One of Lily Tomlin's better quotes is "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up.".
Back in the 80's we saw televangelists Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker go down in flames. Bakker in particular, with his overpainted wife Tammy Faye and his PTL Club, got in trouble for financial shenanigans. (Nominally "PTL" stood for "Praise the Lord", but a popular alternative was "Pass the Loot").
Steven Den Beste notes that Bill Clinton's misadventures with Afghanistan turned out to have strengthened al-Qaeda. Hmm.
We've heard all sorts of explanations for the attacks by al-Qaeda, in terms of religion, culture, etc. But maybe we're not cynical enough. What if it's all about some mullahs and their fundraising?