The latest video by Osama bin Laden, which the CIA assures us is genuine, so it must be, reveals just a bit more of his philosophy than may have been intended. The speech (not his best work) looks like it was crafted by one of that small army of wingnuts that sees Islamism and leftism as one thing--or makes claims to that effect for the credulous.
Osama's best friends, according to the video (besides Allah, of course), are Noam Chomsky, supporters of Kyoto, critics of the use of nuclear weapons on Japan, anti-war activists and the usual anti-corporate, anti-globalization suspects. But while Osama is delivering this big, wet, sloppy kiss of death, he lets the mask slip--just for a moment. Many Americans are reeling, he says, under the burden of "insane taxes." "There are no taxes in Islam," he thunders, "but rather there is a limited Zakaat (alms) totaling only 2.5 percent."
Whoa. Ever see taxation under fire on the port side of the street--ever? But here is this fellow on a glorious roll, trying to claim common cause with us progressives, suddenly veering off into his rightful territory (no pun intended). A flat tax? He's starting to sound like the boffins at the Fraser Institute.
Suddenly it all makes sense. We know that extreme forms of Islam, typified by this Qur'an-thumping lunatic, are the very apotheosis of hateful homophobia, oppression of women, bone-headed fundamentalism, anti-choice social conservatism. It should be no surprise that the mad mullahs are ideologically conservative on taxes too. If it weren't for their unremitting and murderous anti-Americanism and opposition to Israel, Muslim extremists would be the darlings of the Right, the Mormons of the East.
Indeed, an alternate-universe history is begging to be written, in which Bush Jr. and Osama are allied in a struggle against Progressia, a left-wing enclave north of the US border co-chaired by Avi Lewis and Maude Barlow. (Anyone want to get a mosaic novel started?) In the meantime, though, let's stop the rhetorical nonsense alleging an alliance between the Left and Islamic extremism, and call a spade a spade, and a neo-con a neo-con. Osama's one of theirs, not one of ours. Always has been. No new taxes, he promises: instead, he'll give us major tax cuts. Read his lips.