The most recent message from Osama bin Laden spoke
directly to us, the American people. Most Americans either hate
or fear bin Laden and with good reason. Like all New Yorkers,
I take a very personal interest when bin Laden issues a threat.
I think the next attack may have my name on it. Even if fate
spares me, I dread living through a repeat of September 11,
I have another reason for being interested. If
Osama is trying to kill me and my fellow citizens, I would like
to know why. Few people share my feelings of curiosity. Because
we have a primal urge to stay alive, other concerns take a back
America has a very difficult task ahead. We must
listen to bin Laden, partly because we want to live, but also
to answer that often asked question: Why do they hate us? A
combination of factors prevents most Americans from ever getting
a straight answer.
Bin Laden's latest message went out to a nation
that is overwhelmingly deaf and blind. It is not altogether
the fault of individuals. We are encouraged to be stupid. The
corporate media is just that, corporate. It has been a long
time since they were interested in telling their readers, viewers,
and listeners anything resembling the truth.
With the help of the media, the Bush administration
managed to avoid all blame and responsibility for the attacks
of September 11th that took place on their watch. If a Democrat
had been president on that day Republicans would not have pretended
to be supportive. They would have issued calls for impeachment
and the media would have joined in the witch hunt.
The co-opted press are in the process of helping
the Bushmen wage a new war. We are on the verge of attacking
Iran, a nation that has not and cannot harm us, because Israel
and its American right wing allies demand it.
Israel is already a nuclear power, a fact that
is rarely mentioned in the media. Despite the recent comments
of Iran's president, it is Israel that has the power to wipe
Iran off the map, not the other way around.
The wimpy opposition, the Democrats, and the press
are of no use at this moment in history. Other institutions
are also afflicted with co-opted and complicit leadership.
Preachers say nothing about the thousands of people
killed by the U.S. military. They reserve their outrage for
movies that depict gay cowboys or boy wizards. Instead of stepping
up to the empire they wait in line for a Faith Based Initiative
hand out. Speaking truth to the powerful is not on their agenda.
Millions of Americans truly believe they live
in the greatest country in the world. They don't just believe
it is the most powerful or the richest, they believe it is the
best and most moral. You can't listen to criticism if you think
there is nothing to criticize.
press, the clergy and political leadership should help us understand
humanity in every part of the world. Instead they make us more
ignorant. As a result, Americans are living in a bubble that
grows thicker and more obscure by the day. It would be difficult
for even the most enlightened nation to listen to the man who
killed 3,000 of their fellow citizens. It is impossible for
In his latest message Bin Laden did more than
taunt us and tell us we are all sitting ducks. He makes simple
and reasonable requests of our country. Get the U.S. military
out of the Arab and Muslim world, stop torture in Guantanamo
and Abu Ghraib and stop killing his people.
It is wrong for America to occupy Iraq. It was
wrong to kill the citizens of Afghanistan because it was Osama's
hideout and it isn't wrong to say so just because Osama bin
Laden says the same thing.
It was wrong to kill in New York and Washington
on 9/11, but it was also wrong to kill in Fallujah. Dead is
dead. Death is no better or worse in one part of the world than
it is in another. My life is not more valuable than an Iraqi's.
That is why I ask my leaders to stop killing Osama's people.
That is the message Americans need to hear.
If self preservation is a motivator, then Osama's
words should be taken seriously.