The Bin Ladens

Mohammed Bin laden was a businessman, overseeing expensive projects for the Saudi government, and SC writers that he believed his business was international. His sons took him further down that road and his eldest son was enthusiastic about America. Mohammed died in a plane crash in 1967 and the oldest son, the oldest of 54 children, was the subject of great respect. (What was his relationship with Osama at the time?) They could not have been more different in their attitudes and relationship with Islam, yet they were close collaborators and Osama was very respectful towards his oldest brother. He provided Osama with money and weapons as Osama fought the Soviets. (Had they always been different?) They both went to prep schools with an English background. At about age 13 or 14, in a pattern that was not unusual in the Gulf, Osama with indoctrinated into a more active version of Islam. (What did they think about Osama?) They thought he was a bit self-righteous and a bit trying, but they also admired him. (You talk about Osama's humanitarian streak and when he was showing someone around the orphanage and all these other things he was doing to make people feel he was charitable.) Well he's very quiet, and not necessarily intimidating. He sees himself as a professorial type. But he's also a modernizer. That's a signal of a pattern in Osama's life, that he's someone who uses technology to build his movement. (One disturbing thing in the book is that the older brother died in Texas in a plane crash and you say had he lived he would not have allowed Osama to take the path he took and 9/11 might not have happened.) The older brother was very charismatic and had a close relationship with Saudi Arabia and he successfully controlled Osama and friends believed that if he had not died, he would've reigned him in during the 90s when Osama went off the rails. (So where does that take us now then?) This is not a medieval movement, though it is backwards in many ways. But it's bound up with the global movements and integrations of the world and it has to be considered in that way. (What is the best approach to deal with this threat?) It's important to break down the narrative that Osama attempts to develop about his own cause and his own war. Osama is an aberration in a dialogue of global expansion, he's an extreme expression of that development. The West ought to create a different narrative, one of universal values, not necessarily Western language of democracy and human rights, but of justice and aspirations for equality and access, and the promise of prosperity.

Player utilities

Comments