Friday, October 29, 2004
bin laden's message
that was the hopeful statement of a desperate but rational man who is trying to go over the heads of ridiculous barking american politicians and appeal to the american people to give him a way to stop.
i'll quote what i said earlier today before i saw this thing:
why do you think... al-qaeda fights us and the fundamentalists resent us? it isn't religious -- that's propaganda for simpleminds, theirs and ours. they hate us because of our years of diplomacy -- the shah, the house of saud, all the oppressors we maintained, all the armies we placed in arabia. al-qaeda is an insurgency against indirect american misrule, real and perceived. this is key to understanding their motivation.
now, how does landing an army and conquering iraq and afghanistan and invading (de facto) north pakistan quell those insurgent concerns? -- and quelling the concerns is PARAMOUNT, as it is known to be the only effective way to control an insurgency.
there is an implicit assumption that kicking ass and taking names makes you safer in this environment. it does not! it puts you in greater peril -- this is not a war, it is a popular insurgency -- and this is the fundamental misperception among an american majority, including (possibly) the white house.
many suppose that al-qaeda are totally irrational. i don't. osama & co haven't done a thing yet to make me believe they don't understand the game they're playing. mistakes, sure -- but they have stated aims and want to accomplish them. much like hezbollah or hamas, if they were negotiated with and given a measure of success and access to real power to affect change, they would take it -- as the ira and irgun did before them.
continue imperializing their homelands, though, and we may get it in the head after all. what the united states needs is not "hard diplomacy" or the limited war of Global Democratic Revolution -- such militaristic forays serve only to undermine the pro-western muslim liberals who agitate for reform and empower the fundamentalists who oppose them, feeding fuel to the enemy's furnace.
what is needs is *better* diplomacy -- addressing the insurgency's base for sympathy among the muslim masses by rectifying their complaints while we still can on our terms.
instead, we're in the process in iraq of proving al-qaeda prescient and making them sympathetic figures to all muslims. this is a program for failure not only in iraq but globally.
until we begin to understand that al-qaeda is a rational insurgency against indirect american misrule (both real and perceived) with massive popular support -- because they honestly address real grievances! -- we will continue to fail miserably and dramatically increase the odds of american tragedies at the hands of blowback.
now, what osama said (abridged):
and there's more that al-jazeera only hinted at: (bin Laden) pointed to the contradiction which considers oppression and killing of innocents a legal act... Bin Laden pointed to the millions of pounds of explosives dropped on Iraqi children as bush his son had done, as he said to remove an old agent (saddam) and install a new agent to help in stealing the oil of iraq. And bin Laden said the events of 9/11 came as an answer to this oppression and said that if the answer to this oppression is considered bad terror, then we need to do it. And he stressed that he wants to deliver this message to the Americans in words and in deeds since the 9/11 events. He reminded Americans of a few warning messages through various news media like Time Magazine and CNN and other Arab and correspondents since 1996. He warned them of the consequences of their countries policies...
American people, my speech to you is the best way to avoid another conflict about the war and its reasons and results. I am telling you security is an important pillar of human life. And free people don't let go of their security -- contrary to Bush's claims that we hate freedom -- he should tell us why we didn't hit Sweden for instance. Its known that those who hate freedom don't have dignified souls... But we fought you because we are free people; we don't sleep on our oppression. We want to regain the freedom of our Muslim nation. As you spill our security, we spill your security.
We never thought of hitting the towers. But after we were so fed up, and we saw the oppression of the American Israeli coalition on our people in Palestine and Lebanon, it came to my mind -- and the incidents that really touched me directly goes back to 1982 and the following incident: when the US permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon with the assistance of the 6th fleet. In these hard moments, it occurred to me, so many meanings I can't explain, but it resulted in a general feeling of rejecting oppression and gave me a hard determination to punish the oppressors. While I was looking at the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it came to my mind to punish the oppressor the same way and destroy towers in the US to get a taste of what they tasted, and quit killing our children and women.
Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or Al Qaeda. Your security is in your hands. Each state that doesn't mess with our security has automatically secured their security.
we get this message from this man -- a message that is clear and strong, but also potentially quite conciliatory -- speaking directly to the people, appealing for help in inciting the changes in the brutal aspects of american foreign policy that would satisfy al-qaeda's demands. he is *asking* us to remove the causes of the insurgency -- and improve the lives of many muslims besides.
and what do we get for analysis? so much bellicose antagonistic bullshit that i cannot believe it. i read osama's bit and was amazed and hopeful. then i turned on msnbc, listened to olberman, listened to bush and kerry, and that hope evaporated instantly.
hey, i don't know if you can take osama at face value; i know for certain you can't take bush or kerry that way, so why him? but i was struck by the simple candor of his words. "this is why we're doing this; it's something we never dreamed of; this is how you can make it stop, so that you and we can be secure."
imo, there was probably more honesty and philsophical intelligence in that few minutes than in 18 months of presidental campaigning. and i've yet to hear anyone in the pack of crazed dogs that is the american politimedia scrum say anything more intelligent than "he is evil!"
america in the throes of an election is simply disgraceful.