Friday, December 14, 2001

The Bin Laden Tape

I got home last night and watched some excerpts from the "Bin Laden Tape," in which, interspersed between cryptic Koranic references and countless "praised be Allah's," and after unraveling the layers of poetic and religious nonsense, makes it is pretty clear that Bin Laden did the deed. As if there were any doubt. Some Bush II worker bees then ran around on the news shows saying that this would finally prove to the Arab world that Bin Laden did it. Their naiveté is good for a laugh.

Much of our worldview, and many of things we take for granted, are dependant upon our upbringing. We take for granted the ability to reason, but it is actually based on how we are brought up. The ability to decide that a supposition or idea is untrue based on the facts at hand, no matter how much we would like to believe in our cherished supposition or idea, is the basis of reason and all scientific achievement. This basic process of deductive reasoning is something which does not come naturally to people and must be taught from an early age. Europe stagnated in the dark ages for over a thousand years, and people believed in dragons, trolls, and leprechauns, because the basic system of reasoning, of being able to test whether such things were true or not, had been lost.

Most of the third world lives in starvation, poverty, and backwardness. When one is searching for a crust of bread, there isn't time to teach one's children the fundamentals of logical thought. The expectation that the United States can present this videotape as evidence and then the starving and downtrodden masses of the Arab world to suddenly say, "Oh, I see now, I suppose that I was incorrect in thinking that Bin Laden didn't do it," is foolish. It will be passed off as another conspiracy. Maybe it will be pinned on the United States, but the popular explanation will be that the tape was created by that mystical, supernatural force of evil which keeps holding the billion or so Arabs down, the Jews. Just like Arafat claims that the September 11th attack was planned by Israel, the Egyptian Airlines crash was planned by Israel, Monica Lewinsky was a Jewish spy, and every injustice and and failing of the local despots is our fault, so this tape will be passed off as "Just another Zionist conspiracy" and forgotten.

No comments: