Osama bin Laden, 1993

Osama bin Laden, 1993

you either die a hero or live long enough to become the villain

And then he stopped working for the USA and did it again.

Well to be fair our perspective on the matter is skewed being the guys who funded then fought him.

Courtesy of /u/BluSilver from last time this was posted, a text of the article:

For those who don't want to read it from the picture:

Anti-Soviet warrior puts his army on the road to peace

OSAMA Bin Laden sat in his gold fringed robe, guarded by the loyal Arab mujahedin who fought alongside him in Afghanistan. Bearded, taciturn figures — unarmed, but never more than a few yards from the man who recruited them, trained them and then dispatched them to destroy the Soviet army — they watched unsmiling as the Sudanese villagers of Almatig lined up to thank the Saudi businessman who is about to complete the highway linking their homes to Khartoum for the first time in history. With his high cheekbones, narrow eyes and long brown robe, Mr. Bin Laden looks every inch the mountain warrior of mujahedin legend. Chadored children danced in front of him, preachers acknowledged his wisdom. “We have been waiting for this road through all the revolutions in Sudan," a sheik he said. “We waited until we had given up on everybody — and then Osama Bin Laden came along.”

Outside Sudan, Mr. Bin Laden is not regarded with quite such high esteem. The Egyptian press claims he brought hundreds of former Arab fighters back to Sudan from Afghanistan, while the Western embassy circuit in Khartoum has suggested that some of the “Afghans” whom this Saudi entrepreneur flew to Sudan are now busy training for further jihad wars in Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt. Mr. Bin Laden is well aware of this. “The rubbish of the media and the embassies,” he calls it. “I am a construction engineer and an agriculturalist. If I had training camps here in Sudan, I couldn’t possibly do this job.”

And “this job” is certainly an ambitious one: a brand-new highway stretching all the way from Khartoum to Port Sudan, a distance of 1,200km (745 miles) on the old road, now shortened to 800km by the new Bin Laden route that will turn the coastal run from the capital into a mere day’s journey. Into a country that is despised by Saudi Arabia for its support of Saddam Hussein in the Gulf war almost as much as it is condemned by the United States, Mr. Bin Laden has brought the very construction equipment that he used only five years ago to build the guerrilla trails of Afghanistan.

He is a shy man. Maintaining a home in Khartoum and only a small apartment in his home city of Jeddah, he is married — with four wives — but wary of the press. His interview with the Independent was the first he has ever given to a Western journalist, and he initially refused to talk about Afghanistan, sitting silently on a chair at the back of a makeshift tent, brushing his teeth in the Arab fashion with a stick of miswak wood. But talk he eventually did about a war which he helped to win for the Afghan mujahedin: “What I lived In two years there, I could not have lived in a hundred years elsewhere,” he said.

When the history of the Afghan resistance movement is written, Mr. Bin Laden’s own contribution to the mujahedin — and the indirect result of his training and assistance — may turn out to be a turning-point in the recent history of militant fundamentalism; even if, today, he tries to minimize his role “When the invasion of Afghanistan started, I was enraged and went there at once — I arrived within days, before the end of 1979," he Said. "Yes, I fought there, but my fellow Muslims did much more than I. Many of them died and I am still alive.”

Within months, however, Mr. Bin Laden was sending Arab fighters — Egyptians, Algerians, Lebanese, Kuwaitis, Turks and Tunisians — into Afghanistan; “not hundreds but thousands,” he said. He supported them with weapons and his own construction equipment. Along with his Iraqi engineer, Mohamed Saad — who is now building the Port Sudan road — Mr. Bin laden blasted massive tunnels into the Zazi mountains of Bakhtiar province for guerrilla hospitals and arms dumps, then cut a mujahedin trail across the country to within 15 miles of Kabul.

“No, I was never afraid of death. As Muslims, we believe that when we die, we go to heaven. Before a battle, God sends us seqina, tranquility.

“Once I was only 30 meters from the Russians and they were trying to capture me. I was under bombardment but I was so peaceful in my heart that I fell asleep. This experience has been written about in earliest books. I saw a 120 mm mortar shell land in front of me, but it did not blow up. Four more bombs were dropped from a Russian plane on our headquarters but they did not explode. We beat the Soviet Union. The Russians fled.”

But what of the Arab mujahedin whom he took to Afghanistan — members of a guerrilla army who were also encouraged and armed by the United States — and who were forgotten when that war was over? “Personally neither I nor my brothers saw evidence of American help. When my mujahedin were victorious and the Russians were driven out, differences started [between the guerrilla movements] so I returned to road construction in Taif and Abha. I brought back the equipment I had used to build tunnels and roads for the mujahedin in Afghanistan. Yes, I helped some of my comrades to come here to Sudan after the war.”

How many? Osama Bin Laden shakes his head. “I don’t want to say. But they are here now with me, they are working right here, building this road to Port Sudan.” I told him that Bosnian Muslim fighters in the Bosnian town of Travnik had mentioned his name to me, “I feel the same about Bosnia,” he said. “But the situation here does not provide the same opportunities as Afghanistan. A small number of mujahedin have gone to fight in Bosnia-Herzegovina but the Croats won’t allow the mujahedin in through Croatia as the Pakistanis did with Afghanistan.”

Thus did Mr. Bin laden reflect upon jihad while his former fellow combatants looked on. Was it not a little bit anti-climactic for them, I asked, to fight the Russians and end up road-building in Sudan? “They like this work and so do I. This is a great plan which we are achieving for the people here, it helps the Muslims and improves their lives.”

His Bin laden company — not to be confused with the larger construction business run by his cousins — is paid in Sudanese currency which is then used to purchase sesame and other products for export; profits are clearly not Mr. Bin Laden’s top priority.

How did he feel about Algeria, I asked? But a man in a green suit calling himself Mohamed Moussa — he claimed to be Nigerian although he was a Sudanese security officer — tapped me on the arm. “You have asked more than enough questions,” he said. At which Mr. bin Laden went off to inspect his new road.

When Arab people attack civilians it's called "terrorism", if the US attacks civilians it's called "anti-terrorism." If the US enters another country (against UN, International Court) it's "liberation." If another country like Russia enters another sovereign country it's "invasion."

This double thinking, double speak, is engrained in our culture from a very early age, take for example how history textbooks wrote the invasion of America. It was about "discovering" America, which should've been rewritten as the "genocide" of the Native Americans.

But we've always been at war with Eastasia...

It's also pretty skewed considering he masterminded and funded a whole bunch of terror attacks against civilians.

and blocking medical aid and food/water into the country which resulted in the deaths of at least 100,000 Iraqi children.

The Oil for Food Program was set up to allow the Saddam regime to buy unlimited amounts of food and medicine.

The program was divided geographically, with the Kurds in the north running their part independently and the Ba'athists running the rest of the program.

The amount of revenue generated by the oil for food program (around $50 billion over about eight years) was enough to feed every hungry man, woman, and child in the entire country.

Instead it went into the pockets of the regime, Russians, and European bankers.

But Sulaymaniyah, a city in northern Iraq with approximately 500,000 inhabitants, tells a different story. Indeed, across a crescent-shaped slice of northern Iraq, the picture is the same: The shops are stocked, and the people are eating. Northern Iraq lives under exactly the same international sanctions as the rest of the country. The difference here is that local Kurdish authorities, in conjunction with the United Nations, spend the money they get from the sale of oil. Everywhere else in Iraq, Saddam does. And when local authorities are determined to get food and medicine to their people--instead of, say, reselling these supplies to finance military spending and palace construction--the current sanctions regime works just fine. Or, to put it more bluntly, the United Nations isn't starving Saddam's people. Saddam is.


Now Kurdish authorities are clearing the region of mines and introducing agricultural and reforesting programs--programs financed by oil-for-food money. But the most striking proof that the sanctions themselves don't make Iraqis suffer lies in northern Iraq's public health statistics: Infant mortality in the region is actually lower than it was before the United Nations imposed sanctions in 1990. "When I was in primary school, we had to scrounge for food," one university student joked. "Now my mother complains if she can't find truffles in the market."



His view of the United States changed in the 90's when the they started bombing water cleaning facilities and hospitals and blocking medical aid and food/water into the country which resulted in the deaths of at least 100,000 Iraqi children. Some Afghan numbers account for over a million children killed due to lack of aid and clean water.

Source on sanctions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanctions_against_Iraq#Estimates_of_deaths_due_to_sanctions

Interesting video with sensationalist title:


This whole time I was worried this was going to turn into the weirdest piece of slash fiction on the internet.


This going to sound like a lie, but a friend of my aunt met a very young Osama Bin Laden at a restaurant in Sweden. She was on a date with her boyfriend and wanted a smoke but noone had a lighter. This young arabic man dressed in a very nice suit with gold watch and gold everything leans over and hands her his gold lighter.

He then introduces himself as Osama Bin Laden and they start to chat. He was here on a business trip with his father who was buying a lot of swedish digging equipment for his company ( I think it they were in construction im not sure).

As the evening progresses Osama invites the couple to his private jet, for a tour. So they take his car to the airport, but sadly when they arrive they can't take off since the pilot had injured his ankle during the night. But they got a tour of the jet anyway.

It's pretty late by now so Osama offers to drive them home ( well not him personally ofc, he has a driver ) .When they arrive at the couples building, they feel it would be rude to not invite the nice young man in to their apartment. So they offer him some coffe and probably more wine I guess. They keep chatting and having a lovely time until late in the night,

So now it's really late and everyones very tired but you can't just send someone away at this hour of the night ( even if he is staying at the finest hotel in the country).

"Why dont you spend the night here ? we have a lovely couch"

And he did. He really was a nice fellow (before he became a religious extremist)

He had already been publicly declared responsible for a terrorist attack in 1992 by then.

We now know Al-Qaeda was already formed by this point.


What an illuminating comment. Really puts things into perspective.

Everything is not batman. I'm so sick of this dumbass quote.

Umm, Osama was essentially Mujahideen. He founded and supported the Maktab al-Khidamat, a pro-Mujahideen, anti-Soviet force which had US support.

Maktab al-Khidamat was the forerunner of al-Qaeda.

The Egyptian press claims he brought hundreds of former Arab fighters back to Sudan from Afghanistan, while the Western embassy circuit in Khartoum has suggested that some of the “Afghans” whom this Saudi entrepreneur flew to Sudan are now busy training for further jihad wars in Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt. Mr. Bin Laden is well aware of this. “The rubbish of the media and the embassies,” he calls it. “I am a construction engineer and an agriculturalist. If I had training camps here in Sudan, I couldn’t possibly do this job.”


Europeans vote for the sanctions, their militaries are incapable of functioning without the US to carry out the sanctions, then they bitch when the US does what they voted to do.

Surprised they aren't trying to collect for property damage from WWII.

I was waiting for a "tree fiddy" to pop up. We're both relieved.

Then, in that case, the blame falls on every nation that has veto power, not the US specifically.

The Iraqi government of the time had just invaded another country. That's why the protocol of economic sanctions exists - to compel nations to cease aggression without escalating the conflict. They could have, at any time, worked with the US and the UN to improve conditions, as the wikipedia page points out, but they chose not to. Unless we conclude that the invasion of another country outside international law is morally right (which is evidently not the case, or the NATO-Iraq war would have received universal approval) then the blame lies solely on their shoulders.

Whelp...they did.

You're doing good work, /u/telegraphist. Thanks.

This is assumedly a blog post written by "the War and Law League" about the initial Iraq invasion in 2003, with only their assertions that hospitals were bombed in Iraq in the 1990s.

edit: I found "the War and Law League" proper website, it's full of great and insightful information like Obama plays God, seeks to smite Syria for its sin and Bush plots war on Iran Will it be nuclear?

So is it the US's fault the UN enacted these sanctions? Are UN sanctions invalid?

"[some have] suggested that some of that 'Afghans' whom this Saudi entrepreneur flew to flew to Sudan are now busy training for further jihad..."

UBL Response: "The rubbish of the media and embassies. I am a construction engineer and agriculturalist..."

you must be an agent of Emmanuel Goldstein!

Also accurate

"The next morning, it was time to part. They exchanged emails and said their goodbyes promising to keep in touch. But they never did. And to this day I blame them for 9/11."

The difference is that the US doesn't kill civilians intentionally. Claiming it does is absurd.

Each person summarily executed by drone since the surrender of the revolutionary guard has been a civilian.

right, because the other narrative is 100% accurate.

I mean, is it really so edgy to say that media and historybooks add a gloss of their own?

Manifest Destiny was a pretty wicked thing, but you´re more likely to hear about the settler´s braving the harsh frontiers than you are to hear about the trail of tears.

Fighting in trenches during WWII was a pretty wicked thing too, but you´re infinitely more likely to hear about the concentration camps, or if combat focused then you´ll hear about the american troops pushing past the evil Nazis than you are to hear an account from a german soldier or a soviet soldier.

The way Smokecat put it was pretty sensational too, but let´s not go pretending that objectivity and impartialness is a virtue of our society or our media.

Wow sounds like a swell fellow.

The murder of civilians is never justified. The people murdered in 9/11 had nothing to do with any sort of water cleaning facility bombings.


America's foreign policy wasn't justified either. And neither party's policies justified the killings of either country's civilians.

The point is that some of the top ranking officials, including the whole joint chiefs of staff, signed off on this Operation Northwoods project before it was sent to Kennedy and rejected.

It really shows you to what lengths the people in power in this country are ready to go.

His motives were not purely religious so to blame Islam solely is completely misguided.

I'm just glad I don't have to deal with those shitty cigarettes yet. That is the worst part about our inevitable future, shitty cigarettes.

he only wanted one, but middle east costco only sells them in four packs

What about Dresden and Hiroshima/Nagasaki? Those are acts of state terror no matter how narrowly you define terrorism. The US isn't anything special, we pursue our interests with whatever we can get away with.

Empathizing with the victor invariably benefits the current rulers. The historical materialist knows what this means. Whoever has emerged victorious participates to this day in the triumphal procession in which current rulers step over those who are lying prostrate. According to traditional practice, the spoils are carried in the procession. They are called "cultural treasures," and the historical materialist views them with cautious detachment. For in every case these treasures have a lineage which he cannot contemplate without horror. They owe their existence not only to the efforts of the great geniuses who created them, but also to the anonymous toil of others who lived in the same period. there is no document of culture which is not at the same time a document of barbarism.

-Walter Benjamin