Monday, September 10, 2007

The unlikely ecologist

Is it just me or is Osama "loosing it" as he enters his 50s ? If it is possible for a terrorist leader who has caused the deaths of thousands to loose it ?

His latest video was more the rant of a semi-educated drunken bore with North London political leanings than an inspired speech to martyrdom by a global jihadist leader.

Not only was Noam Chomsky singled out for relative praise but the Bush administration's stance on Kyoto came under attack. He also attacked the influence of corporations and made a passing reference to the woes of subprime.

While I will not attempt to deal with the merits or otherwise of those issues, they seem like a rather banal summary of today's concerned liberal agenda. Books covering all these points could be found on offer at Foyles bookshop on the Charing Cross Road.

In his next video will he no longer be promoting the caliphate but sporting a "Make Poverty History" white wrist band ?!

While such platitudes undoubtedly contain elements of truth and having worked for two different corporations could probably concur on some of their defects, I find this new found liberal agenda from Osama a little insincere.

Surely mass-murder isn't normally something to boast about amongst Guardian readers ?! As for Kyoto, 9/11 was hardly an "eco-friendly" crime. Coming from the world's biggest oil producer with a fortune made in construction are further unlikely credentials from a wannabe green figure.

What these rather unlikely sentiments do signal is that Osama is and remains an astute judge of the media. He knows that a divided enemy is a weak enemy so he tries to play on known divisive issues. I think he is far more likely to die in a cave than win the Nobel Peace Prize but similar albeit less extreme journeys have been made. Who would have predicted Gerry Adams' journey 30 years ago?

Osama seems to be thinking of his own mortality and looking to his place in history. Like many people he is ultimately looking for some kind of settlement to his career. It is just a hunch but this latest statement seems a repositioning. It is more an outsider's critique of the West than a condemnation of infidels.

Maybe he recognises that he will not change the world and bizarrely is looking to align himself with moderate critics of the White House rather than to destroy the West. There was no explicit threat of terrorist attack this time.

A changed enemy is somehow more unnerving than a known enemy. The new Osama is as strange as his dyed (or false) beard !

While any reduction in threat is to be welcomed no one should forget what happened 6 years ago and that the despite ticking the boxes of some liberal agendas, Osama does indeed make a very unlikely ecologist as well as a rather insincere jihadist !

Osama and his new beard

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