Hit & Run

Osama bin Laden Meets Karl Marx


Sarah Lawrence College political scientist Fawaz Gerges has an interesting op/ed in today's Christian Science Monitor about Osama bin Laden's recent list to the anti-globalization Left. To wit:

AFTER A THREE-YEAR absence, Osama bin Laden has resurfaced in another of his rousing videotapes, only this time with a new image and a new message. Projecting a younger look, Mr. bin Laden gives his most ideological address since the early 1990s with an assault on capitalism and liberal democracy loaded with Marxist and socialist terms. Indeed, this new bin Laden sounds more like Che Guevara, the Marxist revolutionary, than some of his rifle-toting Al Qaeda cohorts…

In the video, bin Laden addresses Americans and rails against the ills of economic exploitation, multinational corporations, and globalization. He tells them to liberate themselves from "the deception, shackles, and attrition of the capitalist system." Similar to his incitement of Muslims against their oppressive, "apostate" rulers and the meddlesome West, bin Laden now seems to be trying to galvanize Americans against their own harsh socioeconomic and political system.

"Poor and exploited Americans, unite against your capitalist laws that make the rich richer and the poor poorer," the former multimillionaire businessman tells the camera. Never before has bin Laden utilized the grandiose language of Marxism in his statements to the American people. And yet, he says, Muslims and Americans are alike; they are both victims of the capitalist system, which "seeks to turn the entire world into a fiefdom of the major corporations under the label of 'globalization' in order to protect democracy."

Prediction: Some addle-brained leftists will shortly develop a strange new respect for bin Laden as a revolutionay fellow-traveler in the ongoing class warfare against global monopoly capitalism. On the other hand, Gerges thinks this rhetorical shift could confuse his Islamist confreres.

Whole Gerges op/ed here.