Idioma original:
Original title: The Osama Bin Laden I Know
Translation: Gabriel Dols Gallardo
Year of publication: 2006
Valuation: quite recommended

If there is a journalistic maxim that says that there is nothing older than yesterday’s newspaper, imagine how I feel scheduling a review like this today. I don’t even have the alibi of the anniversary or the remembrance of some event related to a certain fateful date, there is nothing (apart from the references in the text in a recent reading by Susan Sontag) that justifies recovering or reopening interest in This character who, it is difficult to find the terms to be precise, is the history of humanity. Because almost twenty-three years have passed since that moment that, like very few others, is defined in the collective memory with the well-known phrase: where were you when the Twin Towers fell? And for the very young or very clueless, a gentle reminder about the reasons why every time you take a flight you have to go through cumbersome baggage checks and routine security checkpoints. Or because at ports there are random container scanning controls. And a long etcetera of things that Osama Bin Laden’s leadership caused. Well, and the acts of his followers and his terrorist organization. clear.

In fact, when this book was published the mysterious episode of his death (or disappearance) had not even occurred and the book, before epilogues and final appendices, still talks in real time about the leader of Al Qaeda and, with a distant respect but respect after all, he refers to him as what he was for years: the most wanted man on the planet. A cautious respect that, we already know how they spend it, I will have to maintain so as not to stir up tempers. Let’s see if, having survived the Manuel Vilas fans, I’m going to fall for this.

Peter Bergen articulates an extensive and documented text with two centers of gravity: the interview he did with the leader of Al Qaeda himself and that crescendo until 9/11 to which the book inevitably drags us. In between, fragments of interviews, testimonies and confessions of detainees and convicts, confessions, profiles of acolytes and enemies, biographical clippings, propaganda statements and texts with a clear differentiating factor between the cold account of the facts and the fervor, I would say naive but not , religious, which tarnishes the statements and corroborates my opinion expressed not too long ago about the perniciousness of religions and how curious it is that, in the most extremist sectors, atheists are hated with such praise, as if they were rebellious individuals incapable of abiding by a higher order, under whatever name it may present itself. Although the text has that collateral effect of humanization, which is often presented as an educated, austere man, with correct and nuanced manners and gestures, you only have to scratch a little to see how his ideas influence his followers, how they They cancel out those of their own, how the speech inflames and becomes a tired and monotonous dialogue (mentioning, of course, God every three sentences) and how it sunk in or out.

Because we are still witnessing the powerful blows of those events and Osama Bin Laden, without a burial place to which he can make a pilgrimage, without people wearing him in t-shirts like Pablo Escobar, is still alive in his wake in the present. And not only because of the poor ability of Western civilization to neutralize its influence. Be careful, the fronts he opened are still very far from being closed.


Leave a Reply