October 24 2007
Former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer found it useful to give a biography in order to be allowed to talk about Al Qaeda. He pointed out that he spent over 20 years in the CIA. He and other CIA professionals were not entirely happy and many left the Mideast work of "The Company." Of course, "leaving" the Company is a long-standing means of cover.
Amerikans have little information that we can say is direct from Al Qaeda, and our government is admitting to keeping secrets on matters such as torture,(1) but we will discuss Michael Scheuer's work anyway, because an Osama Bin Laden video from last month transcribed by government- funded mercenaries(2) suggested reading his work.
What Scheuer said that the present writer underestimated is that Osama Bin Laden appears to have various business skills in engineering, especially tunnels. However, Bin Laden also has done work in agriculture and industry. His business exploits are so extensive that in fact he has to be considered the CEO of a multinational corporation.(3) In every country he went to, Osama Bin Laden did what we at MIM call infrastructural work, building businesses and sometimes literally roads and tunnels.
Of course, that is not to say that Bin Laden is a "suit" as they say. He is known to be informal,(4) not one we think of as in a suit and tie.
Osama Bin Laden speaks Arabic but reports also say he understands English.(5) Although it is known that he has spent much time in luxury hotels as many rich Saudis do, rumors about his having lived in Germany, Switzerland etc. appear to have been false.(6) His comments on this point demonstrate his piety, because true Muslims are supposed to fight for a Muslim state or leave countries as in Europe.
A favorite image of Bin Laden among his followers has to be driving a bulldozer while under Soviet social-imperialist helicopter fire in Afghanistan.(7)
Scheuer says one incorrect theory about Islamic radicals is that they are sexually frustrated men.(8) This would appear to be the Freudian and pc obsession of the West being projected. In fact, Osama Bin Laden has said he is for the equality of wimmin.(9)
Osama Bin Laden's father had major contracts on mosque work as did Osama himself eventually.(10) He knows the holiest places of Islam inside-out. This among other things leads Scheuer to say that religion is a real factor in the struggle of Al Qaeda and the Taliban.(11) According to Scheuer, his people really love Bin Laden. Saudi intelligence indicated there was a poll granting Bin Laden over 95% approval in the 25 to 41 age group.(12) Scheuer goes so far as to say there is Muslim love for Osama Bin Laden.(13)
Although Bin Laden is a famous figure, he does not pose as an Islamic scholar.(14) Instead he finds his own life's justification in the concept of "defensive jihad." As in a Joan of Arc story, the ordinary people can rise up to play leadership roles when the nation is under threat.
By way of biography, the present writer has never set foot in a proper Islamic mosque and has not finished reading the Koran as of this moment. The present writer would say that now is not the time to make a persynal decision on Islam, but the process of thought has started. More important than what a decadent writer from the united $tates practices is whether we can prepare future youth with better ideological weapons.
In the end, the Osama Bin Laden case should make it clear that individual
motivations are unimportant. Scheuer and polls show that Bin Laden is
loved by hundreds of millions. Scheuer could have a number of motivations for
his books presenting extended information on Osama Bin Laden.
1) He could want to hype the threat to boost employment in any number of government agencies.
2) He might want to boost the threat to support those wanting a stepped up military approach, because the existing one has underestimated the problem.
3) He might want to boost the threat, to show that it is too big to be handled by war as Amerikans think of it--as if it were some 180 bearded dudes in a cave somewhere.
4) He might feel motivated by a struggle against the treason of his leaders.
5) He might think it is just a good thing for patriotic Amerikans to be concerned.
6) Maybe he just wants to say something cranky about his former bosses.
7) The purest intelligence profession motivation serving the United $tates would be to build up Osama Bin Laden to find new avenues to further roads of intelligence on Osama Bin Laden, perhaps by spying on someone impressed with Osama Bin Laden by Scheuer's books. MIM talks about this in the concept of "shadow-boxing."
In other words, if we look at individual motivations, it is possible to have it more than both ways. Who-oriented intelligence is doomed to failure, because there is no science of the individual. That is one reason that Marxism is an advance, because Marx was the one who realized that truth and the class structure impeding its acceptance.
We have made it clear we are no Islam experts, but that does not really matter. It is the simplistic authoritarians wondering whether MIM is a valid "source" that will be confused. Conversely, the authoritarians' mirror image post-modernists are likewise obsessed with sources and what spin they might put on events, as if spin can solve everything. MIM would say politics is not really all just people spinning.
Osama Bin Laden's individual leadership skills do matter, because he is leading struggles in Pakistan, Indonesia, the Philippines and other places with semi-feudalism still in place. The capable bourgeoisie can lead those places forward, because those agrarian countries do not have fullblown capitalism yet. A consequence of Scheuer's work that he may not have intended is that one can read it and start to hope that Osama Bin Laden and his comrades can lead the anti-feudal and anti- slavery struggles. In any case, the maximum contribution to the struggle in those places requires an interaction with the proletariat, not just the bourgeoisie.
Intelligence analysts can be bought with salaries, promotions and even degrees of security clearance/classified information access. The proletarian scientist is an intelligence analyst without concern except for answering to God as Osama Bin Laden would put it. In other words, the proletarian scientist answers to the good of the species without any entrenched interests to answer to, because the proletariat "has nothing to lose but its chains." Such an intelligence practice is not possible within capitalism's state and it can only be approximated by the vanguard party at this current moment. Bin Laden has literally agitated for the freedom of the slaves, and it is what those billions of slaves think, for whatever reason, by whatever spin they received, that matters. The truth could be that Osama Bin Laden sits in a cave watching Paris Hilton videos, but the oppressed masses revere him as a symbol of resistance to U.$. imperialism. The masses have proved that they are susceptible to the message of striking back at imperialism. Literally billions of social interactions had to go into making Osama Bin Laden's image, most without professional intelligence agents guiding them. Hence, the result says something about the people, more than Osama Bin Laden or Michael Scheuer.
3. Michael Scheuer, Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror (Washington, DC: Potomac Books, 2005) p. 39.
Scheuer, 2005; Scheuer, 2005, pp. 116-7.
4. "He is still living in tents in Afghanistan with us." Scheuer, 2005, p. 125.
5. Michael Scheuer, Through Our Enemies' Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam and the Future of America (Washington, DC: Potomac Books, 2006);
Scheuer, 2006, p. 91.
6. Scheuer, 2006, p. 140.
7. Scheuer, 2006, p. 105.
8. Scheuer, 2005, p. xix.
9. Scheuer, 2005, p. 133.
10. Scheuer, 2006, pp. 89-90.
11. e.g., Scheuer, 2006, p. 28.
12. Scheuer, 2005, p. 72.
13. Scheuer, 2005, p. 124.
14. Scheuer, 2006, p. 78.