Is Osama bin Laden an environmentalist?

What has Bin Laden been reading? His latest message to the West is a screed against capitalism, corporatisation and globalisation, denouncing the White House for not observing the Kyoto accord, and attacking corporations for the emissions from their factories. He’s against real estate mortgages. He even praises Noam Chomsky.

On this subject, Spiked Online’s Brendan O’Neill writes:

Osama bin Laden has come full circle. He started life as a super-rich Saudi boy who later went to fight against the Soviet communist infidels on behalf of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Now, according to his latest message, released over the weekend, he is a born-again anti-capitalist, more worried about corporations than communism, and more frightened by global warming than by irreligious regimes.

Sounding like a weird-beard version of Naomi Klein, bin Laden bashes corporations for controlling the political system in the West. He explains the American Democrats’ failure to stand up against the war in Iraq on the basis that ‘the democratic system permits major corporations to back candidates, be they presidential or congressional’, and the Democrats have been ‘bought off’ by the corporations just like everyone else. He also entertains popular Western conspiracy theories about the assassination of President John F Kennedy. He claims Kennedy was killed because he ‘deviated from the general line of policy [on Vietnam] and wanted to stop this unjust war’. Apparently this ‘angered the owners of the major corporations who were benefiting from [the war’s] continuation’. ‘And so Kennedy was killed, and al-Qaeda wasn’t present at that time, but rather those corporations were the primary beneficiary from his killing. And the war continued after that for approximately one decade’, says bin Laden. Here, bin Laden parrots what has become a familiar line in Western, especially American, discourse: that Kennedy was a Good president, and was likely done in by an evil American cabal.

He wouldn’t be the first to migrate to environmentalism.  Former Camp X-Ray detainee David Hicks is also reported to have turned green whilst serving time in an Adelaide prison.  The Bulletin reported:

The man who once embraced radical Islam and Osama bin Laden now says he wants to help save the environment, and identifies his new guru as Australian of the Year Tim Flannery.