Julius Plenz – Blog

Views of the World

Have you ever read any of bin Laden’s writings? – Oh, you neither? – I didn’t even know he wrote anything substantial until today: I only remembered the bad-quality preaching video tapes aired after 9/11.

His writings are in part a very lucid criticism of US-American policies and practices. See, for example, this Letter to the American people from 2002. Disregarding all the cranky religious stuff, you’ll for example find these gems in Question 2, Part 2 (b) (xii):

(xii) […] All manners, principles and values have two scales: one for you and one for the others.

(a) The freedom and democracy that you call to is for yourselves and for white race only; as for the rest of the world, you impose upon them your monstrous, destructive policies and Governments, which you call the ‘American friends’. Yet you prevent them from establishing democracies. […]

(c) You are the last ones to respect the resolutions and policies of International Law, yet you claim to want to selectively punish anyone else who does the same. Israel has for more than 50 years been pushing UN resolutions and rules against the wall with the full support of America.

Differently structured and spiced with a bit of irony and cynism, this is straight-from-the-book Chomsky critique.

I searched for his writings in the first place because of this article from Ian Welsh:

The problem with [bin Laden’s] critique is that it is, substantially, accurate. Hate bin Laden or not, this is a model of the world which has predictive and analytical utility. It explains the past, it predicts the future, and it does both well. The fact that bin Laden’s critique is fairly similar to various left-wing critiques is not accidental. It is not because bin Laden and the left are fellow travellers (Islamists are strongly opposed to genuine leftists), it is because any set of model that track reality fairly well will tend to look alike. Of course, that they look the same is used to discredit people by association. “You agree with bin Laden” they say, and shut down discussion of how the world actually works.

The whole article is really worth reading.

posted 2013-08-09 tagged chomsky, politics and terror