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Bin Laden, Terrorist Monster: Take Two!
by Jared Israel
[9 October 2001]
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In 'US Army Gets Secret Advice from Hollywood,' the BBC (British Broadcasting Company) notes that:

"American intelligence specialists are reported to have 'secretly' sought advice on handling terrorist attacks from Hollywood film-makers." (http://emperors-clothes.com/news/hollywood-i.htm )

Among said film-makers is Steven E De Souza, the screenwriter for the movie 'Die Hard,' whose plot deals with terrorists trying to destroy a big city skyscraper.

The goal of this interaction?

"In particular...the entertainment industry can offer [the Army] expertise in understanding plot and character, as well as advice on scenario training."

Have the black ops boys by any chance lent their script doctors to Osama bin Laden?

Consider the following.

Bin Laden was interviewed September 28th by a pro-Taliban newspaper. Here's a summary:

"In an interview with 'Ummat' -- a publication sympathetic to Afghanistan's ruling Taliban -- bin Laden said both he and al Qaida had 'nothing to do with the terrorist attacks in America' and that 'hard-line Jewish organizations might be involved…'

"Ummat said it sent questions to bin Laden through Taliban officials, and received written responses. Bin Laden reportedly said in his replies that dozens of terrorists organizations from countries like Israel, Russia, India and Serbia could be responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon that left over 6,000 people dead or missing.

He also insisted that al Qaida does not consider the United States its enemy…" ('United Press International,' 28 September 28, 2001, Friday)

This interview was seized on by those opposed to bombing Afghanistan. They noted that terrorists always take credit for their murders. Indeed, the whole point of terror is to take credit. How else can the terrorists intimidate the target group and force them to flee, give up, change their political allegience or make concessions to terrorist demands?

Since bin Laden wasn't taking credit, how, asked critics, could anybody be sure he was behind the WTC attacks? And if nobody could be certain he was behind the attacks why was the U.S. so anxious to 'counter'attack against Afghanistan?

Now bin Laden has issued a speech which he recorded on videotape. This speech has been broadcast on TV. Transcripts have been published in major newspapers. His picture is on the front page of the 'NY Times,' holding a microphone, looking like a maniacal crooner.

This is in itself remarkable. As opponents of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia and the U.S.-supported, Kosovo Liberation Army attacks on that country will testify, it is virtually impossible for people critical of U.S. foreign policy to get their views presented in major newspapers or on TV in the U.S.

But here is bin Laden, front page and prime time.

And mind you, he's no longer saying, "Russia, India, Serbia and Israel" did it, or "America is not the enemy." Rather, his expressed views have altered:

"God Almighty hit the United States at its most vulnerable spot. He destroyed its greatest buildings. Praise be to God. Here is the United States. It was filled with terror from its north to its south and from its east to its west. Praise be to God...

"But if the sword falls on the United States after 80 years, hypocrisy raises its head lamenting the deaths of these killers who tampered with the blood, honour, and holy places of the Muslims.

"… When Almighty God rendered successful a convoy of Muslims, the vanguards of Islam, He allowed them to destroy the United States. I ask God Almighty to elevate their status and grant them Paradise." (1)

Quite a change.

The 'Times' commented:

"Within hours of the first American bombs dropping on Afghanistan, the world's most wanted man, Osama bin laden, appeared in a videotape broadcast, worldwide in which he taunted the United States and celebrated the Sept 11 terrorist attacks. (Our emphasis)

Allow me to remind you, Osama bin Laden's tape was not broadcast worldwide by Osama bin Laden, nor by chance. Rather, it was broadcast worldwide by the mainstream mass media, that is, by the conscious effort of bin Laden's supposed enemies.

The 'Times' described Mr. bin Laden's performance as "an evident attempt to rally the entire Islamic world against the United States."

I beg to differ.

By providing this videotape at this time, bin Laden has given the mass media an effective and timely argument to justify bombing Afghanistan and perhaps other countries.

The other day the British government published a document purporting to prove bin laden was behind 9-11. In fact, the document proved no such thing. Rather, it listed some horrific crimes in which he was involved, or probably involved, prior to 9-11, and it repeated various violent things he purportedly said. This might constitute negative character evidence at a trial, but it offers no proof that he was behind 9-11.

Having for days promised Great Revelations, and having finally produced something that would flunk an exam in First Semester Criminal Law in any U.S. Law School, the U.S. and British governments were in a bad spot.

They wanted to bomb Afghanistan - but why? Many people, or at least those whose critical faculties are able to overcome the current political atmosphere in the U.S. and Britain, would like to know, when bombing other countries, whether it is necessary and appropriate.

Bombing Afghanistan because bin Laden masterminded 9-11 is a stretch for three reasons:

  1. It violates the entire fabric of international law, for instance the Helsinki Final Act and the United Nations Charter. International Law denies the U.S. and British governments the right to bomb other countries even if they feel they have a good reason. (Other countries might feel they have a good reason to do likewise to the U.S. and Britain, and the U.S. government would not like that.)

  2. It is not clear how the punishment (bombing Afghanistan) would fit the crime, since whereas millions of ordinary people in Afghanistan would be bound to suffer, and surely many would die, bin Laden and the Taliban leaders might not. Indeed, official British/US plans call for creating a new "government" in Afghanistan largely made up of - the Taliban (2)

  3. And obviously bombing would encourage violent reprisals and/or create a climate where secret government agencies could stage phony terrorist attacks (often called 'provocations') to justify further military action overseas.

That is what is wrong with bombing Afghanistan if the U.S. and British governments had proven that bin Laden was responsible for 9-11.

But bombing Afghanistan despite the U.S. and British governments having provided no hard evidence that bin Laden was behind 9-11 is simply insane. Unless, of course, the U.S. and British governments have a purpose entirely separate from the publicly stated one of taking revenge for 9-11. (3)

By issuing this videotape, bin Laden has accomplished the following:

  1. He has provided a harsh verbal "taunt" (the 'Times' word) which can be read, and has been read and listened to, by millions of people in the NATO countries and which has thereby created a mass emotional basis for bombing. Not because bin Laden's taunt justifies U.S. military attacks but because it a) allows demagogues to say, "He has confessed! We must retaliate!" while encouraging ordinary people to feel less upset about attacking faraway countries.

    People say: "We've got to do something about that bastard, don't we?" and "We have to retaliate in some way." That is the refrain I hear from many quarters. One friend of mine wanted to know just one thing: "Do you think he's a monster or not?" To which I answered, "Yeah, he's a monster. But that has nothing to do with bombing Afghanistan." It's a hard argument to make given the passions which bin Laden's video has conveniently further inflamed.

  2. Bin Laden mixes Islamist fanaticism and callous glee over the suffering of Americans, on the one hand, with valid criticisms of the U.S. government, on the other. Among the valid statements: he accuses the US of being responsible for the deaths of a million Iraqi children through its insistence on imposing horrific economic sanctions on Iraq. This is a very extreme charge, of course, but it also happens to be true, as admitted by one of the responsible parties, former Secretary of State, Madeline Albright. (4) (At the time Albright made her admission, the number of dead children was estimated at 500 000.)

    Since bin Laden utters vicious, Islamist ravings and equates ordinary Americans with the U.S. government, on the one hand, but mixes this with valid criticisms, on the other, his video creates an atmosphere of hostility towards views critical of U.S. foreign policy because now, in addition to challenging the propaganda apparatus of the U.S. government and its supporting media, we bear the burden of "sounding like bin Laden," whom we happen to loathe.

    Consider this example: Emperor's Clothes has been fighting Islamist and secessionist terrorism for over two years. We have proven, from evidence available in the mass media, that
    the U.S. government has been intimately involved, often covertly, in creating and sponsoring terrorist organizations, especially in the Balkans. (7) Our Website has hundreds of pages of texts attacking this terrible union. Ironically, bin Laden and related Islamist terrorists have been involved on the U.S. side, backing local terrorists in Kosovo, Bosnia and Macedonia. (8)

    But today we received an email accusing us of supporting Islamist terrorism because we attack U.S. government arrogance and violence - and after all, said this person, so does bin Laden!

  3. At the same time, by linking Islamist terrorist ravings with valid criticisms, the bin Laden video encourages those who hate US foreign policy to view the bin Laden monster as some kind of hero.

    Never mind that
    he helped the CIA turn Afghanistan into a living hell. Never mind that he and his Mujahedeen, who were praised by Ronald Reagan as "freedom fighters," who were paid billions by the CIA (5), would execute school teachers because obviously every teacher in a secular school had to be a communist - why else would anyone teach a little girl to read?

    Never mind that his Taliban monsters have made it a crime for male surgeons to operate on women. (One of our readers, an Afghan surgeon now living in the U.S., reports that he was performing a stomach operation on a woman when the Taliban seized Kabul. He was literally forced to leave the operating room and was arrested for treating a female patient. The patient was left unconscious, stomach cut wide open, on the operating table.)

In his 28 September interview, bin Laden is quoted as follows:

"'I can go from Indonesia to Algeria, Kabul to Chechnya, Bosnia to Sudan, and Burma to Kashmir," he said. "This is not a question of my survival. This is the question of the survival of jihad (holy war). Wherever required, I will be there.'"

This amounts to a confession that bin Laden has been involved with the very terrorists that the U.S. has sponsored, for example in Chechnya, Bosnia, Macedonia, Algeria, and Indonesia, and also, with the KLA whom the U.S. government has sponsored in attacking Serbia. (6)

This man is no enemy of oppression. This is terribly distorted person who tries to distort others in his image, a spoiled billionaire who exploits the misery of angry people to lure them into the fascistic 'solution' of his murderous Islamist fundamentalism.

Wouldn’t the U.S. government love it if some young people who hate the bombing of Afghanistan were to elevate this thug into some kind of hero? Such people would discredit themselves and any valid criticisms they had of the status quo and - as we have seen time and again - they could then easily be used by the CIA, as followers of bin Laden have been used to attack secular governments from Algeria to Yugoslavia to Afghanistan.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + +
PERFECT TIMING
+ + + + + + + + ++ + + +

The 'N.Y. Times' notes:

"[The tape] appeared to have been carefully prepared so as to have the maximum effect the moment American military operations against Mr. bin Laden and the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan began."

Very true. A cynic might say that in constructing the storyline of a Hollywood blockbuster it is necessary to have the terrorist villain goad and taunt (and perhaps treacherously assault) the All-American hero several times before the hero comes back to smash the villain (or, in this case, smash the country where the villain resides.)

If the villain does not verbally (and perhaps physically) abuse the All-American hero, then when the hero crushes the villain (or the country where the villain resides) the audience might not cheer; it might look askance; it might view the hero as a bully and a monster himself.

-- Jared Israel

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= = = = = = = = = = = =
Further Reading
= = = = = = = = = =

1) A transcript of bin Laden's latest speech can be read at http://www.truthout.com/0657.Bin.Laden.Stmt.htm

2) See http://emperors-clothes.com/news/jw.htm#a

3) 'Why Washington Wants Afghanistan' by Jared Israel, Rick Rozoff & Nico Varkevisser at:
http://emperors-clothes.com/analysis/afghan.htm

4) Madeline Albright's exchange with Leslie Stahl on '60 Minutes', 12 May 1996, regarding deaths of Iraqi children:

Lesley Stahl: We have heard that a half a million children have died [due to sanctions on Iraq, imposed because of US pressure]. I mean, that's more children than died when--wh--in--in Hiroshima. And--and, you know, is the price worth it?
Ambassador Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it.
(60 MINUTES, May 12, 1996) -

5) See 'Taliban Camps U.S. bombed in Afghanistan Were Built by NATO' which can be read at:
http://emperors-clothes.com/docs/camps.htm

6) See '"TERRORISM AGAINST SERBIA IS NO CRIME"' at:
http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/jared/nocrime.htm

and

7) 'Gentle Reign: Washington Makes It Perfectly Clear in Kosovo & Macedonia' at:
http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/jared/gentle.htm

8) See 'Excerpts from News Reports - Bin Laden in the Balkans' at:
http://emperors-clothes.com/news/binl.htm

To read the Helsinki Final Act (the "Helsinki Accords") please go to
http://www.hri.org/docs/Helsinki75.html

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