Bove and bin Laden — separated at birth?

Spiked Online’s Brendan O’Neill has a thoughtful, and interesting, take on Osama bin Laden’s latest video, in which he denounces the current U.S. administration for, among other sins, not ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. (“Is Osama bin Laden an environmenalist?“)

Sounding like a weird-beard version of Naomi Klein, bin Laden bashes corporations for controlling the political system in the West…

Commentators are most surprised by the fact that bin Laden has turned green: he seems to be concerned about global warming. He declares that ‘all of mankind is in danger because of the global warming resulting to a large degree from the emissions of the factories of the major corporations, yet despite that, the representative of these corporations in the White House insists on not observing the Kyoto accord, with the knowledge that the statistic speaks of the death and displacement of millions of human beings because of that, especially in Africa’. Sound familiar?

Bin Laden’s new video message has given rise to speculation that he has started to follow Western debate. In fact, he has always been parasitical on Western thought and fears…

Bin Laden’s green rant and leftish references are strange enough, but that’s not where the weirdness ends. O’Neill sees a strange confluence of enemies of freedom who ordinarily would not have much use for each other.

Bin Laden sounds like a spoilt middle-class brat sticking two fingers up at his family and former friends (he was once close to various Saudi rulers) for getting all money-obsessed, man. In fact, that’s exactly what he is: the son of a Saudi billionaire who in the 1970s made a fortune from running one of daddy’s construction firms and drove a white Chrysler, but then went all religious and decided that capitalism is not very nice. If he’d been born in the Home Counties instead of Riyadh, he would probably have been one of those Eton-educated types who turn their backs on privilege and piss off their parents by becoming smelly hippies who smash up McDonald’s restaurants.

Irrational? Yes. Surprising? No — precisely because it’s too much to expect rationality from such people. For now, let’s just be glad that the professional vandal-cum-anti-globalization “activist” Jose Bove was not born rich and Saudi.