It is not a "political" blog. I'm interested in individual politicians and political parties in America, and elsewhere, only as I believe they are involved in this conflict.
However, I have very definite views about this conflict. For example, I would prefer that my family survive, and that we not live in a land where women must be confined to a house, unless accompanied by a kinsman. Judging from what has happened in countries where the West's enemies rule, this isn't an unreasonable concern.
Osama bin Laden has a new video. It surfaced in America, ahead of its planned release date. The early opening was apparently the reason why Al-Qaeda-affiliated websites around the world shut down, coming back online one by one. A reasonable presumption is that the jihadists were concerned about a security problem with their online presence, and were taking steps to find and fix it, if it existed.
If bin Laden was a media star, his career would be in serious trouble. This video is the first one he's released since 2004.
However, since he's a sort of religious leader/military commander/philosopher, bin Laden's status doesn't seem to have suffered.
I'm afraid that this is going to be a rather long post, since I make extensive quotes from a translated transcript of bin Laden's speech. I believe this is necessary, to do justice to Sheik in Laden's remarkable statements.
The short version of the speech is that:
- "The major corporations" are responsible for the Vietnam War, JFK's assassination, and the Bush presidency
- America should get out of Iraq
- The Democratic party is greatly to blame for not getting America out of Iraq
- The Democratic party is a tool of the major corporations
- People of America should rise up, overthrow their oppressors, embrace Islam, and live happily ever after
Here's a brief (no, really, it's brief, compared to the original) set of excerpts from bin Laden's latest video. I've put a few key words and phrases in bold.
"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 the 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, which has led to the vast majority of you being afflicted with disappointment.
"And here is the gist of the matter, so one should pause, think and reflect: why have the Democrats failed to stop this war, despite them being in the majority?
"I will come back to reply to this question after raising another question, which is:"
What follows is a series of references to the Bush Administration, the Vietnam War, and the JFK assassination. bin Laden reminds us that "al-Qaida wasn't present at that time, but, rather those corporations were the primary beneficiary from his killing."(!) Apparently, "the major corporations," angered at JFK's plans to end the Vietnam war, were somehow for JFK's assassination.
A bit later, he gets back to the Democrats.
"So in answer to the question about the causes of the Democrats' failure to stop the war, I say: they are the same reasons which led to the failure of former president Kennedy to stop the Vietnam war. Those with real power and influence are those with the most capital. And since the democratic system permits major corporations to back candidates, be they presidential or congressional, there shouldn't be any cause for astonishment - and there isn't any - in the Democrat's failure to stop the war. And you're the ones who have the saying which goes, 'Money talks.' And I tell you: after the failure of your representatives in the Democratic Party to implement your desire to stop the war, you can still carry anti-war placards and spread out in the streets of major cities, then go back to your homes, but that will be of no use and will lead to the prolonging of the war.
"However, there are two solutions for stopping it. The first is from our side, and it is to continue to escalate the killing and fighting against your. This is our duty, and our brothers are carrying it out, and I ask Allah to grant them resolve and victory. And the second solution is from your side. It has now become clear to you and to the entire world the impotence of the democratic system and how it plays with the interests of the peoples and their blood by sacrificing soldiers and populations to achieve the interests of the major corporations.
"And with that, it has become clear to all that they are the real tyrannical terrorists. In fact, the life of all mankind is in danger because of the global warming resulting to a large degree from the emissions of the factors of the major corporations, yet despite that, the representatives of these corporations in the White House insists on not observing the Kyoto accord, with the knowledge that the statistic speaks of the death and displacement of the millions of human beings because of that, especially in Africa. This greatest of plagues and most dangerous of threats to the lives of humans is taking place in an accelerated fashion as the world is being dominated by the democratic system, which confirms its massive failure to protect humans and their interests from the greed and avarice of the major corporations and their representatives.
"And despite this brazen attack on the people, the leaders of the West - especially Bush, Blair, Sarkozy and Brown - still talk about freedom and human rights with a flagrant disregard for the intellects of human beings. So is there a form of terrorism stronger, clearer and more dangerous than this? This is why I tell you: as you liberated yourselves from the slavery of monks, kings, and feudalism, you should liberate yourselves from the deception, shackles and attrition of the capitalist system.
"If you were to ponder it well, you would find that in the end, it is a system harsher and fiercer than your systems in the Middle Ages. The capitalist system seeks to turn the entire world into a fiefdom of the major corporations under the label of 'globalization' in order to protect democracy."
And the speech goes on.
After that section, I half-way expected him to say, 'workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!' Come to think about it, he did say something like that.
Bin Laden offers Islam as a tax-free alternative, a religion that "also puts peoples' lives in order with its laws; protects their needs and interests; refines their morals' protects them from evils; and guarantees for them entrance into Paradise in the hereafter through their obedience to Allah and sincere worship of Him alone."
It sounds great, but after seeing what the Taliban did to Afghanistan while they were running the place, I'm not all that keen on living under an Islamic state. At least not one like that.
I could live with that wonderful Islamic fashion statement, the burqa: particularly since, as a man, I wouldn't have to wear one. I'm not sure if I'd be allowed to wear white socks. Apparently, women were forbidden to wear them.
Burqas and a white-sock ban are relatively trivial, although I think it shows how micro-managed an Islamic state would be under the ministrations of the likes of bin Laden and crew.
What really disturbs me is what happened to the people at Robatak Pass and Yakaolang.
And, what happened to two irreplaceable works of art after a sufficiently Islamic state took over. I'd known about the Buddhas of Bamyan, and would have preferred to live in a world where they still existed. The AIIS slide show of the Bamiyan Buddhas just aren't be the same as having the real thing available.
I know that the Taliban isn't bin Laden's Al-Qaeda, but the two outfits seem to be on about the same page, when it comes to what constitutes true Islam.
A transcript of a translation of bin Laden's new video is available at http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/bin_laden_transcript.pdf
Related posts, on Individuals and the War on Terror.