Osama bin Laden, Social Democrat?

His latest tape sounds like... Obama!

The New York Times reports on a new and most unusual tape-recorded purporting to be from Osama bin Laden:

bin Laden took a softer, even humanitarian tone - apparently trying to broaden al-Qaida's appeal by presenting his group as a problem-solving protector of the poor.

"What governments spend on relief work is secondary to what they spend on armies," bin Laden says on the 11-minute tape titled "Reflections on the Method of Relief Work."  "If governments spent (on relief) only one percent of what is spent on armies, they would change the face of the world for poor people...The famine and drought in Africa that we see, and the flooding in Pakistan and other parts of the world, with thousands dead along with millions of refugees, that's why people with hearts should move quickly to save their brothers and sisters," he said.

Well. Has the notorious Mr. bin Laden repented from terrorism and turned over a new leaf?  Assuming the tape is authentic, he is calling on Muslims to spend less on military weapons and more on poor-relief.  He even wants development money for agricultural projects and food security, something the world's great and good have been trying to do for years without much result except to transfer wealth from middle-class Western taxpayers to rich folk in poor countries.

Now we know why.

Goodness knows our current leaders want to do the same: everyone on the Left from pundits to Obama's Secretary of Defense himself have been saying we need to cut our military expenses even though we don't actually have people starving the way most of Africa and much of the Islamic world do.

We can also tell what fictional movies bin Laden has been watching: his tape also had him complaining about climate change, and saying that that phony non-phenomenon has killed more Muslims than war.  Al Gore has already won the Nobel Peace Prize for lies, and Yasser Arafat for terrorism; maybe he's angling to get one for both?

Despite his logical errors, however, Mr. bin Laden has the germ of a point.  Pakistan just got hammered by a world-class flooding disaster; the incompetent response by the utterly corrupt civilian government seems to have particularly cheesed off Osama.

Rather than blowing them up, however, he's now saying that "people with hearts should move quickly to save their brothers and sisters."  He's probably noted that that very poor country spends nearly a quarter of its national budget on the military when most Pakistanis would probably be better off if somebody cared enough to invade, take over, and fix the place up.

It's clear that Osama bin Laden sincerely wants a better lot for the Muslims of the world, though up until now he hasn't particularly cared about the individual Muslims who die either in his service or as collateral damage.  Up until now, he's acted just like the American left: he's claimed that all the poverty in the world is caused by greedy white men in the West and is just trying to take back what rightfully "belongs to his people."

Can it be that he's suddenly realized that a good deal of suffering in the remoter reaches of Pakistan has nothing whatsoever to do with evil whitey?  There's not one single white person running anything of note in Pakistan.  The only thing Uncle Sam has done to Pakistan is shell out countless billions of dollars in aid, which their own leaders have merrily pocketed all on their own.

The same happened during the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.  The only useful response was provided by Western military forces while much of the wealth sent by generous Americans and others never made it to the needy recipients.

Bin Laden grew up in a very wealthy family; he knows what it is to have everything anyone could want.  The last few years hiding in caves have also given him enforced familiarity with people who have nothing, most of whom have never seen an American, and yet who are oppressed and impoverished by people of their very own religion, culture, and race.

Is it possible, just barely, that Osama is learning that blowing things up doesn't lead to riches and that not everything is the fault of invisible foreign powers far, far away?

Of course, top-down government projects don't accomplish anything either, nor does most charity teach the recipients how to improve themselves or their communities.  For all the vast destruction wrought by statist socialism, however, it's a definite improvement over terrorism to be sure.  If Osama keeps sending out tapes advocating social spending instead of suicide bombing... who knows, maybe he'll wind up teaching at the University of Illinois at Chicago!

Or better yet, as he continues his political progression and transformation into sanity, someone should send him a subscription to Rush Limbaugh's website streaming or sign him up for Scragged emails.  Now that would be a change we could believe in.

Read other Scragged.com articles by Hobbes or other articles on Foreign Affairs.
Reader Comments

Both Osama and Obama have a similar mindset when it comes government - they're both authoritarians at heart.

Obama doesn't like people choosing their own healthcare.

Osama doesn't like people choosing their own religion.

October 5, 2010 10:38 AM

What if they got together...........

The media could call it the OsamaBamaSummit. Has a certain ring to it, no.
Probably too late to help the midterms though.

October 5, 2010 11:42 AM

Well, we do send help to poor countries, but I suppose we haven't done enough. The terrorists in Pakistan have used the doctors without boarders people for target practice. But it appears, they need more target practice. Perhaps we could recruit some bleeding heart liberals to go hiking in Pakistan so that instead of shooting our people, they can learn the joys of ransom.

We have sent so much money to Saudi Arabia, that they are buying up our country and paying for mosques to be build to house radical Imams to preach their gospel of hate. And of course we have to protect our "friends" in Saudi Arabia from Iran's power grab. It seems that only Regen and Eisenhower realized the stakes we are playing for.

October 5, 2010 7:47 PM
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