Saturday, September 08, 2007

A Message from Mr. Bin Laden on the Iraq War

Mr. Bin Laden Wants You!
(Image from Wikipedia)

In a recent Yahoo News report, "Bin Laden urges Americans to convert," correspondent Lee Keath informs us that:
Over the last few years, al-Qaida leaders appear to have gotten better at distributing their missives. They are using subtitles and different languages and using the Internet to distribute them, rather than depending on a particular television station or network.
Quite true, as I can confirm, for Mr. Bin Laden has requested that I post this message here on my widely read blog, Gypsy Scholar, which he says that he much admires for its attention to Islamist issues (any publicity being good publicity, apparently). Anyway, here's what Mr. Bin Laden would like Americans to know:
There are two solutions to stopping it. One is from our side, and it is to escalate the fighting and killing against you. This is our duty, and our brothers are carrying it out.... The second solution is from your side.... I invite you to embrace Islam.... It will also achieve your desire to stop the war as a consequence, because as soon as the warmongering owners of the major corporations realize that you have lost confidence in your democratic system and have begun to look for an alternative, and this alternative is Islam, they will run after you to please you and achieve what you want to steer you away from Islam.
What a surprise! All this time, I considered Mr. Bin Laden a postmodern terrorist, but here he is falling into the Modernist fallacy of binary oppositions! Either democracy or Islam, he says, setting forth the supposed alternatives.

The subtext here is that Mr. Bin Laden needs some more recruits, and he'd be willing to let bygones be bygones if America would just come over and join his Al Qaeda club. If we do that, then ... well, someday, we'll all be able to look back and laugh about our little 9/11 misunderstanding.

Speaking for myself ... thanks, but no thanks, Mr. Bin Laden. Even in your heyday, I didn't find your movement all that attractive, and from the reports that I read, your "Al Qaeda in Iraq" branch might not be in Iraq much longer because even the Sunni insurgents hate Al Qaeda's imposition of Islamist rule. Look, if conservative, Sunni Muslims of Iraq who've been fighting American forces since the fall of Saddam are now aligning themselves with the American military to eliminate Al Qaeda in Iraq, then your alternatives of Al Qaeda's brand of Islam or America brand of democracy would appear to be overly limited. You're confronted by your previous Sunni allies who despise your Al Qaeda so much that they're even willing to cooperate with the hated Americans to get rid of you.

What a twist of fate, eh?

One day, Mr. Bin Laden, you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack, and you may find yourself in another part of the world, and you may find yourself beneath the wheel of a large automobile, and you may find yourself just a loseable louse, with a losable life. And you may ask yourself -- well ... how did I get here?

How, indeed.

Well, maybe you haven't been helped by holding to a form of Islam so extreme that you make even the Wahabis of Saudi Arabia appear more moderate? That's just a suggestion, by the way, and I could be wrong, but it might explain how you lost your Sunni friends in Iraq. You know, if you're killing your own friends, grabbing power from them, imposing your own harsh rules upon them, stuff like that, they'll tend to not like you anymore.

Besides, you and your Al Qaeda are not the only game in town. The world is a complex place, isn't it? In Iraq alone, you're confronted with ethnic Kurds, Sunni Arabs, and Shi'ite Arabs who might not like each other so much but who've come to dislike you a lot more. Then, there's Iran, whose larger strategic interests don't coincide with yours at all despite their being Muslim. I guess that when you invited Americans to embrace Islam, you didn't mean the Iranian version, did you?

I expect that we'll be hearing from you again, Mr. Bin Laden, but we recognize that your invitation for us to embrace Islam is merely a softly worded threat meaning "embrace Islam ... or else."

We'll stay alert about that "or else" message ... so you take care now to extend us the same courtesy. Bye...

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At 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps he's thinking, "Here a twister comes. Here come a twister."


At 10:18 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I wondered if I'd reel you in with my Talking Heads allusion.

Did you also catch the paraphrase of Hannibal Lector?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't imagine General Dynamics or Boeing switching to making goat cheese and burkhas at least as their main produce.

But does Mr Bin Laden not sort of give himself away to the lure of Capitalism? I mean it's obvious, he's using "Just For Men" beard gel, I can see.

How can a self respecting mass murderer justify coloring his beard? Ain't that agin that Islamic Jihadi rulebook stuff?


At 9:04 PM, Blogger Hathor said...

I had heard that the Ayatollah Khomeini wife dyed her hair red, according to his wishes. Hair dye is OK with the Shia extremist. Just what kind of Muslim is Bin Laden anyway.

At 9:06 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

You're right, JK. Islamic law allows only henna for coloring beards. I reckon Bin Laden stepped across the line on that one. "Off with his head!" Damn, where's a Queen of Hearts when you need one?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:09 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Hathor, Bin Laden is Sunni, but Khomeini's wife was using the red known as 'henna'. Apparently, that sort of red is sanctioned by the 'Prophet' Mohammad.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 668, among other places:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "The Jews and the Christians do not dye (their grey hair), so you shall do the opposite of what they do (i.e. dye your grey hair and beards)."

Also, not only Henna (which can be made to look really black, when appied in quantity) is OK, but also - Volume 7, Book 72, Number 742 - "sufra" (orange tone, very frequent in the Middle East) and - Volume 5, Book 57, Number 91 - "wasma" (dark blueish, a women-only thing I believe).

Oh, and I also learned that the prophet had the largest feet in all Arabia. I will attempt to sneak this factlet into future conversations with strangers and friends alike.

At 8:53 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Erdal, and that final remark is pretty funny.

I wonder if 'big feet' has the same connotation in Arabic culture as in some other cultures.

In the States, men sometimes joke that big feet (or a big nose) indicate that another, rather essential part of a man is also big.

And in the Old Testament, the term "feet" is sometimes used as a euphemism for "genitals" -- just the male genitals, if I recall. Thus, when Ruth goes to lie at the feet of Boaz ... well, the feet are not really where she's positioned herself.

Enough said.

Jeffery Hodges

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