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Monday, November 22, 2004

 CIA: Osama is winning terror war

A former CIA agent says the United States is suffering a major propaganda defeat and is losing the fight for support among the world's 1.3 billion Muslims.

Michael Scheuer, who started profiling Osama bin Laden in the mid-1980s and later became head of the CIA's Osama bin Laden unit, said the United States has badly underestimated the power of the al Qaeda leader.

He said the country needs new and more aggressive policies to fight al Qaeda that would send in the military to kill or capture al Qaeda operatives even if there is only a 30 percent chance the intelligence is correct. He said the country also needs to engage in a serious and painful debate over discarding 30-year-old U.S. policies toward the Palestinian cause and support Washington gives to the pro-American regimes in Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

"I don't think there is a magic solution," he said. "It's not a choice between war and peace, it's a choice between war and endless war."


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