Friday, December 17, 2004

Osama - another whining leftie 

Osama's pre-American election tape already sounded like a promo for "Fahrenheit 9/11", with its carefully scripted list of MoveOn-esque grievances. Now, in his latest production aimed at the House of Saud, bin Laden is moving one step further along the path of the great ideological - or at least rhetorical - convergence between the angry left and the angry Islamofascism:
"The speaker on the tape accused the regime of 'injustices against the people'. The Saudi Royal Family had misspent public money while 'millions of people are suffering from poverty and deprivation', he said."
And thus Osama becomes yet another billionaire complaining about the growing gap between the rich and the poor, a sort of George Soros with a Closed Society Institute, and a Peter Lewis, who instead of insuring cars blows them up.

It's hard to argue that most of the oil-blessed countries have not made a mess out of their black gold bounty, building First World infrastructure for Third World economies and constructing totally unsustainable cradle to the grave welfare states for all of their citizens, instead of investing money productively to create economies that can perform well after the oil runs out. But be that as it may, how about you redistribute your own fortune to the poor, Osama, instead of complaining about the big bad government?

And not that bin Laden is actually sincere, either. If you look at the Islamofascist utopia like the Taliban-era Afghanistan, one thing that strikes you is that, well, "millions of people were suffering from poverty and deprivation", and genuinely so, not the Saudi sort of poverty. In fact, in Osama's restored Caliphate, poverty and ignorance are both equally treated as virtues and are thus assiduously cultivated in place of such evil infidel concepts like growth or self-realization.

Still, it's funny (in a horrible sort of way) to watch bin Laden promote economic disadvantage as a grievance against what he considers a corrupt Muslim regime. For Osama, version 2005, poverty is the root cause of terrorism. For the rest of us, we know it's Osama.

Update: Thanks for all the comments, both pro and against. I hate to have to explain myself, particularly when I think I made myself clear enough the first time, but since a few of my left-wing readers thought that I was engaging in a right-wing version of "Bush=Hitler" moral equivalence when I put bin Laden, George Soros and Peter Lewis in one sentence... It's a simple point: bin Laden is increasingly sounding like a more mainstream critic of the Bush Administration. Does that tar the critics by association? Of course not. Does it invalidate their criticisms? Of course not, there are many other reasons they're wrong, and the fact that bin Laden is parroting their lines isn't one of them. Will bin Laden be more successful after adopting the angry left rhetoric? Well, it has proven to be such a roaring success at the November polls, so who knows?

In the meantime, read Daveed Gartenstein-Ross's article about Al Qaeda's objectives, tactics and rhetoric.


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