Entitled Rich Boy

Osama bin LadenI don’t know much about Osama bin Laden. But I’ll tell what I think of him. Unlike most people, I don’t think he was a crazy and evil man. I think he was an entitled rich boy. This allowed him to be just like rich guys all over the world: absolutely certain that whatever stupid thought entered his brain must be right. Most rich people follow the likes of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman who tell them that they deserve their wealth—that it is a sign of just how morally superior they are to all the prols they walk on.

But bin Laden was different: he took his marching orders from the Quran. It seems that like most believers of the Abrahamic religious, his reading of the book was simplistic and based mostly (Just like other rich people!) on his existing prejudices that he wanted to justify. If you look at his career, such as it is, he wasn’t that successful. He just spent a lot of time hanging around, most of the al-Qaeda leadership had abandoned him, and his greatest “success” was a fluke that certainly worked better than even he could have expected.

I imagine him sitting around his compound during those last years. He watched his pornography. He wrote about the coming Islamic revolution. Maybe he watched the newest Bollywood films. He was a man of leisure—just like all the men of his class. Anyway, he would be celebrating his birthday today if it weren’t for the fact that he is dead.

Luckily, Edie Brickell is 46 today. So I get to listen to the the Top 10 hit, “What I Am”:

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

0 thoughts on “Entitled Rich Boy

  1. OK. Time for my "rich people are assholes" story.

    I worked pimping popcorn for a movie theater when I was 15 or so. Our theater, the largest screen in America (since dismantled) had a showing of Sony’s 1989 "Batman" product. Anyone who was anyone from Sony attended.

    Well, the A/C went out. Kaput. On a 95-degree summer day. High-level Sony executives repeatedly came out of the theater and demanded I fix it. Yo, jerkoff — I make popcorn, and if you aren’t paying close attention, I can swipe roaches under the counter before you order a Large With Butter Flavoring.

    What I can’t do is fix the A/C. It’s not in my realm of skills to fix an A/C. Executive after executive marched out of the theater and demanded I do something. They are accustomed to making demands and and seeing those demands met. I couldn’t do tghat.

  2. You can’t write that bin Laden is comparable to spoiled rich Americans, even though he totally was. You can’t write that the terrorist attacks of 2001 were a crazy fluke that worked, even though that’s precisely how they succeeded.

    Here’s another unmentionable. The gross incompetence of al-Queda saved thousands of lives. Their stupid attempt at blowing up the World Trade Center using a truck bomb in the parking garage forced the city of New York to mandate backup lights in the WTC stairwells. Because of that, thousands of people escaped the WTC before the towers collapsed in 2001. If there hadn’t been an earlier truck bomb, there probably wouldn’t have been those backup stairwell lights.

    God bless those psychotics for being utterly amateurish. If they had the feeblest idea of how to do what they tried to do, far more people would have been killed.

  3. @JMF – I didn’t go into it here, but like most people, I’ve thought abut this stuff a lot. But I think I’ve come up with some unusual ideas. One of those things is that the idea for the 9/11 attacks was brilliant. It depended upon an old narrative about hijackings: we are going to land, they exchange political prisoners for the passengers. And so on. That’s why it worked. The people sat back and accepted it, even though the hijackers had basically nothing for weapons. And that’s why Flight 93 was different: the people knew.

    And that’s why it hasn’t happened again. It isn’t because no one could get a box cutter on an airplane. And I’m offended that when I fly, I have to go through all this ridiculousness for [i]nothing[/i].

    As for the lucky: I figure bin Laden thought hundreds of people would die. I don’t think he ever imagined that the buildings would come down. It could have been much worse, as you note. I’m still amazed that pretty much everyone below the crash sites got out.

    I’m also angry that my country treats these men as criminal masterminds when they are just marginal people with marginal resources. Sometimes they come up with a brilliant idea. But that’s about the limit to their powers. Bin Laden has managed to make our government so much more pernicious–not just now but going forward. He’s dead and he is still inflicting harm on us.

  4. He won. He got everything he wanted. The US out of Saudi Arabia; check. (That’s one of the reasons we took over Iraq, to have bases there instead of in SA.) Financial chaos that disrupted the country; check. (The wars took care of that, and made sure nobody was paying attention to shenanigans at Countrywide or Bear Stearns.)

    When the latest Iraq war started, when I voiced my antipathy towards it, I was often told, "so you want the terrorists to win." No, I didn’t. And, yes, they did.

  5. Incidentally, in the five months or so I’ve been reading this blog, "Entitled Rich Boy" might probably be my favorite post.

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