Book Review: Osama Bin Laden: America’s Enemy in His Own Words
Publication Date: Aug 01, 2005
List Price: $17.95 (store prices may vary)
Page Count: 428
Imprint: To Be Determined
Publisher: To Be Determined
Parent Company: To Be Determined
Book Reviewed by Kam Williams
’In the Western media, and especially the United States, the demonization of Osama bin Laden has been complete. Almost without exception, he is depicted as a maniacal terrorist who hates freedom and kills for the sake of killing. This is a lot of nonsense.
I have compiled 20 of what I believe to be Mr. bin Laden's most important statements over a 10-year period between 1994 and 2004. They have been translated into understandable English. For the first time, Americans will be able to study the real Osama bin Laden in his own words.
They will clearly understand his thoughts, his grievances, and his goals, why
9/11 came as no surprise’ and how best to adopt strategies to win the war on
terrorism before it morphs into a global holy war.’
’Excerpted from the Introduction
How much do you know about Osama bin Laden? Many conveniently forget that in the Eighties, as a key American ally, he was funneled hundreds of millions of dollars by the CIA. That was back when he was still considered a freedom fighter, as a leader of the muhajadeen during its resistance of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Since 9/11, no one has bothered to engage in intellectual discussions about bin Laden anymore, instead he has simply been dismissed as a nut. This, despite the fact that his stature has only increased as his radical ideology becomes more widely embraced in the Muslim world.
Similarly, Adolf Hitler was never taken seriously as a charismatic political figure until it was too late, even though he had written Mein Kampf, a book detailing exactly what he planned to do and why. And while many saw his master race theories as silly claptrap, the German people went for it hook, line and sinker.
It is for this reason, that we might want to examine the ideas of Osama Bin Laden, however offensive they might be. And we have Randall B. Hamud, an Arab-American attorney, to thank for Osama Bin Laden: America's Enemy in His Own Words. Laid out chronologically, this revealing text puts its subject in proper perspective by allowing him to make his case against the United States.
For instance, on December 27, 2001, he indicted the invasion of Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11 as a Christian Crusade against Islam, alleging, ’Even if the U.S. had irrefutable evidence that the perpetrators were Europeans, for example, the I.R.A., they would have pursued other avenues to resolves the matter.’ It's hard to disagree with his logic, here, for I've asked if there was no suspicion of every Irishman after the Oklahoma City bombing masterminded by Timothy McVeigh, why the sudden distrust of Arabs based on the behavior of a few from Saudi Arabia?
Where I parted ways with bin Laden, however, is when he subsequently piggybacks his self-righteous religious dogma onto his original persuasive argument, mixing in Islam with general complaints about America. Leaving the question of whether it is wise to give Osama such a platform to others, suffice to say that this book convinced me that he is not merely a lunatic who hates freedom.
For, as uncompromisingly expressed in his own words, bin Laden makes clear that his problems with United States have their basis primarily in its support of Israel, its exploitation of Middle East oil and its stationing of military forces in the region. Thus, it only make sense to conclude that to the extent that a billion Muslims buy into his controversial credo, America is in store for a long hard slog in Iraq and anywhere else it decides to implement the Bush doctrine of unilateralism against the so-called Axis of Evil.