Saturday, September 8, 2007

Osama Wants Me For A Sunbeam

By Manifesto Joe

We've awaited with bated breath the new Osama bin Laden video, and he's burnished his image. With newly dyed beard, he denounces American-style capitalism, globalism, and those damned subprime mortgages; disingenuously praises Noam Chomsky (who wouldn't last one week free in a country ruled by him); and urges Americans who wish to end the Iraq war to -- embrace Islam. You infidels, you. Go out and buy that prayer rug, post haste. No more Playboy magazines.

Well, there's much wrong there, and it isn't hard to pinpoint. But who's to argue with the promise of 70 willing virgins upon one's death as a martyr? Or with such an example of Islamic virtue as bin Laden?

What's a bit of collateral damage anyway, to you pragmatic American types? It's just a few thousand more damned souls going their ordained way.

As much as we are dealing quite nastily with myriad fools here in this society, it's important to realize that foolishness and evil, of the worst kinds, are very much global phenomena. They can even be a bit worse in some other settings.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.


Anonymous said...

You say Chomsky wouldn't last a week in a nation ruled by Osama. I'm not sure if this is true. Chomsky is widely admired in much of the Islamic world, as he is one of the few prominent Western writers to call attention to Israel's appalling treatment of the Palestinians. Don't fall for the simplistic, cartoon-like "they're all Islamofascists" rhetoric of the Bush White House crew.

As painful as it is for us in the West to admit, there is a grain of truth in Bin Laden's message. Otherwise, he would never have emerged from his former position (an obscure figure who was regarded as an embarrassment by the relatively few Islamic people who'd even heard of him) to where he is today---a figure who is widely admired and respected in the Islamic world for standing up to the West. Bin Laden's reputation in the Islamic world has soared since America invaded Iraq.

Manifesto Joe said...

The problem I think bin Laden would have with someone like Chomsky, and very quickly, is that the latter's condemnation of human rights violations cuts in all directions. He has a history of never sparing anyone. I don't think dudes like Osama or Mullah Omar would like it, and they have a history of intolerance, to say the least.

Believe me, I'm not falling for the White House's depictions of much of anybody. But I would caution you not to fall for bin Laden's line, either. It's not hard for him to shoot verbally at a target as fat and stupid as the U.S. looks on the world stage right now.

But, to the bottom line: I would likely be in prison even in a "moderate" Islamic regime like Saudi Arabia, after the morals police came for me. That is, if they didn't club me to death on the very spot for some violation of Sharia. As bad as things get in the U.S., this country doesn't routinely hang drug dealers or lop the hands off of thieves.

I genuinely regard the Bush administration as a rogue government, illegitimate from Day One, and one that has taken our country down a vicious path. But it's important to realize that the enemy of my enemy isn't necessarily my friend.

Anonymous said...

New Osama video seems yet another forgery. Everyone needs Osama alive:
terrorists as symbolic leader and the US Administration - to avoid
scaling down the war on terror.
Obadiah Shoher rightly notes ( ) that
new Osama talks like a leftist university professor. I like Shoher's
analysis. No way a terrorist leader like Osama would use a speechwriter. Osama is famous
for his rhetoric.
Also, in the tape Osama both threatens America with attack (by
"proving" Americans polytheists) and offers (yet another time)
long-term coaching in Islam.
But his dyed beard makes me cautious. Islam's mujahedeen dye their
beards before battle.