoccurring concerns were sexuality and the display of it. During February 1949, Qutb had checked into the George Washington University
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