Who would have thought Osama Bin Laden, the most infamous terrorist in history, was actually concerned about issues the United States faces today. The proclaimed leader of al-Qaeda during his time and the supposed mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, was killed in a raid in Pakistan by the United States Navy Seals in 2011. After the raid was over, the United States seized many documents from his hideout that contains content that is a bit surprising. Some of the newly released documents highlight Bin Laden’s interest on the impacts of global warming and how support could be generated for it. The documents assert Osama Bin Laden planned to urge the US to fight climate change instead of waging war on his own jihadist movement. The most surprising aspect of this suggests he would have even helped President Obama regulate greenhouse gases which is the main culprit for climate change that the world is experiencing presently. Specifically, in documents released in 2015, Bin Laden addressed the suffering the Middle East has endured with natural disasters such as severe flooding Pakistan (Source).
Additionally, 113 documents that were retrieved from Bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan, show he was not just concerned about climate change. The letters and essays contain material relating to the United States financial crisis in 2008, the growing influence of Iran in the Middle East along with the political prospects of current US president Barrack Obama.
On the US economy, prior to the 2008 crisis he wrote: “The fact is that the weakness of the dollar in terms of pricing is to benefit the American economy, not against it” (Source). Bin Laden hoped the US economy would experience difficult financial times, but he would emphasize to his followers to not underestimate the power of the US economy.
The documents also express Bin Laden’s awareness of the growing influence of US drones in modern warfare and we have seen just that in current war-torn states like Syria and Libya. However, most importantly, he condemned the influence of US lobbyists and the false hope of the Obama presidency.
On this matter Bin Laden wrote: “The course of the policies of the present administration in several areas clearly reveals that whoever enters the White House, even with good intentions to safeguard the people’s interest, is no more than a train operator. His only task is to keep the train on the tracks that are laid down by the lobbyists in New York and Washington to serve their interests first, even if it is counter to your security and economy” (Source).
Now, I am not supporting Osama Bin Laden in any shape or form, but it is extremely telling when one of the greatest enemies in US history highlights the current issues facing our country. Basically, Bin Laden was right about everything he talked about in the documents. Climate change is arguably our biggest national security concern because nothing in the world matters remotely if the environment is not intact and the fact Bin Laden was willing to assist Obama in the fight against it tells me the government needs to take more action to address it. When it comes to the influence of Iran; we all know about the nuclear agreement that was reached last year between the US and Iran. The agreement states if the Iranians curb their nuclear program then economic sanctions will be lifted from the country. In theory, this could lead to a more powerful Iran on the global scale that could potentially put the security of the Middle East and the US at risk. Moreover, the previously mentioned quote about the impact of US lobbyists on the government is profound. In my opinion, he is spot on. If Osama Bin Laden could see the flaws in our country, then why are we unable to address them?
Contributed by R.A.