Osama bin Laden, Sentimentalist?

Kenneth Wilson kfwils at earthlink.net
Tue Mar 12 19:51:07 EST 2002

Wade Riddick wrote:
> At the far extreme with sentimentality, we have religious zealots like
> Osama bin Laden, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson - you name it.  These
> individuals look back on a perfect past until they construct their own
> utopia.  Whether it's some imagined golden age of America or Islam, it's
> all the same really.  It's irrational.  It's paranoid.  It's ego-centric
> and usually hitched to charismatic cult leaders.
> They imagine a perfect past and since forgiveness means admitting the past
> wasn't perfect, they have to forgo the ability to forgive.  It's the
> imperative driving their nature.  Examine closely those statements by
> Falwell about how New York City brought the 9/11 attacks on itself due to
> it's contempt for God's Will (although maybe the Will they had in mind was
> really George?).  Have you ever heard any bin Laden speechs admitting to
> the possibility of forgiveness?  After listing the wrongs America has done
> him, does he then detail what he wants for an apology?  Of course not.  He
> wouldn't remain totally committed to his absolutist goals then.  He'd lose
> his charismatic following.  It's the Robespierre problem.  In this, Bin
> Laden is the most modern of the lot.

bin Laden wants something much greater than an apology. He wants change. He
wants us to become a Muslim state. In this he's at least consistent, because
apologies are meaningless if no attempt is made the remove the offense. And
for all their presumption, Fallwell and Co. (whose statements examined
closely, were about America as a whole), often speak of forgiveness.

I do appreciate your thoughts on sentimentality,


More information about the Percy-L mailing list