Heroes And Villains
Osama Bin Laden is a madman. This is the picture that has been painted for us by the Bush administration and perpetuated by the MSM. It makes it easier to sell the “war on terror” if our government can create a Lex Luther type villain that we can all agree must be taken down in order to save Metropolis. The interesting thing is that throughout the Muslim world, Osama is a folk hero, the Batman to our Joker.
Bin Laden has released a new audio tape warning the U.S. of another attack and offering an olive branch to the majority in the country who no longer support the war in Iraq. Should we negotiate with terrorist? No. But writing Bin Laden off as a madman does a great disservice to the country as it keeps us ignorant of the implications of our foreign policy and the affect Bush’s presidency is having on our relationships around the world.
The last time we heard from Bin Laden directly was before the 2004 election. If you have not read the full transcript of that tape, I highly recommend you do so now. He is better versed in American politics than most Americans and whether you agree with his assertions or not, he is not a madman to the people he represents, but rather a charismatic leader fighting on their behalf against U.S. imperialism. We don’t have to agree, but we must understand.
We should not fear Bin Laden, as the damage he can do is limited, but we should most certainly fear an administration that refused to conduct its business out in the open where we can know enough to understand the implications of our actions around the world. We should question why it is necessary for us to be kept in the dark, for the “enemy’s” words to be kept from us or distorted in media reports. Knowledge is power, and Bin Laden has infinitely more knowledge of our foreign policy exploits and the resulting anger of “his" people than the majority of Americans. That fact alone makes us, the people, vulnerable. Vulnerable to surprise attacks on our homeland, attacks on our liberties and the loss of freedoms at the hands of a President that purports to be exporting that freedom to the Middle East.
Is Bin Laden a hero? No, but neither is Bush. When innocent people are killed, whether in the name of God or Allah, there are no heroes, only victims laid waste in a Holy War fought between villains that are but two sides of the same coin. As long as one side is weighted to the detriment of the other, the fighting will continue. Injustice is a strong motivator and if we continue to turn a blind eye to what we are really exporting to the Middle East, we will be the ultimate victims of the warped vision we have allowed to take root within our own government. Therein lies the real danger to America that Bin Laden could only dream to pose. Listening to Osama Bin Laden and attempting to understand why he appeals to so many Muslims will allow us to better determine who the real enemy is. Then, and only then, will we be able to do anything meaningful about it.