WONKETTE WORLD O' BOOKS  12:39 pm May 5, 2011

Remembering the Life and Letters of Osama Bin Laden, Dead Person

by Greer Mansfield

Incorporating Washington Post Book World.Angsty rich kid Osama bin Laden could have been just another Saudi playboy, loitering his days away trading oil and chasing Lebanese models. But he just HAD to rebel against his wealthy family and their friends in the Saudi royal family, forever proving that he’s His Own Person or something. And so he embraced the counterintuitive idea that the way to show solidarity with his fellow Muslims — particularly poor and oppressed ones — was to murder loads and loads of Muslims (among others). As you may have heard, last weekend he died a neighbor of our allies in the Pakistani military (but not before distributing terror rabbits to local children). Now that the world’s most iconic mass murderer is dead, it might be worth revisiting his speeches and interviews.

In 2005, lefty publishing house Verso (and by “lefty” we mean Actually Lefty, not lefty in the “GAWD, Hillary Clinton is such a lefty” way) collected several of Osama’s press statements and interviews into a book titled Messages to the World. As you might imagine, bin Laden has (had) a lot to say.

If you’ve ever wondered what it was that irritated bin Laden so much, look no further than his formal declaration of jihad from 1996:

It is no secret to you, my brothers, that the people of Islam have been afflicted with oppression, hostility, and injustice by the Judeo-Christian alliance and its supporters…Your blood has been spilt in Palestine and Iraq, and the horrific image of the massacre in Qana in Lebanon are still fresh in people’s minds. The massacres that have taken place in Tajikistan, Burma, Kashmir, Assam, the Philippines, Fatani, Ogaden, Somalia, Eritrea, Chechnya, and Bosnia-Herzegovina send shivers down our spines and stir up our passions. All this happened before the eyes and ears of the world, but the blatant imperial arrogance of America, under the cover of the immoral United Nations, has prevented the dispossessed from arming themselves.

You would think the man watched 90′s-era CNN International all day! He continues:

All the false propaganda about the supposed rights of Islam was abandoned in the face of the attacks and massacres committed against Muslims everywhere, the latest and most serious of which–the greatest disaster to befall the Muslims since the death of the Prophet Muhammad– is the occupation of Saudi Arabia, which is the cornerstone of the Islamic world, place of revelation, source of the Prophetic mission, and home of the Noble Ka’ba where Muslims direct their prayers. Despite this, it was occupied by the armies of the Christians, the Americans, and their allies.

Elsewhere in the book, Osama talks about his dislike of Jews, his preference for Pakistan over the evil infidel country of India and his ideal society: imagine Taliban-era Afghanistan, but with even less music and even more Koran-reading and infidel-killing and art-destroying.

He also gives interviews about his plan to drag the United States into a long, bloody and resource-sapping war in Afghanistan, one directly modeled on the defeat of the Soviet Empire in the very same country. When the war arrived, he wholeheartedly agreed with his American enemy about the nature of the conflict:

Bush admitted there can only be two kinds of people: one kind being Bush and his followers; and any nation that doesn’t follow the Bush government, or the World Crusade, is guaranteed to be included with the terrorists. What kind of terrorism is more terrifying and evident than this?

Indeed!

So our bloated, overlong invasions failed to capture bin Laden for 10 years. Curiously enough, this has a parallel in American literary life: At no point in their bloated, overlong novels have any of America’s current Important Novelists written anything engaging or memorable about our decade-long excursion in Central Asia. Maybe bin Laden’s assassination will trigger a few darkly comic satires about the wacky fun of invading two countries, finally finding our man in NEITHER of those two countries, and what’s more, finding him in an allied country living next door to a military and intelligence service to which we’ve given billions of dollars throughout the Bin Laden-Hunting/War Decade.

Making grim and evocative sense of all this stuff has become the province of journalists, for some reason. Lawrence Wright’s The Looming Tower and hell-raising Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid’s Descent Into Chaos aren’t just great books about our Central Asian and Middle Eastern wars; they’re some of the greatest books of our time. They’re at least as worth reading as the latest toe fungus memoir or whatever.

What were we talking about? Oh yeah, Osama bin Laden is dead forever. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a future, of course; surely there’s a Terrorist Ghost Adventures with Sarah Palin reality teevee show in the works, somewhere.

Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden by Osama bin Laden, edited by Bruce Lawrence, translated by James Howarth, Verso Books, 225 pages, $11.53

 
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{ 116 comments }

nounverb911 May 5, 2011 at 12:43 pm

But did Osama ever finish reading "My Pet Goat"?

RadioGroundZero May 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Mrs. Radio thinks the book most appropriate for our long national nightmare is The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

Biel_ze_Bubba May 5, 2011 at 5:21 pm

He read it a lot. The SEALS would have taken it if the pages weren't all sticky and gross.

Chillwaver May 5, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Speaking of terrorists, when's "Tweets to the World: The Statements of Sarah Lou Pailn" coming out?

nounverb911 May 5, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Soon, in the form of a coloring book.

jaytingle May 5, 2011 at 1:25 pm

As soon as she gets a release from the guy who wrote the tweets. He's demanding 50 cents apiece.

Schmannnity May 5, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Osama Bin Caulfield.

nounverb911 May 5, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Did he get expelled from Pencey Prep too?

horsedreamer_1 May 5, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Phony.

arihaya May 5, 2011 at 12:46 pm

so 9/11 was perpetated by a Saudi Arabian who hide in Pakistan,, now tell me again why we invaded Afghanistan, and Iraq ?

(and by the time GOP return to white House will also Iran)

arihaya May 5, 2011 at 12:46 pm

so 9/11 was perpetrated by a Saudi Arabian who hide in Pakistan,, now tell me again why we invaded Afghanistan, and Iraq ?

Fare la Volpe May 5, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Same reason we invaded Libya: FREEDUMB

Fare la Volpe May 5, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Same reason we invaded Libya: FREEDUM

Arken May 5, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Just ask Bush. We invaded Afghanistan because TERRISM and we invaded Iraq because THEY TRIED TO KILL MUH DADDY!

HempDogbane May 5, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Saddam Hussein was a very bad man. I read this on Andrew Sullivan's blog, but I think it may have appeared elsewhere, also.

Poindexter718 May 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm

B/c you always want to keep 'em guessing.

zhubajie May 5, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Gog and Magog

Numbat_Dundee May 5, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Because geography had never been your strong point?

ShaveTheWhales May 6, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Daddy issues, same as it ever was.

Hera Sent Me May 5, 2011 at 12:46 pm

It could be the basis of a new TV show, "Everybody Hates Osama", or maybe "I Dream of Jihad".

Native_of_SL_UT May 5, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Shit my Jihadist Says.

horsedreamer_1 May 5, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Two & an Hajji Men.

Biel_ze_Bubba May 5, 2011 at 5:23 pm

I'm waiting for SEALS -the Musical

memzilla May 5, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Say. you know who else wrote a book with wacky observations about "Jewish conspiricies"… ?

LabRodent May 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Glen Beck?

nounverb911 May 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Theodore Drieser?

Schmannnity May 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Saul Bellow?

jodyleek May 5, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Martin Luther?

nounverb911 May 5, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Theodore Kaczynski?

Crank_Tango May 5, 2011 at 12:53 pm

anne frank?

proudgrampa May 5, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Too soon? (LOL)

ShaveTheWhales May 6, 2011 at 11:23 pm

I see what you did there.

Fare la Volpe May 5, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Charles Lindberg?

SayItWithWookies May 5, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Phillip Roth?

phlox✔ May 5, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Mel Gibson?

Arken May 5, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Pyotr Ivanovich Rachkovsky?

el_donaldo May 5, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Pat Buchanan?

Doktor Zoom May 5, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Henry Ford?

baconzgood May 5, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Damn you. I was going to post that and would have beat you but there was a problem with me posting. I'll have to go up with my back up then.

Pope Benedict XVI?

genxr May 5, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Mel Brooks?

RadioGroundZero May 5, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Ayn Rand?

kittenbomb May 5, 2011 at 1:45 pm

John Galliano and he did it while wearing a purple leather onesie.

elviouslyqueer May 5, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Fran Drescher?

littlebigdaddy May 5, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Mordechai Richtler?

littlebigdaddy May 5, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Mordechai Richler?

joobajooba May 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Rick Sanchez?

Biel_ze_Bubba May 5, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Jesus?

zhubajie May 5, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Pat Robertson, _The New World Order_

Gratuitous World May 5, 2011 at 12:47 pm

but how many chapters does he write about Canadian electoral politics?

jaytingle May 5, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Significantly more than most American bloggers. More than may Canadian bloggers. Apparently he was a big fan of Trailer Park Boys. And he once chased tail with Pierre Trudeau. Also an Expos fan.

littlebigdaddy May 5, 2011 at 3:03 pm

I love Bubbles!

GinnehRED57 May 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Isn't it interesting how "important" and "impotent" are almost the same word!

ShaveTheWhales May 6, 2011 at 11:24 pm

How many chapters can you write about Canadian electoral politics?

iburl May 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm

More like Bargain Bin Laden, know whut'm talkin' 'bout?

baconzgood May 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm

"Osama bin Laden was an angry person"

-Capt. Obvious-

Rosie_Scenario May 5, 2011 at 12:54 pm

"Terrorism by Heart: Family, Faith, and Fatwa"

horsedreamer_1 May 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Change that 'fatwa' to 'fat? wha!? I'm just pregnant', & you've got the next Lou Sarah & Bristle tome.

undeterredbyreality May 5, 2011 at 12:55 pm

"And they roared their terrible roars,
And gnashed their terrible teeth…"

Lascauxcaveman May 5, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Maybe bin Laden’s assassination will trigger a few darkly comic satires about the wacky fun of invading two countries, finally finding our man in NEITHER of those two countries, and what’s more, finding him in an allied country living next door to a military and intelligence service to which we’ve given billions of dollars throughout the Bin Laden-Hunting/War Decade.

I think Christopher Buckley could do a pretty good job on that one. He oughta take a stab at that.

ShaveTheWhales May 6, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Catch 911.

pinkocommi May 5, 2011 at 12:56 pm

"He also gives interviews about his plan to drag the United States into a long, bloody and resource-sapping war in Afghanistan . . . ."

I'll see you one bloody and resource-sapping war in Afghanistan, and I'll raise you a second bloody and resource-sapping war in Iraq.

proudgrampa May 5, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Whatever else you can say about OBL, he sure got that one right. All we had to do was read a little history: Russian occupation of Afghanistan, British Empire in
Afghanistan.

It was like our failure there was pre-ordained.

Biel_ze_Bubba May 5, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Two towers.
Two wars.
Two bullets.
It all works out.

zhubajie May 5, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Hell, read a novel like _Flashman_!

mavenmaven May 5, 2011 at 12:58 pm

They were "anchor rabbits".

SayItWithWookies May 5, 2011 at 1:02 pm

his ideal society: imagine Taliban-era Afghanistan, but with even less music and even more Koran-reading and infidel-killing and art-destroying.

So is he participating in the FOX News debate tonight?

Fukui_sanYesOta May 5, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Muhammed Sean al-Hannity: And this, the greatest nation the prophet ever gave to mankind, to be reduced to begging dollars from Satan? I'll pass you over to my guest.

Mullah Omar [for it is he]: Sean, I'd just like to say that I agree with you. It is the greatest nation that Allah (peace be upon him) ever gave to the world. Having said that, this celebration of a terrorist's death hasn't been strictly Sharia. I've seen Pakistanis dancing, I've heard Indonesians listening to music, and I've seen Palestinians stone-cold fucking in the streets over this announcement. What's up with that?

Sean al-Hannity: Abortion and the President is, I hear, black

Fukui_sanYesOta May 5, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Muhammed Sean al-Hannity: And is this, the greatest nation the prophet ever gave to mankind, to be reduced to begging dollars from Satan? I'll pass you over to my guest.

Mullah Omar [for it is he]: Sean, I'd just like to say that I agree with you. It is the greatest nation that Mohammed (peace be upon him) ever gave to the world. Having said that, this celebration of a terrorist's death hasn't been strictly Sharia. I've seen Pakistanis dancing, I've heard Indonesians listening to music, and I've seen Palestinians stone-cold fucking in the streets over this announcement. What's up with that?

Sean al-Hannity: Abortion and the President is, I hear, black

proudgrampa May 5, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Yeah. Whoever heard of "the Philippines?"

joobajooba May 5, 2011 at 1:06 pm

"Darkly comic satire?" It's got to star Alan Alda, Robert Crane and Werner Klemperer.

jus_wonderin May 5, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Could Dame Edna have a cameo part???

Frost/Nixon/Robocop May 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm

This reads like the back cover of a Rage Against the Machine album.

Doktor Zoom May 5, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Tell me again about the rabbits, George?

Ducksworthy May 5, 2011 at 1:15 pm

At no point in their bloated, overlong novels have any of America’s current Important Novelists written anything engaging or memorable about our decade-long excursion in Central Asia.

Well there is that Pat Tillman story by the Perfect Storm guy.

Poindexter718 May 5, 2011 at 1:45 pm

I'm sure William Vollman was gonna do something on Afghanistan till he found out the Taliban had stoned all the prostitutes to death already.

BZ1 May 5, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Yup, that was Osama, living the life of abstinence and denial with one of his five wives in a million-dollar resort…

Fukui_sanYesOta May 5, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Just to interject somewhat. Reagan (whom I toasted with champagne when he died) claimed about the Mujihadeen: "These gentlemen are the moral equivalents of America’s founding fathers"

How's that Talibany, 911-y thing work out for you, Reagan?

Words cannot express both how pleased I am that bin Laden is dead and how disgusted I am by the modern interpretation of Ronald Reagan.

horsedreamer_1 May 5, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Thomas Jefferson, slave rapist, & Osama bin Laden, polygamist, do have similar views on sex & patriarchy, I should admit.

Fukui_sanYesOta May 5, 2011 at 1:45 pm

TJ is up there in my pantheon of thinkers. There's no comparison between Reagan and Jefferson, despite the modern retrospective.

I'll upfist you despite my sentiments, but please.

zhubajie May 5, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Don't forget he began the policy of ethnic cleansing of Native Americans.

Ducksworthy May 5, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I seem to remember that Ronnie was referring to the patriots in central America who were rapping and murdering the nuns.

Fukui_sanYesOta May 5, 2011 at 1:46 pm

http://tribes.tribe.net/outnow/photos/2226e282-9a

Reagan was a fucker a lot of the time. That pic is Muj with Reagan, and he described them thus.

catchtheflava May 5, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Conservatives want to give Bush all the credit for getting Osama, but they don't want to give Reagan any of the credit for creating him. Pussies.

Schmannnity May 5, 2011 at 1:47 pm

There you go again with that fact-based reality.

el_donaldo May 5, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Countdown to wingnuts claiming that Obama has been spotted reading it.

hagajim May 5, 2011 at 1:20 pm

"Maybe bin Laden’s assassination will trigger a few darkly comic satires about the wacky fun of invading two countries…"

Spy vs. Spy anyone? Or maybe "The Assholes Who Couldn't Hit Their Target With Both Hands"

Sounds like a Seth Rogan vehicle to me.

hagajim May 5, 2011 at 1:20 pm

"Maybe bin Laden’s assassination will trigger a few darkly comic satires about the wacky fun of invading two countries…"

Spy vs. Spy anyone? Or maybe "The Assholes Who Couldn't Hit Their Target With Both Hands"

Sounds like a Seth Rogan vehicle to me.

horsedreamer_1 May 5, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Are there any brown people in the Apatowia Repetory besides Aziz Ansari who can do the bin Laden role? Azi really don't look like bin Laden, after all.

BZ1 May 5, 2011 at 1:20 pm

M. downfister, you just lost uyr mind, even downfisting anti-OBL statements?????

BarackMyWorld May 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Bitches be trippin'.

RedneckMuslin May 5, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Ooooh! Terrorists! Now I understand! But Bush said we must kill tourists.

genxr May 5, 2011 at 1:26 pm

That dude totally got upbraided by Oprah.

genxr May 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm

"It was a dark and stormy night. No, wait, that sounds more like helicopters."

ttommyunger May 5, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Did not read it, don't care; don't even want to laugh at him. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

zhubajie May 5, 2011 at 6:41 pm

He'll be replaced by some other excuse for another war.

ttommyunger May 11, 2011 at 4:01 pm

So sad, so true.

johnnyzhivago May 5, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Re: "watched CNN International all day"…

I noticed those satellite antennas on his villa, so it's comforting to consider if we didn't have the authority to kill him for international terrorism, at least the SEALS were justified in enforcing a cease and desist order from Time Warner on illegally receiving copyrighted broadcasts.

JackDempsey1 May 5, 2011 at 1:45 pm

If you're right, I look forward to release of the bin Laden death video on Pay-per-View.

Poindexter718 May 5, 2011 at 1:33 pm

I always wondered why OBL had this massive hard-on for America's supposed "occupation" of Saudi Arabia. It was putatively because Mecca and the muslim Jesus's stone is also in SA. But our "occupation" was of a few air force bases that were hundreds of miles from Mecca–might as well have been in Kuwait. Did OBL think that great spiritual/metaphysical affronts to his centuries-old religion were determined by political boundaries drawn up a hundred years ago?
Oh and, btw, speaking of affronts, this :& )= # is an image of Mohammed. He's wearing a kilt and a nosering and gnawing on a piece of hickory smoked bacon. He is happy.
Like Denmark, Wonkette is in no way responsible for this visual insult, but don't let that stop you!

FNMA May 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Oh, "Lebanese" models…
Never mind…

DahBoner May 5, 2011 at 4:46 pm

What do you have against trannys???

RadioGroundZero May 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Novelists written anything engaging or memorable about our decade-long excursion in Central Asia.

Seriously, what this country needs is a Catch-22 and MASH view of this debacle.

Ohforcripessake May 5, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Everytime someone tries they disappear..

Extemporhammer May 5, 2011 at 1:43 pm

mY w0nKetT br0k3d nO can coMent g0od1!?!

8====D~~~

baconzgood May 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm

This delay is makin' my snark frowny.

elviouslyqueer May 5, 2011 at 1:54 pm

They’re at least as worth reading as the latest toe fungus memoir or whatever.

But enough about Decision Points.

BlueStateLibel May 5, 2011 at 2:54 pm

I'm just glad bin Laden didn't win–it's not like our resources aren't depleted and we didn't spend over a $1 trillion in two fruitless wars, neither of which would have happened with him. And it's not as if we re-elected a completely incompetent president and corrupt administration who used him as their bogeyman to boost their re-election chances. And I'm sure he had many many more years to live despite his progressive kidney disease.

BlueStateLibel May 5, 2011 at 2:54 pm

I'm just glad bin Laden didn't win–it's not like our resources aren't depleted and we didn't spend over a $1 trillion in two fruitless wars, neither of which would have happened without him. And it's not as if we re-elected a completely incompetent president and corrupt administration who used him as their bogeyman to boost their re-election chances. And I'm sure he had many many more years to live despite his progressive kidney disease.

littlebigdaddy May 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Philip Roth could've done a great one if he hadn't been so obsessed with his shriveling penis. BTW, I like the image of the young Osama as sort of an emo with super-powers. Cause you know most of those kids would blow up your buildings if they could figure out anything technical beyond riding a skateboard.

anniegetyerfun May 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm

[I]magine Taliban-era Afghanistan, but with even less music and even more Koran-reading and infidel-killing and art-destroying.

I know people who believe shit like this. The Prophet really liked drums, so flutes are haram. The Prophet was serious, so Muslims should take care not to laugh outloud or smile in such a way that displays teeth.

I fucking hate religion. Hate it.

GinnehRED57 May 5, 2011 at 3:58 pm

He's dead, you know! Just like Timothy Leary, but with less sparklebrain.

starfanglednut May 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Meh. I'll wait for the movie.

DahBoner May 5, 2011 at 4:44 pm

"Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden by Osama bin Laden, edited by Bruce Lawrence, translated by James Howarth, Verso Books, 225 pages, $11.53"

I plan to buy two copies, as soon as the price comes down to $0.01.

One to shit on, and the other to wipe my ass with…

ganmerlad May 5, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Doesn't buying Bin Laden's book also buy an ounce of high explosive or something? Who gets the royalties? I am self-destructive, but not quite like that. Without reading it I am pretty sure the point is that the US sucks, Islam rules and if Muslims had control everything would be honky-dorey. My only question is if it reads like Hemingway…if so, Obama may have written it.

trondant May 5, 2011 at 9:28 pm

That sounds more like a documentary to me.

ShaveTheWhales May 6, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Catch-911

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