In the recently aired Bin Laden video, Osama had this to say:
“This greatest of plagues and most dangerous of threats to the lives of humans is taking place in an accelerating 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.”
I’m not saying that democracy is perfect, but what is the alternative? Fascism, theocracy? I don’t think so. Bin Laden doesn’t care about the lives of humans. He isn’t waging a war for freedom against the tyranny of capitalism. If he cared so much about these things he wouldn’t have thousands of innocent people murdered.
No, Bin Laden cares about furthering his religio-political agenda, in which civilians are fair game to be hurt or killed in order to make a statement.
“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.”
Again, let’s put aside the relative merits of the US, British, and French Heads of State, and point out the enormous hypocrisy in these words: if Bin Laden cares about human intellect, he wouldn’t subscribe to a bronze age myth that rejects rationality and evidence, and treats women like property, where the death penalty, stoning, and rape, are acceptable punishments for even trivial “offences”. He talks about freedom and human rights, but what if a Muslim man in the Middle East wants to convert to another religion, is he free to do so, or is he deemed an infidel apostate who will probably be killed? And what about the rights of the people who lost their lives in 9/11? Bin Laden doesn’t mention these.
“So is there a form of terrorism stronger, clearer and more dangerous than this? This is why I tell you: as you liberated yourselves before from the slavery of monks, kings, and feudalism, you should liberate yourselves from the deception, shackles and attrition of the capitalist system.”
The irony is choking; I think the speech is incomplete, Bin Laden probably would have gone on to say “…and embrace the tyranny of a theocratic government under Sharia law which demands that the whole world be converted to Islam, and anyone who speaks out against us or chooses to live a different life is executed; where women are little more than pets, and speaking your mind is something you don’t even dare to do.”
No thank you, I’ll keep my godless Western democratic capitalism thank you very much. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than the alternative that religious fanatics offer.