ITWASSOOTED: "a suicide state".

Saturday, July 15, 2006

"a suicide state".


Reflecting on bin Laden's post-September 11 messages, he provides this exegesis of bin Laden's words: "The hollowness of the World Trade Center, whose imposing towers crumbled so easily in the face of al-Qaeda's attack, represented the void at the heart of Western civilization itself, not least because the attacks of September 11 were followed by a significant if partial breakdown of America's much-vaunted culture of democratic rights and civil liberties, including even a suspension of certain provisions of the Geneva Convention."

Devji then adds: "This fact was not lost upon any participant in the jihad, to whom it demonstrated that the West's moral superiority was not only hypocritical, because its boasted freedom was based upon the un-freedom of others, but hollow as well, because it could not preserve this freedom even for its own citizens."

Osama bin Laden's thinking mirrors the views of America's takfiris - if you simply poke at the West's structure it will crumble like burned paper. In fact, according to bin Laden, the attacks of September 11 were of little account in terms of actual damage, particularly when compared with the damage the US would inflict on itself in its reaction: the United States and its allies would turn in on themselves; they would seal their borders, spy on their own people, expand domestic police powers, detain people without a warrant, hold people without evidence, torture suspects, violate international norms and subvert foreign governments - becoming, in his words, "a suicide state".

PART 5: The politics of indignation
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