Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Genuine fake?

Now here's a thing. Uncle Jimmy has been doing his usual lazy cut-and-paste blogging, lifting whole posts from other blogs. This week he's copied a piece about an "al-Qaeda magazine" from a site called Homeland Security US. Despite its title this site has nothing to do with the US government, of which it seems to take a rather dim view. No, it's a bunch of birthers, Tea-Partiers and other assorted right-wing nutjobs calling themselves the Northeast Intelligence Network. (I'm always impressed by the variety of loonies Jimmy manages to dig up and nod happily at.) They seem to view the whole thing as part of President Obama's (sorry, Barack Hussein Obama's) plan to impose Islam on the USA. Do take a look at their site - it;s a hoot.

Quite apart from where Jimmy found it, there are good reasons to doubt the authenticity of this "al-Qaeda" magazine. (And yes, plain common sense would be another, funnily enough.)

So why am I about to do my own cut-and-paste on an article from the magazine which is likely to be a fake? Well here's the thing. One of the articles purports to be a piece, by Osama bin Laden no less, on combatting climate change. Have a read of it before I carry on. (I've copied it because the original is buried in a pdf which is moreover apparently a virus risk, though Norton didn't raise any objection to it on my machine.)

The Way To Save The Earth, by Usamah bin Ladin

All praise is due to Allāh, who created the Creation to worship Him alone, and ordered them to follow good and avoid evil, and forbade them from corruption on land and in the sea. As to what follows: This is a message to the whole world about those who cause climate change and its dangers – intentionally or unintentionally – and what we must do. Talk of climate change isn’t extravagant speculation: it is a tangible fact which is not diminished by its being muddled by some greedy heads of major corporations. The effect of global warming have spread to all continents of the world. Drought, desertification and sands are advancing on one front, while on another front, torrential floods and huge storms the likes of which only used to be seen once every few decades now reoccur every few years. That’s in addition to the islands which are quietly and calmly sinking under the waters of the oceans; and the pattern is accelerating and reports by organizations dealing with the affairs of displaced people estimate the displacement of as many as a billion humans during the next four decades as a result of this.

I am not about to talk here about partial solutions which merely lessen the harmful effects of global warming. Rather, I am going to talk about looking for a solution to the crisis at its roots. In front of the world are the records which show the huge numbers of victims of climate change, some of whom died of hunger and others of whom died of drowning. In the same year in which [James E.] Hansen, NASA’s senior expert, confirmed the seriousness of global warming, 140,000 died and 24 million were displaced in floods in Bangladesh alone; and the caravan of victims of climate change hasn’t stopped since, so those behind it must be identified and a way of dealing with them specified. All industrialized countries, especially the major ones, bear responsibility for the global warming crisis, except that most of them have called on each other to commit to the Kyoto Protocol and have agreed to reduce emissions of harmful gases. However, Bush Junior – and prior to him, Congress – rejected this agreement in order to please the major corporations. They, therefore, are the real culprits behind the assault on the global climate, and this isn’t the first of their crimes against humanity: they themselves were also behind the current global financial crisis, and they themselves were behind all the speculation, monopolization and price rises in peoples’ sustenance. They are also behind globalization and its tragic consequences represented by its adding tens of millions of people to the ranks of the impoverished and unemployed. And then, when the culprits themselves fall victim to their own evil deeds, the presidents of countries rush to their rescue with public funds; and in this way, the people’s wealth is seized without right twice: one time through corporate fraud and monopolization, and another time through governmental deception and power. Many senior capitalists are characterized by wickedness and hardheartedness, and thus they don’t care about the human disasters caused by their economic activities. Words, conferences and demonstrations are of no use with such people. Hansen spoke out and warned Americans about the seriousness of global warming in 1988, but they didn’t respond to him. As for conferences, the Kyoto conference took place at the end of the last century, but they didn’t respond to it. And as for demonstrations, not even the largest of them – much less the smaller ones – were able to deter them from their greed and tyranny. Prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, people throughout the world’s continents took out million-strong demonstrations in which they echoed one phrase: “No to the spilling of red blood because of black oil.” But the result was that the mob boss mocked them and gave orders to start the savage assault on innocent people in Iraq whose only sin in his eyes was the presence of black gold in their country. So they killed, wounded, orphaned, widowed and displaced more than 10 million Iraqis, and they are still murdering and pillaging. That’s not to mention the crimes at Abū Ghraib and Guantanamo, those ugly crimes which shook the conscience of humanity. And after these lean years, there has been no mentionable change in the things which matter; and after all of this, their new proxy was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and he accepted it in an extreme example of the deception and humiliation of humanity.

With this, the bitter truth becomes clear, which is that the world has been kidnapped by the heads of major corporations who are steering it towards the abyss. The policies of the world today are not being steered with the power of superior intellects to serve the interest of the people; but rather, with the power of the motivation and greed of oil-robbers and warmongers, the beasts of predatory capitalism. Noam Chomsky was right when he pointed to a similarity between American policies and the policies of Mafia gangs. So they are the real terrorists, and drastic and decisive solutions are required to restrain and subdue them: restrain them from their sin and subdue their savagery; and I place in front of you a number of solutions. These are:

First: the corruption of the climate stems from the corruption of hearts and deeds, and there is a close relationship between the two types of corruption. We know that Allāh جل جلاله has punished peoples with tsunamis due to the corruption of their hearts and deeds and their disobedience to Allāh, the Most High; among them were Pharaoh and his people. Allāh جل جلاله says, (Corruption has spread on land and in the sea because of what men’s hands have wrought, that He may make them taste the fruit of some of their doings, so that they may turn back from evil) [Ar-Rūm: 41]. Thus the happy one is he who learns his lesson, asks for forgiveness and dedicates all worship to Allāh جل جلاله alone, who has no partner, through His final message to all of mankind.

Second: that we be economical in all of our affairs and avoid luxury and wastefulness, especially in food, drink, clothing, housing and energy.

Third: factories’ emissions stop when the factories stop, and the way to achieve their stoppage is easy, simple and in your hands. The wheel of the American economy is like a bicycle wheel: if it loses one link in its chain, it stops moving; and among the links of the wheel of the American economy are raw materials, capital and consumers. We can affect all these links to varying degrees, but the last one is the weakest and our ability to influence it the greatest. So if the peoples of the world were to stop consuming American goods, this last link would become even weaker, leading in turn to a decrease in harmful gases.

Fourth: there must be accounting and punishment for those who head the major corporations and their political proxies, so that they stop their harmful actions against humanity. This is an easy thing for the American people, especially those affected by Hurricane Katrina and those without jobs as a result of the economic crisis, because the culprits live in their midst, particularly in Washington, New York and Texas. And here is their position at the Denmark conference demonstrating their evasiveness and how they are not serious about making the moves required to deal with climate change, as has also been shown by their denial of responsibility for previous catastrophes and their refusal to compensate the victims. On the contrary, they continue to insist on meddling with world climate for the sake of acquiring wealth, even if that be at the cost of our children’s lives.

Fifth: we should refuse to do business with the dollar and get rid of it as soon as possible. I know that this action has huge consequences and massive repercussions; but it is an important way to liberate humanity from enslavement and servitude to America and its corporations. And whatever might be said about the repercussions of this decision, the fact is that remaining enslaved to them has great and more serious repercussions. An opportunity should be first given to individuals to get rid of the dollar and related currencies, inasmuch as states with large reserves of dollars – particularly in East Asia – are able to bear many of those repercussions. It isn’t a secret that the dollar has lost more than 80% of its value against the euro since the latter’s introduction, and the same is true for currencies tied to the dollar. Additionally, gold has risen more than 400% against the dollar since the events of September 11th, and the dollar is continuing to slide, by the grace of Allāh, and I reckon that its losses against the euro will be a whole lot more than 100%; and it’s no secret to those familiar with military, political, economic and social sciences that America’s star is waning, its economy is shriveling and the dollar’s ship is sinking. And the happy one is he who learns from other’s mistakes.

In closing, the world has before it a rare and historic opportunity to liberate itself from servitude to America, as the latter finds itself in a serious predicament – by the grace of Allāh جل جلاله – drowning in the marshes of Iraq and lost in the passes of Afghanistan. The heroic mujāhidīn are inflicting on them severe moral and material losses, and they want to escape but cannot, and they are looking with sorrowful and dejected eyes at their rivals in the East and West whose situation has improved and wealth has increased following America’s hemorrhaging and its preoccupation with combating the mujāhidīn; and for Allāh is all praise. So to all people, all inhabitants of earth: it is neither just nor equitable nor wise nor smart that the burden be left on the mujāhidīn alone in an issue whose adverse effects concern the entire world. What is being asked of you is simple: it is that you tighten the embargo against them. So be earnest and take the initiative in boycotting them, in order to save yourselves, your wealth and your children from climate change and in order to live freely and honorably [instead of standing on] the steps of conferences and begging for your lives, for there is no good in a life which incurs humiliation. And wealthy states must stop lending to America, because to lend to it is to finance its tyrannical wars against the weak, particularly the one against your neighbors in Afghanistan. As for the mujāhidūn, they will – Allāh willing – persist in their fighting of the oppressors in Iraq and Afghanistan, in order to achieve truth, cancel falsehood and help the Muslims, especially in Palestine, and in order to defend weak and disaster-stricken people in Asia, Africa and South America who have neither strength nor power.

And our final prayer is that all praise is due to Allāh, Lord of the worlds.

Now my first reaction on reading that piece was how mild it is. Bear in mind that the "Inspire" magazine is full of bomb-making recipes, calls to kill Americans and Israelis, and general standard-brand Jihadi rhetoric. (Also full of praise for the wonderful "achievement" of the saddo who set fire to his underpants on a flight to the USA.) Yet apart from support for the defenders of Iraq and Afghanistan against foreign invaders, the bin Laden piece contains no praise for violence of any kind and nothing about jihad: it simply calls for a worldwide economic boycott of US interests.

My second reaction was that the language seemed a bit homespun and folksy for bin Laden, an aristocratic techie with excellent English. Perhaps it was written in Arabic and deliberately translated that way. Perhaps.

But my question is, who would go to the trouble of faking a non-violent bin Laden article? One that makes him look like a moderate Muslim (there is nothing in this piece which would get its author into trouble anywhere in Europe if it was repeated in a public forum). Could it be that the document's creators wish to portray concern over climate change as being an al-Qaeda-inspired plot to destroy the USA? Or is it the idea of a boycott that they're gunning for, given the increasing calls for just such a boycott to force Israel to face up to its responsibilities? Is the plan to paint the BDS movement as al-Qaeda sympathisers?

Of course, there remains the possibility that it is a genuine piece by bin Laden, though the reference to Noam Chomsky, favourite whipping-boy of the American right, seems all too convenient (bin Laden reads Chomsky? then it's OBVIOUS that Chomsky must be an al-Qaeda supporter, right?).

What do you think? The real deal, or a fake? And if the latter, why?

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