[lit-ideas] Re: Text of bin Laden Tape

  • From: "Phil Enns" <phil.enns@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2006 12:04:21 -0500

bin Laden has been as effective as he has because he is a true believer,
refusing to compromise in any way.  People are willing to sacrifice
their lives fighting for him because they believe he is likewise
committed.  I find it difficult to see him caring what 'other folks in
other countries' think of him, especially if we are talking about
infidels.  If he were seen to be negotiating with the infidels, his
legitimacy would be destroyed.

bin Laden does not explain what this truce might look like, but it would
most likely involve the standard elements: removal of all infidel troops
from Saudi Arabia and the return of all land to the Palestinians.
Previously he has said that these were the conditions for ending his
jihad and I don't see that this reference to a truce adds anything.  My
guess is that most Muslims, and certainly almost all Arab Muslims would
understand the reference in these terms.  bin Laden is not a politician,
pandering to opinion polls, but a jihadist with specific goals.  It is
most likely the case that removal of infidel troops from Saudi Arabia
and the destruction of Israel are not all of bin Laden's goals, and they
may not even be the most important, but he is fighting a jihad that all
his followers see as having a very particular outcome.  I doubt very
seriously whether this outcome is at all subject to negotiation.


Phil Enns
Toronto, ON

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