Osama bin Laden's Letter to America - a 20 Year Introspective
Critiquing history's most important terrorist manifesto while we sneak out the back door in Afghanistan
As the United States ends its two decade occupation of Afghanistan this year having achieved basically nothing after the first six months of it, it occurs to me that we should go back and review in detail what will probably go down as the most direct and insightful terrorist manifesto in history.
Osama Bin Laden’s “Letter to America” should be required reading for anyone in the “culture war analysis” space, because it’s chocked full of ideological snippets we now find in both the mainstream American Left and the mainstream American Right. There’s alt-right stuff in it, feminist stuff in it, Antifa stuff in it, ordinary right/left stuff in it, and of course Islam stuff in it. And it all blends into a perfect storm that killed a whole bunch of people domestically, led to the Patriot Act, the erosion of domestic freedoms, the invasion of multiple countries, and the deposition of several middle eastern rulers which were actually ideological foes of Bin Laden. It also led directly the 21st century heroin epidemic in the United States as the anti-drug Taliban was replaced with localized poppy warlords.
All of these things go back to this letter, and while the letter is certainly as crazy as all terrorist manifestos are, I think it’s important to read these things. Herein, I present a passage by passage retrospective critique of the manifesto, with an emphasis on what parts of it have been adopted in part or wholesale by the modern Culture Warriors of the USA.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,
"Permission to fight (against disbelievers) is given to those (believers) who are fought against, because they have been wronged and surely, Allah is Able to give them (believers) victory" [Quran 22:39]
"Those who believe, fight in the Cause of Allah, and those who disbelieve, fight in the cause of Taghut (anything worshipped other than Allah e.g. Satan). So fight you against the friends of Satan; ever feeble is indeed the plot of Satan."[Quran 4:76]
This is standard “if you’re not with us you’re against us” culture war rhetoric. Say what you will about Islam as a religion, it’s always been very finely crafted to wage culture war, occasionally at sword point.
Some American writers have published articles under the title 'On what basis are we fighting?' These articles have generated a number of responses, some of which adhered to the truth and were based on Islamic Law, and others which have not. Here we wanted to outline the truth - as an explanation and warning - hoping for Allah's reward, seeking success and support from Him.
While seeking Allah's help, we form our reply based on two questions directed at the Americans:
(Q1) Why are we fighting and opposing you?
Q2)What are we calling you to, and what do we want from you?
Here he develops his thesis, and because the formatting of the letter gets lost in the shuffle a bit I’m going to try to make the letter clearer with some bolded headers.
Question One: “Why are we fighting and opposing you?”
Part One: “Because you attacked us and continue to attack us”
Subpart A: “You attacked us in Palestine”
As for the first question: Why are we fighting and opposing you? The answer is very simple:
(1) Because you attacked us and continue to attack us.
a) You attacked us in Palestine:
(i) Palestine, which has sunk under military occupation for more than 80 years. The British handed over Palestine, with your help and your support, to the Jews, who have occupied it for more than 50 years; years overflowing with oppression, tyranny, crimes, killing, expulsion, destruction and devastation. The creation and continuation of Israel is one of the greatest crimes, and you are the leaders of its criminals. And of course there is no need to explain and prove the degree of American support for Israel. The creation of Israel is a crime which must be erased. Each and every person whose hands have become polluted in the contribution towards this crime must pay its*price, and pay for it heavily.
(ii) It brings us both laughter and tears to see that you have not yet tired of repeating your fabricated lies that the Jews have a historical right to Palestine, as it was promised to them in the Torah. Anyone who disputes with them on this alleged fact is accused of anti-semitism. This is one of the most fallacious, widely-circulated fabrications in history. The people of Palestine are pure Arabs and original Semites. It is the Muslims who are the inheritors of Moses (peace be upon him) and the inheritors of the real Torah that has not been changed. Muslims believe in all of the Prophets, including Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all. If the followers of Moses have been promised a right to Palestine in the Torah, then the Muslims are the most worthy nation of this.
When the Muslims conquered Palestine and drove out the Romans, Palestine and Jerusalem returned to Islaam, the religion of all the Prophets peace be upon them. Therefore, the call to a historical right to Palestine cannot be raised against the Islamic Ummah that believes in all the Prophets of Allah (peace and blessings be upon them) - and we make no distinction between them.
(iii) The blood pouring out of Palestine must be equally revenged. You must know that the Palestinians do not cry alone; their women are not widowed alone; their sons are not orphaned alone.
I am not going to proffer any opinions on whether the formation of the state of Israel was a good idea or a bad idea, or was justified or not, because the issue is too complicated for a thousand blog posts. But it’s important to note several things here:
The formation of the state of Israel was a pretty hotly debated topic when it happened even among the Jews in Europe. The Rothschilds themselves argued over whether it was a good idea.
In a morbid way, the formation of Israel and the migration of many Ashkenazi Jews to it out of Europe was like a strange post war application of Hitler’s final solution, and I’m sure the anti-Semites in Europe supported it.
Most of the Jews I know in the USA support Israel not because of a religious claim to the territory, but rather because it acts as the world’s most awesome bug-out shelter for when shit hits the fan. I once asked a Jewish friend of mine what he would do if shit hit the fan here, when we were discussing the American right to own AR-15 rifles. He said simply “fly to Israel.” I found his answer very insightful.
The arguments bin Laden lays out here are curiously similar to the arguments laid out by modern “protest class” Americans in universities and on the streets. It’s fundamentally an anti-colonialist argument, and it’s curious that the ire for these arguments from the modern left seem to rail against the United States when we were a colony ourselves. The nation doing the colonizing in this case, as well as the formation of the state of Israel itself, were the English. But nobody flew an airplane into Big Ben.
HWFO Ruling: Subpart A fits with much of the rhetoric of the modern American left.
Subpart B: You attacked us in (other places)
(b) You attacked us in Somalia; you supported the Russian atrocities against us in Chechnya, the Indian oppression against us in Kashmir, and the Jewish aggression against us in Lebanon.
He conveniently leaves out the part where the CIA supported him specifically against the Russians in Afghanistan, but that’s okay. Selective memory is very important for culture war.
Subpart C: We support a bunch of evil dictators in the Middle East
(c) Under your supervision, consent and orders, the governments of our countries which act as your agents, attack us on a daily basis;
(i) These governments prevent our people from establishing the Islamic Shariah, using violence and lies to do so.
(ii) These governments give us a taste of humiliation, and places us in a large prison of fear and subdual.
(iii) These governments steal our Ummah's wealth and sell them to you at a paltry price.
(iv) These governments have surrendered to the Jews, and handed them most of Palestine, acknowledging the existence of their state over the dismembered limbs of their own people.
(v) The removal of these governments is an obligation upon us, and a necessary step to free the Ummah, to make the Shariah the supreme law and to regain Palestine. And our fight against these governments is not separate from out fight against you.
Let’s pause here.
Among the governments he’s talking about, that he feels Islam is obligated to fight, is Saddam Hussein.
The “political system” of the Middle East going back generations has generally been rule by the strongest. There’s some guy at the top of a mountain of bodies holding an AK-47, and he shoots anyone else who tries to climb to the top of the pile, and the pile grows. Saddam Hussein was that guy. He was a secular dictator who suppressed Muslim rebellions and bought military gear from the USA. ISIS never could have formed if Hussein was still in charge. He’d have crushed it like a bug inside a week.
When the USA picks and chooses leaders to support in the Middle East, we’re cutting international deals to have a guy at the top of the body pile that will work in our best interests, and Hussein was literally our guy. We sold him the WMDs. The ones we found had labels in English and were built by US weapon companies to be used against the Islamic regime in Iran.
When we deposed him, and did similar stuff elsewhere, we were literally doing Osama Bin Laden’s job for him.
HWFO Ruling: Subpart C is generally Islamic Populist, and doesn’t fit the larger modern USA culture war framework.
Subparts D through G: General Grievances
(d) You steal our wealth and oil at paltry prices because of you international influence and military threats. This theft is indeed the biggest theft ever witnessed by mankind in the history of the world.
I’m not convinced about the mathematics on this. The Spaniards stealing the Aztec’s gold may top it, at least in terms of a ratio of “stuff stolen” to “total world wealth.” But it’s reasonably true and reasonably well founded that multinational oil companies have huge influence of the actions of the US military, and multinational oil profits probably don’t filter down to Middle Eastern commoners in very many places.
(e) Your forces occupy our countries; you spread your military bases throughout them; you corrupt our lands, and you besiege our sanctities, to protect the security of the Jews and to ensure the continuity of your pillage of our treasures.
“Protecting American Interest Abroad” means basically this.
(f) You have starved the Muslims of Iraq, where children die every day. It is a wonder that more than 1.5 million Iraqi children have died as a result of your sanctions, and you did not show concern. Yet when 3000 of your people died, the entire world rises and has not yet sat down.
If the USA had “finished the job” during Desert Storm and deposed Hussein then, we may have seen an earlier rise of ISIS, and the timetable of all that fuckery would have been upped. Perhaps.
(g) You have supported the Jews in their idea that Jerusalem is their eternal capital, and agreed to move your embassy there. With your help and under your protection, the Israelis are planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque. Under the protection of your weapons, Sharon entered the Al-Aqsa mosque, to pollute it as a preparation to capture and destroy it.
In some ways it’s comical that we didn’t move the embassy to Jerusalem until 2018, after bin Laden was already dead. But when we did, it was a great culture war kerfuffle in the USA, with the left siding with bin Laden and unilaterally opposing the move.
HWFO Ruling: Subpart D-G fits with much of the rhetoric of the modern American left.
Part Two: We have the right to fight back
(2) These tragedies and calamities are only a few examples of your oppression and aggression against us. It is commanded by our religion and intellect that the oppressed have a right to return the aggression. Do not await anything from us but Jihad, resistance and revenge. Is it in any way rational to expect that after America has attacked us for more than half a century, that we will then leave her to live in security and peace?!!
This section ends with a curious tell. While bin Laden’s command of the English language is unquestionably good, a question mark followed by two exclamation points is the sort of thing you only saw in 2001 on internet discussion forums, the kind where Bama and Auburn football fans spend hours trashing each other. Bin Laden was a trained civil engineer, a pretty smart dude, and this tell makes me wonder if he was one of the first of the modern era of people radicalized on the internet. We may never know.
In terms of whether this bit leans left or right, I think it leans neither or both. The “right to respond with violence” is something that any extremist holds dear, and we see this rhetoric out of both Antifa and the Alt-Right.
HWFO Ruling: Neutral
Part Three: Justification of Attacks on Civilians
Subpart A: Because Democracy
(3) You may then dispute that all the above does not justify aggression against civilians, for crimes they did not commit and offenses in which they did not partake:
(a) This argument contradicts your continuous repetition that America is the land of freedom, and its leaders in this world. Therefore, the American people are the ones who choose their government by way of their own free will; a choice which stems from their agreement to its policies. Thus the American people have chosen, consented to, and affirmed their support for the Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, the occupation and usurpation of their land, and its continuous killing, torture, punishment and expulsion of the Palestinians. The American people have the ability and choice to refuse the policies of their Government and even to change it if they want.
While many of the things he says in his letter are obviously off kilter, this one is the most off. The American people have basically no control over our government. I’ll say it again.
The American people have basically no control over our government.
If he’d have taken the time to do a deep analysis on who actually controls this country, he’d have flown planes into K Street. If he’d looked at who’s running the show in foreign countries, the World Bank. If he wanted to nail the folks responsible for US foreign policy in the middle east, he could have pulled up the PNAC Signatory List and hit them with car bombs.
The American People have zero ability to change the policies of the government, particularly when it comes to war. Hell, Barak Obama whined for eight straight years about closing Guantanamo Bay (covered by OBL below) and still didn’t do it, and he was commander in chief of the armed forces. At any moment he had the authority to hop on Air Force One, fly down there, and turn the lights off.
So was bin Laden simply stupid and/or naïve in this passage? It’s possible. It’s also possible that he realized that hitting civilians would elicit a response much like we saw, and that the response we gave would actually further his goals more than a few PNAC car bombs. There’s no way to know.
Subpart B: Because Taxes
(b) The American people are the ones who pay the taxes which fund the planes that bomb us in Afghanistan, the tanks that strike and destroy our homes in Palestine, the armies which occupy our lands in the Arabian Gulf, and the fleets which ensure the blockade of Iraq. These tax dollars are given to Israel for it to continue to attack us and penetrate our lands. So the American people are the ones who fund the attacks against us, and they are the ones who oversee the expenditure of these monies in the way they wish, through their elected candidates.
Ditto. Americans would pay less taxes if we were allowed to do so, and if we were allowed by some miracle to choose where our tax money goes, the foreign wars of all flavors would immediately evaporate. Bin Laden believed the myths that we believe.
Subparts C through F: Fluff
(c) Also the American army is part of the American people. It is this very same people who are shamelessly helping the Jews fight against us.
(d) The American people are the ones who employ both their men and their women in the American Forces which attack us.
(e) This is why the American people cannot be not innocent of all the crimes committed by the Americans and Jews against us.
These three are obviously nonsense because if his grievance was with the military he could have chosen military targets.
(f) Allah, the Almighty, legislated the permission and the option to take revenge. Thus, if we are attacked, then we have the right to attack back. Whoever has destroyed our villages and towns, then we have the right to destroy their villages and towns. Whoever has stolen our wealth, then we have the right to destroy their economy. And whoever has killed our civilians, then we have the right to kill theirs.
The American Government and press still refuses to answer the question:
Why did they attack us in New York and Washington?
If Sharon is a man of peace in the eyes of Bush, then we are also men of peace!!! America does not understand the language of manners and principles, so we are addressing it using the language it understands.
Bin Laden in this passage falls prey to the great illusion that the United States is a Democracy at all. I can’t blame him for falling for the illusion, because it’s an illusion that’s widely promulgated and most people still believe.
We’ve hung a lot of overlap with Osama bin Laden’s letter on the American Left so far, but we’re about to get into the weeds on his overlap with the American Right. Buckle up.
Question Two: “What are our demands?”
Part One: Join Islam
(Q2) As for the second question that we want to answer: What are we calling you to, and what do we want from you?
(1) The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam.
(a) The religion of the Unification of God; of freedom from associating partners with Him, and rejection of this; of complete love of Him, the Exalted; of complete submission to His Laws; and of the discarding of all the opinions, orders, theories and religions which contradict with the religion He sent down to His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Islam is the religion of all the prophets, and makes no distinction between them - peace be upon them all.
It is to this religion that we call you; the seal of all the previous religions. It is the religion of Unification of God, sincerity, the best of manners, righteousness, mercy, honour, purity, and piety. It is the religion of showing kindness to others, establishing justice between them, granting them their rights, and defending the oppressed and the persecuted. It is the religion of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil with the hand, tongue and heart. It is the religion of Jihad in the way of Allah so that Allah's Word and religion reign Supreme. And it is the religion of unity and agreement on the obedience to Allah, and total equality between all people, without regarding their colour, sex, or language.
(b) It is the religion whose book - the Quran - will remained preserved and unchanged, after the other Divine books and messages have been changed. The Quran is the miracle until the Day of Judgment. Allah has challenged anyone to bring a book like the Quran or even ten verses like it.
This is the required recruitment pamphlet language for the letter.
Part Two: Quit Being Immoral
This part is really interesting, because almost all of the material in it was either already part of the great American culture war dialogue in 2001 or has since filtered into it. Here we see elements from right wing and left wing thought blended into a pot.
(2) The second thing we call you to, is to stop your oppression, lies, immorality and debauchery that has spread among you.
(a) We call you to be a people of manners, principles, honour, and purity; to reject the immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling's, and trading with interest.
We call you to all of this that you may be freed from that which you have become caught up in; that you may be freed from the deceptive lies that you are a great nation, that your leaders spread amongst you to conceal from you the despicable state to which you have reached.
Herein, bin Laden advocates for a return to traditional Abrahamic values. This language could have been lifted from a Tea Party rally or a church revival.
(b) It is saddening to tell you that you are the worst civilization witnessed by the history of mankind:
(i) You are the nation who, rather than ruling by the Shariah of Allah in its Constitution and Laws, choose to invent your own laws as you will and desire. You separate religion from your policies, contradicting the pure nature which affirms Absolute Authority to the Lord and your Creator. You flee from the embarrassing question posed to you: How is it possible for Allah the Almighty to create His creation, grant them power over all the creatures and land, grant them all the amenities of life, and then deny them that which they are most in need of: knowledge of the laws which govern their lives?
Sounds a bit like the arguments for the Ten Commandments in courthouses.
(ii) You are the nation that permits Usury, which has been forbidden by all the religions. Yet you build your economy and investments on Usury. As a result of this, in all its different forms and guises, the Jews have taken control of your economy, through which they have then taken control of your media, and now control all aspects of your life making you their servants and achieving their aims at your expense; precisely what Benjamin Franklin warned you against.
Anti-Semitism aside, this is basically Occupy Wall Street language, and could easily be found in 2021 on the Late Stage Capitalism subreddit.
(iii) You are a nation that permits the production, trading and usage of intoxicants. You also permit drugs, and only forbid the trade of them, even though your nation is the largest consumer of them.
You might hear this at a Tea Party rally.
(iv) You are a nation that permits acts of immorality, and you consider them to be pillars of personal freedom. You have continued to sink down this abyss from level to level until incest has spread amongst you, in the face of which neither your sense of honour nor your laws object.
Who can forget your President Clinton's immoral acts committed in the official Oval office? After that you did not even bring him to account, other than that he 'made a mistake', after which everything passed with no punishment. Is there a worse kind of event for which your name will go down in history and remembered by nations?
You will DEFINITELY HEAR THIS at a Tea Party Rally. We see this all the time from the American Right.
(v) You are a nation that permits gambling in its all forms. The companies practice this as well, resulting in the investments becoming active and the criminals becoming rich.
GameStop anyone? The 2021 understanding of stocks, futures, and the unraveling of the capitalist system aligns with bin Laden’s notion here. We even have major publications coming out in favor of Debt Jubilees, which are baked into the Abrahamic traditions that led to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and foundational for the Islamic ban on charging interest.
(vi) You are a nation that exploits women like consumer products or advertising tools calling upon customers to purchase them. You use women to serve passengers, visitors, and strangers to increase your profit margins. You then rant that you support the liberation of women.
You hear this from modern 2021 feminists.
(vii) You are a nation that practices the trade of sex in all its forms, directly and indirectly. Giant corporations and establishments are established on this, under the name of art, entertainment, tourism and freedom, and other deceptive names you attribute to it.
You hear this from modern 2021 feminists as well. This is almost literally the main grievance of the feminist side during GamerGate.
(viii) And because of all this, you have been described in history as a nation that spreads diseases that were unknown to man in the past. Go ahead and boast to the nations of man, that you brought them AIDS as a Satanic American Invention.
He’s obviously off the rails here, as the promulgation of AIDS probably acts as a deterrent towards behavior some consider to be sexually deviant. And yet, he may have a point if you do something inadvisable like Googling the term “bugchasing.”
I do not advise you to Google this term. I only heard it last week.
(xi) You have destroyed nature with your industrial waste and gases more than any other nation in history. Despite this, you refuse to sign the Kyoto agreement so that you can secure the profit of your greedy companies and*industries.
This could be lifted straight out of a Greta Thunburg speech.
(x) Your law is the law of the rich and wealthy people, who hold sway in their political parties, and fund their election campaigns with their gifts. Behind them stand the Jews, who control your policies, media and economy.
Two things here. One - the awakening that the rich control the elections was the animus behind the original Tea Party, the original Occupy movement, and partly behind Trump’s election. Both sides claim overlap with bin Laden here, outside of the “Jew” part.
But more interestingly, this directly contradicts what bin Laden said back up in Question 1 Part 3, on justifications for attacks against civilians. He undermines his own case by exposing that he understands there is no democracy, which leads me further towards the speculation that he targeted civilians anyway because he was expecting the reaction he got.
(xi) That which you are singled out for in the history of mankind, is that you have used your force to destroy mankind more than any other nation in history; not to defend principles and values, but to hasten to secure your interests and profits. You who dropped a nuclear bomb on Japan, even though Japan was ready to negotiate an end to the war. How many acts of oppression, tyranny and injustice have you carried out, O callers to freedom?
This is a common left-progressive position in 2021.
(xii) Let us not forget one of your major characteristics: your duality in both manners and values; your hypocrisy in manners and principles. 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. When the Islamic party in Algeria wanted to practice democracy and they won the election, you unleashed your agents in the Algerian army onto them, and to attack them with tanks and guns, to imprison them and torture them - a new lesson from the 'American book of democracy'!!!
This opening line could have been lifted from a Black Lives Matter rally.
(b)Your policy on prohibiting and forcibly removing weapons of mass destruction to ensure world peace: it only applies to those countries which you do not permit to possess such weapons. As for the countries you consent to, such as Israel, then they are allowed to keep and use such weapons to defend their security. Anyone else who you suspect might be manufacturing or keeping these kinds of weapons, you call them criminals and you take military action against them.
This is a common talking point for whichever party isn’t in power at the time, to attack the party that is in power doing the bombing. Bombing Syria was justified by the left until 2016, and then abhorred. Bombing Syria was justified by the right afterward. Hillary called the destruction of the nation of Libya her greatest achievement as Secretary of State even though Obama called it his greatest failure.
(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.
This whole quote could find its way onto a modern liberal protest sign.
(d)As for the war criminals which you censure and form criminal courts for - you shamelessly ask that your own are granted immunity!! However, history will not forget the war crimes that you committed against the Muslims and the rest of the world; those you have killed in Japan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Lebanon and Iraq will remain a shame that you will never be able to escape. It will suffice to remind you of your latest war crimes in Afghanistan, in which densely populated innocent civilian villages were destroyed, bombs were dropped on mosques causing the roof of the mosque to come crashing down on the heads of the Muslims praying inside. You are the ones who broke the agreement with the Mujahideen when they left Qunduz, bombing them in Jangi fort, and killing more than 1,000 of your prisoners through suffocation and thirst. Allah alone knows how many people have died by torture at the hands of you and your agents. Your planes remain in the Afghan skies, looking for anyone remotely suspicious.
(e)You have claimed to be the vanguards of Human Rights, and your Ministry of Foreign affairs issues annual reports containing statistics of those countries that violate any Human Rights. However, all these things vanished when the Mujahideen hit you, and you then implemented the methods of the same documented governments that you used to curse. In America, you captured thousands the Muslims and Arabs, took them into custody with neither reason, court trial, nor even disclosing their names. You issued newer, harsher laws.
What happens in Guatanamo is a historical embarrassment to America and its values, and it screams into your faces - you hypocrites, "What is the value of your signature on any agreement or treaty?"
This is also a common left-progressive position in 2021.
HWFO Ruling: This is part Modern Left and part Modern Right, blended in a pot and cooked into a stew of anger.
Interestingly, it’s a relatively internally consistent stew. Was Osama bin Laden a visionary who could see through the veil in 2000 and identify these issues we now grind our teeth over? Or did the 9-11 attacks affect our dialogue so tremendously that his stew has now become our stew? Or is it coincidence?
Hard to say.
Part Three and Beyond: Stop being hypocrites and leave the Middle East alone
(3) What we call you to thirdly is to take an honest stance with yourselves - and I doubt you will do so - to discover that you are a nation without principles or manners, and that the values and principles to you are something which you merely demand from others, not that which you yourself must adhere to.
(4) We also advise you to stop supporting Israel, and to end your support of the Indians in Kashmir, the Russians against the Chechens and to also cease supporting the Manila Government against the Muslims in Southern Philippines.
(5) We also advise you to pack your luggage and get out of our lands. We desire for your goodness, guidance, and righteousness, so do not force us to send you back as cargo in coffins.
(6) Sixthly, we call upon you to end your support of the corrupt leaders in our countries. Do not interfere in our politics and method of education. Leave us alone, or else expect us in New York and Washington.
(7) We also call you to deal with us and interact with us on the basis of mutual interests and benefits, rather than the policies of sub dual, theft and occupation, and not to continue your policy of supporting the Jews because this will result in more disasters for you.
For libertarian or libertarian adjacent folks, demands #3 through #7 seem perfectly reasonable. Our modern leftists and rightists often advocate for these as well, until they find out the libertarians want them, after which time they change their mind because nobody wants to be associated with those dirty libertarians.
If you fail to respond to all these conditions, then prepare for fight with the Islamic Nation. The Nation of Monotheism, that puts complete trust on Allah and fears none other than Him. The Nation which is addressed by its Quran with the words: "Do you fear them? Allah has more right that you should fear Him if you are believers. Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of believing people. And remove the anger of their (believers') hearts. Allah accepts the repentance of whom He wills. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise." [Quran9:13-1]
The Nation of honour and respect:
"But honour, power and glory belong to Allah, and to His Messenger (Muhammad- peace be upon him) and to the believers." [Quran 63:8]
"So do not become weak (against your enemy), nor be sad, and you will be*superior ( in victory )if you are indeed (true) believers" [Quran 3:139]
The Nation of Martyrdom; the Nation that desires death more than you desire life:
"Think not of those who are killed in the way of Allah as dead. Nay, they are alive with their Lord, and they are being provided for. They rejoice in what Allah has bestowed upon them from His bounty and rejoice for the sake of those who have not yet joined them, but are left behind (not yet martyred) that on them no fear shall come, nor shall they grieve. They rejoice in a grace and a bounty from Allah, and that Allah will not waste the reward of the believers." [Quran 3:169-171]
The Nation of victory and success that Allah has promised:
"It is He Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), to make it victorious over all other religions even though the Polytheists hate it." [Quran 61:9]
"Allah has decreed that 'Verily it is I and My Messengers who shall be victorious.' Verily Allah is All-Powerful, All-Mighty." [Quran 58:21]
The Islamic Nation that was able to dismiss and destroy the previous evil Empires like yourself; the Nation that rejects your attacks, wishes to remove your evils, and is prepared to fight you. You are well aware that the Islamic Nation, from the very core of its soul, despises your haughtiness and arrogance.
If the Americans refuse to listen to our advice and the goodness, guidance and righteousness that we call them to, then be aware that you will lose this Crusade Bush began, just like the other previous Crusades in which you were humiliated by the hands of the Mujahideen, fleeing to your home in great silence and disgrace. If the Americans do not respond, then their fate will be that of the Soviets who fled from Afghanistan to deal with their military defeat, political breakup, ideological downfall, and economic bankruptcy.
This is our message to the Americans, as an answer to theirs. Do they now know why we fight them and over which form of ignorance, by the permission of Allah, we shall be victorious?
I bolded the second to last paragraph in the letter for emphasis, so we can evaluate his predictions.
He’s right, we’re leaving, and we lost. When I recently pointed this out on twitter, the resounding response was “they didn’t defeat us, we’re just not playing their game anymore.” But, you see, their winning condition was for us to stop playing the game.
We may be on the verge of a political breakup here, but I don’t think he gets to take credit for that. We’re doing a bang up job of doing that all on our own, although there’s possibly an argument that the reason we’re unravelling is because so many of the things in this letter are now commonly held among one political tribe or the other.
We may be on the verge of an “ideological downfall” here as well, particularly if you consider general traditionalism to be the ideology in question. Wesley Yang calls the Woke Thing “Successor Ideology” and is launching a Substack on the topic.
Our economic bankruptcy from being mired in Afghanistan was argued about for the entire two decade stint, and in the end it didn’t pan out because we’re still the world’s reserve currency so the money we print retains more value than WeimarBucks. If we hit the floor on this it’s not going to be from bin Laden, it’s going to be from germs. Thank God bin Laden was a civil engineer and not a germ biologist.
HWFO Rates Part Three inconclusive.
Osama bin Laden held views on fiscal policy, international policy, and in some cases feminism, that fall well within the modern Overton Window of the modern American Left. He held views on social policy that fall well within the modern Overton Window of the modern American Right. He had those two things, plus a deep belief in “radical” Islam, and the combination of the three led him to basically dictate the first two decades of the 21st Century’s global policy by turning four airplanes into flying bombs.
How prevalent were these views before the World Trade Center was destroyed? I’m not certain. How important was 9-11 in promulgating these views? I can’t say. Are some of these views correct? Hard to be sure. It seems to me that the biggest and most obvious error he made, curiously enough, was belief in American democracy itself.
And that’s not a great sign for our own future.