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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

The Zawahri Memoir

There is an excellent article on Rantburg about Al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden’s deputy. It quotes some of his remarks as printed in a London based Arabic newspaper

Terrorist attacks on Western civilians are justified because they live in democracies and are directly responsible for government policies that anger Arabs, Osama bin Laden’s top lieutenant implies in the latest excerpt of his memoirs. In the passages that appeared Tuesday in the London-based Arabic-language newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, Ayman al-Zawahri says the West understands only “the language of self-interest coupled with oppressive power. If we want to make them understand our rights we have to speak to them in the language they understand,” he said.

Well he is correct in one respect: the West, particularly the Anglosphere, does indeed understand that language. The problem is, we are considerably better at expressing it than they are. If they want this ‘dialogue of civilisations’ to be conducted at 3000 feet per second, ok, we can do that. That is not a dialogue we are going to be on the loosing end of.

The Islamists like poor deluded Mr. Al-Zawahri are actually in a no-win situation. If they elect to fight us, which they obviously have, we are richer by several orders of magnitude and much, much better at the whole ‘directed violence’ thing than they are… but if they do not fight us, they are still doomed. In the long run the sheer joyous banalities of globalised capitalist consumer culture will snow them under with a blizzard of addidas shoes, MP3 players, porno DVDs, air conditioning, satellite videophones and silicon enhanced actresses in very short skirts. Worst of all, we can quite happily tolerate and actually absorb the Islamic world’s best and brightests in ourcivilisation. In the final analysis either way they’re screwed.

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