This editorial from the Boston Globe makes a lot of sense to anyone who really listened to megalomaniac we know as Osama Bin Laden on his last tape.
IT IS hardly news that Osama bin Laden does not share the Enlightenment value placed on a citizen's right to vote for a representative government. Nonetheless, the latest audiotape from the Al Qaeda leader, parts of which were played on Al Jazeera last week, does illustrate just how reactionary his reasons are for rejecting not only the elections scheduled for Jan. 30 in Iraq but also Palestinian elections in the West Bank and Gaza on Jan. 9. On the tape, Bin Laden castigates the planned election of an Iraqi national assembly to draft a constitution, saying: "In the balance of Islam, this constitution is infidel, and therefore everyone who participates in this election will be considered an infidel." He calls the Iraqi constitution "a Jahaliya constitution that is made by man," meaning it reflects the ignorance of the pre-Islamic era and does not derive from God. Electing a prince or a president is permitted, Bin Laden says, only if "the prince is a Muslim, and he will institute Islam, that is, Islam is the only source of the rulings and laws."
Can anyone be in any doubt about what it is that Bin Laden wants? And what he is willing to do to get it? The naked lust for power that is disguised under the label of "radical Islam" represents just another diatribe from a tyrant obsessed with controlling people and killing anyone he can't control. History has been full of people like Bin Laden. They attract other sociopaths and assorted thugs like magnets. Under the guise of "religion" or "science" or any number of straw men, they announce that they will bring a new order for the "good" of humanity, while murdering anyone who opposes that "good". In their universe the only free will that exists is their own, and they must be the final arbiters of "goodness" and "truth" for everyone else. Death is the solution for opposition to their ideas.
The 20th Century saw more horrors and mass murder from these personalities than any previous century. As science and technology developed over the ages, those who would deliver humanity back to the caves of primitive man, have found no inconsistency in using the advances in science and technology to make it happen. OBL is the just latest incarnation of this ancient evil that seems to appear in every generation with the goal of impeding human freedom and progress.
It is important to remember that such expressions of pseudo-omnipotence eventually come to naught. Yes, they blaze a trail of misery, destruction and death--but it is only a transient setback to the strength of the human mind and spirit that will never remain enslaved. There aren't enough Bin Ladens or Hitlers in the universe; or false gods in the heavens, to prevent that spirit from attaining its ultimate triumph. Like all the othersof his ilk, Bin Laden and his false religion will be buried by history and by the courageous actions of those allied to Liberty.
I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.