Monday, September 10, 2007


Osama Bin Laden's latest message to the West whines that the left isn't sufficiently anti-war for al Qaida:
People of America: the world is following your news in regards to your invasion of Iraq, for people have recently come to know that, after several years of tragedies of this war, the vast majority of you want it stopped. Thus, you elected the Democratic Party for this purpose, but the Democrats haven’t made a move worth mentioning. On the contrary, they continue to agree to the spending of tens of billions to continue the killing and war there.
Bin Laden also calls Noam Chomsky, "among one of the most capable of those from your own side." Check out James Robbins' take in National Review:
His speech, such as it is, is an interesting fusion of pseudo-Marxism and standard Islamism, sprinkled with political sound bites that rob the address of whatever seriousness it might aspire to. The real terrorism is global warming and the failure to observe Kyoto! Please. And the bit about how Americans are suffering under credit card-debt and mortgage payments — it’s like his speech team is cribbing from the presidential debates. I really expect more from a terrorist mastermind.

The Marxist section is a bit sophomoric. We learn that the big corporations, whoever they are, control everything and democracy is a sham. They killed JFK because he wanted to end the war in Vietnam. They foisted a needless war in Iraq to control the oil fields. The war continues because the Democrats are as beholden to the corporations as the Republicans; the two party system is a joke. He calls on Americans to “liberate yourselves from the deception, shackles and attrition of the capitalist system,” just as we had from the “slavery of monks, kings, and feudalism” in the previous historical epoch. For a minute it felt like the good old Cold War days.

But lest anyone mistake Osama for an Allah-less Communist, he then launches into the Islamist portion of his address, making the standard arguments that any form of government not reflecting sharia is polytheism, that all Muslim rulers are apostates, and that while the Torah and Bible have been corrupted by rabbis and priests, the Koran is God’s honest and unalterable skinny. He invites Americans to convert to Islam, as he has in the past, pointing out that we can end the war quickly that way because the “warmongering corporations” will then expend their energies trying to convert everyone back. . .

He does not dwell much on 9/11, except to say, rightly, that it took only 19 of his followers to change radically U.S. policies and perceptions of the world. He spends much more time on Iraq, a war in which the insurgents are winning and American troops are reduced to sitting within the walls of their encampments, afraid to venture forth to do battle, depressed, and suicidal. So wherever he is we know he has access to major American newspapers. It really must gall him that President Bush can fly into al-Anbar Province in Iraq, the former al Qaeda stronghold, while the only thing Osama can fly into is a rage.
See also Reza Aslan's early August Slate review of al Qaida's oeuvre:
There is the usual litany of complaints about the suffering of Palestinians, the tyranny of Arab regimes, and the American occupation of Iraq. But again, legitimate as these complaints may be, there is in these writings an almost total lack of interest in providing any specific solution or policy to address them. Indeed, al-Qaida's many grievances against the West are so heterogeneous, so mind-bogglingly unfocused, that they must be recognized less as grievances per se, than as popular causes to rally around. There are protests about the United Nations' rejection of Zimbabwe's elections, the Bush administration's unwillingness to sign up to the International Criminal Court, and America's role in global warming. (To quote Bin Laden: "You have destroyed nature with your industrial waste and gases, more than any other country. Despite this, you refuse to sign the Kyoto agreement so that you can secure the profit of your greedy companies and industries.") Zawahiri's many complaints include the mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, which he calls "a historical embarrassment to America and its values," as well as the United Kingdom's anti-terrorism laws, which "contradict the most basic principles of fair trial." There is even a screed against America's campaign-finance laws, which, according to Bin Laden, currently favor "the rich and wealthy, who hold sway in their political parties, and fund their election campaigns with their gifts."

Most Americans would agree with many of these complaints. And that's precisely the point. These are not real grievances for al-Qaida (it does not bear mentioning that Bin Laden is probably not very concerned with campaign finance reform). They are a means of weaving local and global resentments into a single anti-American narrative, the overarching aim of which is to form a collective identity across borders and nationalities, and to convince the world that it is locked in a cosmic contest between the forces of Truth and Falsehood, Belief and Unbelief, Good and Evil, Us and Them.
As Victor Davis Hanson observes:
What do you do when a mass-murderer not only finds you a fellow-traveler, but somehow manages to confirm everything that you deny—that radical Islam hates the West for what it is — capitalist, powerful, free, secular—rather than the particulars of what it does?

Robert Spencer in FrontPageMagazine:
"I invite you to embrace Islam,” says Osama bin Laden in his latest videotape. Most analysts take this as pious window-dressing and focus on what they believe to be the more substantive points of his message: his comments on the war in Iraq, his critique of capitalism, the similarity of much of what he says to Democratic Party talking points, and the like. But in fact the invitation to Islam is the heart, and the most revealing aspect, of bin Laden’s entire statement.

The chief reason for this, of course, is because in traditional Islamic law, the invitation to Islam must precede an attack on non-Muslims. The Islamic prophet Muhammad makes this clear, directing Muslims to issue this invitation first, and if the unbelievers refuse, to invite them to enter the Islamic social order as second-class dhimmis, and if they refuse both, to go to war with them:
Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war, do not embezzle the spoils; do not break your pledge; and do not mutilate (the dead) bodies; do not kill the children. When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them....If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya [the poll tax on non-Muslims]. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them.
(Sahih Muslim 4294)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bin Laden is dead, his poxy body food for worms in a collapsed cave in Tora Bora.

Everything that has "come from him" since before the 2004 election has had an entirely different tone than that which preceded 2004.

He use to be Kruschev pounding "We will bury you!" on the podium, now his speeches sound like Woody Allen reading from a script by Michael Moore.

That our Intel doesn't call them on it is probably because he's better left to fade away than to die as a martyr to the Islamofacist cause.