Condescending? I think not. Presumptuous, deluded, irritating? Undoubtedly.
(before you go getting all excited about me admitting you are irritating: a minor itch is also irritating. I put you in that class. I will leave it to others to figure out where the itch is.)
But fun all the same.
I think what bin Laden has been doing is somewhat more profound and deep seated than what Bush is doing.
But I agree. In their mind, the attack was completely justified and ordained by Allah and if we try to Americanize their motives, we are probably headed for disaster. "Winning the minds and hearts of the Vietnamese" comes to mind as a failed example from our past. On the other hand, much of what MacArthur did in Japan after WWII may serve as a partial model. Before we can begin to affect change we need to know what we have to work with.
It may be comforting for some to mis-characterize bin Laden as a psychopathic criminal. Psychopathic he may be, but his actions (or his followers anyway) are motived by absolute religious conviction. Believing anything else would seem to be a prescription for failure.