Saturday, September 08, 2007

Osama bin Laden, medievalist

About 2/3 through Osama bin Laden's latest communication he makes comments on the Middle Ages:
And despite this brazen attack [global warming? globalization? capitalism?] on the people, leaders of the West -- especially Bush, Blair, Sarkozy and Brown -- still talk about freedom and human rights with 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 before from the slavery of monks, kings, and feudalism, you should liberate yourselves from the deception, shackles and attrition of the capitalist system.

If you would 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.

I'm really not sure what to make of this.* He doesn't like feudalism, and he doesn't like capitalism. Presumably, given that he got his start fighting the Soviets, he probably doesn't much care for communism, either. I'm guess that his model is that economic systems under Islam are none of the above? He makes a big deal that Islam has the Zakaat rather than taxes, and boasts that it works out to only about 2 1/2% As a public service to anyone thinking of transforming America into a muslim theocracy in order to reduce their tax burden, I offer you the Online Zakaat Calculator.

Sorry to tell you, Osama, even if I were to reject capitalism and democracy, I'd probably still choose "the slavery of monks, kings, and feudalism" over the slavery of mullahs, mujahadin, and Shariah.

*Well, he needs to take a freshman composition class, or at least get an editor to keep him from rambling digressions into how much he likes Noam Chomsky and Michael Scheuer, or his conspiracy theories on how Kennedy was killed by Rumsfeld and a cabal of corporations because he wanted to stop the war in Vietnam.


  1. Well, Marx was a pretty simple-minded "medievalist" with his three-stage view of history followed by the Millenium. All he lacked was a new order of holy monks to clean up the church.

    And even in his own time this kind of simple thinking was pretty standard in the capital of high-flown speculation (Paris).

  2. Anonymous9:51 PM

    You know, you can call me a conspiracy theorist, but it was the whole bit about Noam Chomsky that convinced me these videos are either fake, or someone else is writing his stuff.

    Ranting about capitalism right as we're in the middle of the "housing crunch" and President Bush is proposing changes to the tax codes -- either someone thinks they're being clever, or Bin Laden has way too much time on his hands and needs to turn off CNN once in a while.