This is an archive site only. It is no longer maintained. You can not post comments. You can not make an account. Your email will not be read. Please read this page if you have questions.
Usamah bin Laden is much in the news in the last few weeks, as bloodcurdling (& knowledgeable!) cries emanate from the soirees of the chattering classes, demanding his immediate annihilation. You probably know the sort of bore I am talking about — one of those fat, self satisfied fuckers pumping a cigar and opining about the 'evidence' stacked up against the mild mannered bin Laden, how he is at the helm of an organisation straight out of James Bond ( Al-Qa'ida, they self satisfyingly croak).
So who is bin Laden? Why must he really be destroyed? Adequacy gives you the answers.
1950's and 1960's.....USA overthrows elected government in Iran which threatened Western oil profits in favour of the Shah, a dictator who relied on torture....USA gives massive military and financial aid to the new state of Israel...USA ignores human rights and UN resolution violations by Israel....
The beginnings of the bin Laden phenomenon are difficult to track down. The bin Laden family first appears when Sheik Mohammed bin Laden, a native of the Sunni Hadramout, emigrated from Yemen to Saudi Arabia in the 1960's. The clan appears to have gradually congealed power around itself, and forged a close relationship with the Saudi royal family, being granted all rights to construction of a religious nature, whether in Mecca, Medina or the Holy Palaces of Jerusalem (until 1967). The bin Ladens renovated Mecca after the royal house was highly satisfied with their work on the palaces. In any event, the bin Ladens established a financial empire that now reaches far beyond mere construction work. The bin Laden clan and the Saudi royal house soon had a very close working relationship, one not just based on finances, but on friendship and shared secrets as well. When young Usamah was growing up, he was ensconsed in the Saudi establishment, going to the same schools and colleges as the luminaries of the Arabian peninsula. Indeed, bin Ladens went to Victoria College in Alexandria, the Eton of the Middle East, where they rubbed shoulders with such excellencies as King Hussein of Jordan and Omar Sharif.
Usamah was born in 1957 in Riyadh. His father took many wifes, and young Usamah was born to one of the last and least respected of them. He was the 17th son of a reported 50 sired by Mohammed. Mohammed's brother and partner sired 50 more, making the bin Laden clan and influence huge. The fact that Usamah came to outshine them all is a testament to his innate genius.
Earliest direct evidences of Usamah himself this reporter could track down are recollections by an old teacher, Brian Fyfield-Shayler. In 1969, whilst his decadent western peers were guzzling drugs and descending into an orgy of self, the callow bin Laden, just 13, was studying hard at Al-Thaghr, a school in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia modelled on the English public school system. Mr Fyfield-Shayler said (in this respected news source) "I remember him as quiet, retiring and rather shy. He was very courteous - more so than any of the others in his class. Physically, he was outstanding because he was taller, more handsome and fairer than most of the other boys. He also stood out as he was singularly gracious and polite, and had a great deal of inner confidence. He was very neat, very precise and very conscientious."
There can be no doubt that Usamah, an ordinary and pious young man, was deeply affected by his family's involvement in rebuilding the two holy Mosques in Mekkah and Madinah. We have already heard that his early teacher thought him a confident but reflective individual, so we shouldn't be surprised if he felt great pride that his family was involved in raising the glory of Allah in such spiritually significant places.
Throughout the 1970's Usamah spent his time studying and working for the family business. Doubtless he kept an eye on current affairs — the disgraceful behaviour of Israel and America during this period is remarkable — but he was determined to get his degree and be a credit to his family. In 1979 he graduated from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah with a degree in Civil Engineering.
BEGINNING OF THE LEGEND
Usamah made a huge difference to the Mujahideen. At first he was an effective politician and strategist. He recruited thousands of Arab fighters in the Gulf, paid for their passage to Afghanistan, and set up camps to train them. He designed defences along the Pakistani border, driving a bulldozer himself and taking great risks from Soviet helicopter gunship strafings as a result. Such was the personal stake he felt that before long he had taken up a Kalashnikov and was fighting on the front personally. This personal touch emerged again in 1986 when he and a few dozen Arab helpers fought off a Soviet onslaught in a small town called Jaji, near the Pakistani border. This ignited the Afghani resolve, as it was the first example that the Russians could actually be beaten. Just twelve months later he turned the tide of the Afghanistan war with a brilliant offensive against Soviet troops in the battle of Shaban. The Mujahideen suffered heavy casualties in the vicious, heavy fighting, but thanks to bin Laden's superb generalship the Soviets were pushed out of the area for good and the end was in sight for the Communists.
Hamza Mohammed, a Palestinian volunteer in Afghanistan, recalls "He was a hero to us because he was always on the Front Line, always moving ahead of everyone else. He not only gave his money, but he also gave himself. He came down from his palace to live with the Afghan peasants and the Arab fighters. He cooked with them, ate with them, dug trenches with them. That was Bin Laden's way."
By the late 1980ís Usamah had established himself as a legend across all Afghanistan. It was at this time that his close personal friendship with the Taliban Mullah Mohammad Omar began. The Wahhabi brand of Islam they both share is somewhat similar to Protestantism, but in an Islamic context, and they are both very spiritual men. To this day they take reflective fishing trips in the backlands of their country, such is their binding friendship. Where the rest of the Islamic world has been corrupted by decadent Western ways, the Wahhabis stick to traditional Islam as taught in the Koran. They are amongst the very holiest and most pious of Muslims, their creed established in Saudi Arabia, to an extent, and also Afghanistan, which though not strictly a Wahhabi state is very closely modelled on one. A measure of his piety is that he selflessly rejected an offer from King Fahd of Saudi Arabia to expand the Prophet's mosque in Medinah. This cosy little deal would have pocketed Usamah a lovely $90 million, but he refused as he correctly recognised it as an attempt to lure him from Jihad against the communists.
RETURN TO THE HOMELAND
In the Sudan Usamah managed to expand his business interests considerably, and he continued his Jihad bankrolling. Always keeping a careful eye on ethical considerations, he made sure to only bankroll just causes, putting money on the underdog and the concept of right V might:
Chechnya. Here the Russians have sought to destroy all hope of Chechnian independance, but as usual bin Laden is involved, helping fund the Chechen guerrila fighters against the superior enemy. A noble cause.
Muslim Bosnians against the Serb overseers. Despite the justness of this cause, the US interfered, arresting the fighters he sent to help the cause of freedom against oppression. Nonetheless, bin Laden had a big impact there, as he does everywhere.
Palestine. bin Laden has always been outraged by the plight of the Palestinians. At a young age he came under the tutilege of a Palestininian man, Sheikh Abdallah Azzam, who was once a confidant of Yasser Arafat but had become disenchanted with the PLO. Some Usamah became intertwined with Palestinian politics and the cause.
Yemen. Usamah has long had links to the Yemen Wahhabi cause. He has also been involved in the struggle there - the bombing of the USS Cole was possibly an example of this (unlike the WTC, this bombing fits bin Laden's MO - the target was military, not involving innocent civilians.
Everyone of these causes was Just and right, and it is no wonder that Usamah's reputation only grew and prospered during this period — and no wonder that an assassination attempt was made at this time, though he escaped with only some injuries.
AFGHANISTAN ONCE MORE
In 1996 Usamah moved permanently back to Afghanistan. In despair at the terrible situation in both Saudi Arabia and the Sudan, he sought a more traditional and devout setting. After Saudi Arabia decided to imprison Islamic scholars and hundreds of Mujahideen youths, after the rape of the Holy Land by the West and the occupation of the two Holy Places by American troops, Usamah decided to make a stand. He issued his first Bayan, or statement, 'A Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places'. This document was seminal, and simple — a lucid warning instructing the Americans to leave the land of the two Holy Places or face military attack from the Mujahideen, the same Mujahideen that defeated the largest superpower in the world under his tutelage some few years before in Afghanistan.
"Muslims burn with anger at America. For its own good, America should leave [Saudi Arabia]." Usamah bin Ladin
Usamah is still in Afghanistan to this day. Despite the total lack of any evidence (The US claims to have evidence, but with it's usual broohaha is prepared to go to war rather than publically release it. It is so convincing they will give it to allies but not to the Taleban, from whom they expect an extradition with no evidence at all) relating him to the recent WTC attacks, he is castigated worldwide for this devilish act. Usamah may be no friend of the United States, and with good reason, but he has no record of attacking innocent civilian targets. He is an honourable man and an honourable fighter, with a long, proud record of fighting for the oppressed (but right) underdog.
So why must he die?
Because he must be martyred. It is my belief that Usamah has reached his peak. Already approaching his 50's, he canít continue his brave fight against Western imperialism forever. Already he is weakening, his judgement is failing and his body shrivels. Every Muslim who dies in Jihad is guaranteed a place in Heaven, and Usamah, in dying, can both guarantee his own elevation and strike a blow against the western imperial forces trying to paint him as some sort of extremist. If he martyrs himself, a thousand new and young Usamahs will be inspired by his legend and continue the good fight, and the truth about bin Laden will spread around the world, and so the simple peoples of this globe will hear of his valiant life and fight. When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, the USA boycotted the Moscow Olympics, western opinion was outraged, and President Jimmy Carter embargoed all exports to the Soviet Union. Contrary to popular belief, the USA did not funnel military or financial support to the Mujahideen, however. In this interview bin Laden recalls "Personally neither I nor my brothers saw evidence of American help", so we see that the Americans were all mouth but had no guts. Now that America has, with it's usual hypocricy, decided to attack Afghanistan, it is clear that Usama must take risks to ensure maximum damage is applied to the enemy.
WHAT USAMAH MUST DO
Usamah made Afghanistan in his own image, it is thanks to his influence that it has steered a course away from the brutality and violence of communism, towards the status of a pure Muslim state. The Taliban, unlike the governments of Yemen, Iran and Saudi Arabia, is not corrupted by Western influence, and will not hand him over. The West knows it has a resolute enemy. Even in the unlikely even that they did decide to hand him over, they would be unnable to, and surely the Afghans would revolt and a new revolution would be needed.
The likelihood is that they shall be true to the tenets of Islam, and not hand over Usamah. Then, the US and other Western allies will be forced to invade Afghanistan, where they will meet a bloody end. Usamah must sacrifice himself in the process, for it is the best way of guaranteeing his place in heaven and exacting maximum pain upon the enemy.
It is my fervent hope that bin Laden realise his death is called for, that his own death is a weapon he can use far more powerful than any bomb. The legend will burn out brightly.