They call the wars of Afghanistan the Great Game, and it is perhaps not by coincidence that the man who played a central role in luring the Imperial Zionists of America to this central Asian graveyard of empires, went down as one of the greatest gamers of the jihad.
Osama Bin Laden invited me to one of his favorite gaming rooms in Jannah, where we smoked Afghani purple for about six hours and played our favorite video games while discussing geopolitics, the history of jihad, and philosophy. It was honestly not a bad deal, and I can tell within the first ten minutes why so many people who met this man felt graced by his charismatic charm.
When I arrived, he greeted me with immense warmth and a smile that was truly genuine. He told me that I reminded him a little bit of his son, the goth one. Probably because I am wearing all black right now and even my fingernails are polished black. I joked that this would probably get me killed in Afghanistan, then he waved his hand and said "how so? Not if you were my guest." Strangely enough, the man behind so many thousands of deaths was listening to Sade when I walked in. His only request was that I removed my shoes when I entered, and from that point forward he was not hesitant to give me the privilege of his hospitality.
I sat down on the couch with him in his game room and he asked me if I liked his Raven goth gf pillow. I nearly snapped. Holy fucking shit, this was the guy behind 9/11? "Yes," I said. "I love your goth girlfriend Raven pillow."
Then he offered me tea, and not just any tea but a can of Monster Dragon Tea. "Enjoy yourself here on the couch of Allah's martyr." He said and went to turn on the Sega Genesis console. "Because my side has emerged victorious in the Great Game, I shall choose the first game. We will take turns playing Sonic, okay?"
I couldn't decline. He was absolutely right. Like a serpent, I felt right at home and coiled up on his couch with my tea. Osama shut off Sade. Was it because he was so pure in spirit that he knew the original Sonic soundtrack should stand on its own without any background music?
Oh God. Oh fuck, there he was Sheik al-Mujahid, as Al-Qaeda called him, doing flips around mechanical animals and shit in Green Hill Zone. When he got to the first Robotnik boss, he calmly maneuvered around it in timed strikes until it was destroyed.
"Sonic The Hedgehog is a lot like the jihad." Osama explained. "In order to win, one must be quick but patient. Only because of the wisdom of Allah and the teachings of our prophets (PBUT) are we able to understand this."
This was it. I was about to be psy-opped into supporting jihad by this scion of a Saudi construction conglomerate intermittently linked to the most powerful emirs in the Middle East. The man who threw it all away to enjoy life on the edge surrounded by the smoke and death of war in Afghanistan before slinking away to live his last years as a NEET. He even got the death that he wanted. Holy shit, maybe he died with a bunch of video games and anime just to fuck with us. Fucking god damn visionary. Only the best know how to continue fucking with people from the other side. For a moment, I felt concerned. What kind of person would I be when leaving here? I wasn't going to raise the black banners of jihad, right? I was just chilling on a couch with the most wanted terrorist of all time in his spiritual abode.
He made it all of the way to Scrap Brain Zone Act 2 before he died, then he handed me the controller. "What is so interesting about Sonic is that it is a statement against techno capitalist materialism." He said, as he began to roll up a blunt of fresh Afghani. "Yeah," I said, nodding. "Totally."
BAM! No sooner was I scrambling to recover all of my rings.
"Do you like your tea?" Osama asked.
"Yeah." I took a sip. He handed me firsts on the blunt. I paused to smoke it and inhale the rich flavor of God's earthy bud.
"Now you see power of martyrdom. Always live for death, love it like a temple, because it is a heavenly reward." He waved his hand out at all that he shared with me. "You see that I am not in Hell. What Hell could be reserved for me, for striking at the arteries of Zionist imperialists and their materialist pawns?"
"Yes Osama, I understand." I said, struggling to stay alive. "The greatest trick of your masters in the West is that they convince you that you should not die." Osama continued, as he opened his own can of tea. "What does it mean to say to a man, that he should not die? Allah has given us life for a purpose, but he also grants us death for a purpose. What are you going to do, work for a corporation and pay taxes to an empire run by bureaucrats forever?"
"No. Fuck that shit." I shook my head, and felt like shaking all over.
"Tell me what you have been reading recently?" He asked.
"I've been reading a lot of Thoreau and Nick Land."
"Interesting." Osama nodded.
"You know Nick Land?"
"Only through word of mouth. Tell me about him."
I stared at the screen for a moment and felt like an idiot. "I don't know what to tell you. He's weird and his texts are all over the place. Like a Lovecraftian cyber kabbalahist and philosopher."
"Ahhh, Kabbalah." Osama nodded and rubbed his hands together. What the fuck, was that a subtle happy merchant reference? Was every word, movement, and action in this guy's spirit a tactical expression? No, fuck, I had been psy-opped and then I died in Brain Scrap Zone Act 3.
Osama decided to wait a moment before continuing the game. We kept it on pause and continued our discussion, passing the Afghani blunt back and forth.
"You know the struggle for black liberation in the United States is similar to the jihad, in many respects," Osama claimed. It was his house. I was his guest in Jannah, so I listened. "There are many jihadis already in place across the United States from the black community. I can tell you a bit about it. The Ummah has been supporting them for a very long time."
"Does this have anything to do with the Nation of Islam?" I asked.
"It is not just that. When it comes to money, it is about hypothetical incentives. Money is spent on those who have the most ability to provide hypothetical returns. It is deeply psychological. One must understand that the theory works without really thinking about it. What if I saw something that antagonized my enemies and held several synchronicities to what I believe? They do not need to work under me or be precisely like me. I would drop money on them, almost like seeing something that I like at a store. Then I go and tell my partner about it, and he sees the same thing, and he spends money. There are millions of rich Islamists donating money to people just because they like to piss off Zionists. So if one were to give you $80,000 right now, the hypothetical incentive is that you would be able to provide for yourself another year or two to talk shit about the United States and Israel. Of course, if one were to acquire weapons and organize a militia to challenge the state in cities across America, then this is also a wonderful thing."
Wait a minute. There are a ton of black Islamist gangs in the United States. Fundamentally, they are nothing if not violent extremists. Even one of the most powerful black prison gangs in the United States is Islamist. I turned and looked at him. He smiled and continued explaining as he picked up the controller to resume the game. "As I said, it is like buying something for my own enjoyment. People with little money spend on a movie or a video game. They spend money to enjoy their lives. Rich people spend money to enjoy the world. We enjoy the world by shaping it, and my duty was to shape it according to the will of Allah."
I had to level with Osama at that moment. I didn't want to kill the vibe, but it was important to be serious with him about what he did if I was going to walk out of there with any integrity as an investigative journalist.
"You were an entrepreneur of death. You paid hit squads to destroy countless thousands of lives and you compare it to everyday people going out to enjoy a movie."
Osama weighed his thoughts heavily and spoke with pointed words. "When you are a man who comes from a world that has been exploited by executive oligarchs from the West and occupied by their government forces, when war has rained down on the masses of my people for a century in the name of an unjust imperatorial system which stems from Europe and resumed by the United States, then you must ask yourself how will powerful people in those oppressed countries find ways to fight back?"
"I do not know," I said to Osama. "But I do know that if al-Qaeda killed my grandmother, then I would be very upset."
"Of course you would, and making people like you vulnerable was one of the main points of the 9/11 attack. Because when you are vulnerable, then you decide that you need to change your situation, and then your mind becomes more radical. Then you make a decision. Of course, one might want to double down and fight back, but we understood that this was not a war the United States could win. So your situation becomes hopeless, confusing, and not in any way able to change its position of vulnerability which began on the day it recognized our existence as a great and terrible threat."
The conversation became a bit weird when I asked Osama if he could have at least timed the 9/11 attacks around Friday night or over the weekend when hardly anyone would be in the offices. He caught me in a lie when he asked me if I think the Pentagon should have been attacked at a different time.
Osama was taking me to school and possessed absolute dominance over whatever contraption that was in Sonic The Hedgehog's final boss battle. "Look at his nose," Osama laughed at Robotnik as he lit up in a concussive hyper Sonic turbo spin attack that shook foundations of some stupid pipe thing coming out of the floors. "He looks like Rudolph," I added. "Yes, he looks like Rudolph, and when I hit him it shines." We laughed and could have been friends in real life if he were born on a different side of the eternal war. Osama kept hitting that lard ass techno monstrosity who wanted to rape and devour the land for his own sick power fantasy. Nature would be liberated. Osama Bin Laden struck a precise point in the pipe construct's armor and the whole thing collapsed in explosive flames. The game was over. Robotnik was defeated.
Osama finished and set the controller aside.
"What would you like to do now?" He asked me. "Would you like to see my porno collection?" "I have actually stopped watching porn." I told him. "Not too long after the death of porn star August Ames. I was really upset about it. She spoke her mind and upset leftists online, then they cyberbullied the poor woman into an act of suicide."
Osama shook his head. "Sad, this would not have happened in a truly Islamic society."
"Yeah man, it should not have happened in any kind of society."
"So you no longer watch porn because a bunch of leftists, who fight in the interests of protecting people’s choices and sensitivity, insensitively harassed a woman online because she made a personal choice."
"Yeah dude, yeah."
"This is very sad. It only happens in the West."
"Of course it's sad, but that's the way it is."
"Would you ever kill yourself?" He asked me, hitting the tail end of our blunt and coughing just a bit from the strong pull of smoke he just sucked into his lungs.
"I would, maybe. I could. I've come close."
"You ought never to do such a thing without a cause which is permissible by Allah."
"How could God justify suicide?" I asked honestly trying to figure out the entire psychological switch that burned as the most fearsome flame of jihadist terrorism - the terrorist suicide bomber.
"When a man is told what to do, he does it because of his family. His family receives awards and recognition. People from the Islamic community gather to say this is the mother of a martyr, her son has died for the jihad. They give her gifts and let her family have privileges. They honor the mother of a jihadi. Do you understand?"
I nodded. He kept talking as he rolled another blunt. "I am rolling this blunt for you to take with you when you return home. It is a blunt offering from me to you, and when you take it home, I want you to tell your friends who ran the cannabis trafficking from the Middle East into the West for years."
He flipped a button on his phone and turned the music back on. This time it was Tori Amos. Caught In a Lite Sneeze. I knew this song. Amazing melody. Kind of heavenly, actually. An effervescent beauty with such depth that could only be brought to life by Tori Amos. Osama Bin Laden was making me hate myself for being his enemy. Fucking bastard.
As the night winded down we talked about our favorite anime, some interesting theories about Solomon, and the direction he saw the United States going in before he died. It was sort of a fairytale story of schizophrenic Millennials and Gen Z overwhelming their elders in a storm of chaos that older 20th century systems of government were not adequately equipped to deal with. All of their projections were wrong, their preparations and promises were not made in good faith, and so the net began to break down beneath them. He looked sad for us as he spoke, called us all lost children of God far removed from heaven. Then he handed me his blunt and called me a stray cat peeping up into whatever will feed me for the day.
"It will be a problem for your society when all of the grown-ups are the bad guys. Don't you think?" He asked.
"Yes, but we might be able to become our own grown-ups."
"Oh no, how can you do that, when the other grown-ups are forcing their version of being a grown-up down your throats?"
"We will fight them." I said to Osama. Suddenly, I felt lifted as if by some other specter in the room. "We shall fight them on the beaches. We shall fight them on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets."
I made Osama laugh. I came into his house and made my enemy laugh. I came into my enemy's house of heaven and gamed with him for hours. I could have asked him for a second blunt to take home with me from Jannah at this point. I felt wild and free like Tori Amos. I felt beautiful, proud and full of spirit.
"I suppose you are going to say next that democracy is the worst form of government except for all of the others." Osama teased.
I looked at him without a doubt and answered "Churchill was wrong about many things, but that wasn't one of them."
"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute argument with the average voter." Osama replied and reminded me this was also a Churchill quote.
Oh sweet schizophrenia of the West, it was only in the sweet surrender of this beautiful mental Discordia that we were truly home. Allah Akbar my ass. If the Atlantian Lemurian War of Time had to play itself out over and over again like this between the West and East then I knew where to draw my line in the sand. I may be a broken-hearted man, but I am still a man and I remember how it felt on the edge of seventeen when the World Trade Centers burned and hundreds of people hung out the of windows doomed towers screaming for help 1000 feet in the air over choking pillars of smoke that reigned over New York City. I wasn't going to submit to anybody never mind a religion of Abrahamic Asiatics.
At the end of the day, Osama Bin Laden wasn't even an Afghani. He was a man bored with his father's money, power, and wealth. "The occupation of Palestine, the oppression of mothers and children, this was a very powerful realization for me that outsiders in Islamic lands are evil. Israel has no justification for their occupation except that this was their land 2000 years ago. However, if the Americans truly believed in the cause of such justification, I would have paid for the boats that they could all leave America for the natives to reclaim." He paused for a moment, thinking fondly and remembering family. "My father wasn't a bad man. Fundamentally, there was nothing wrong with my family's business. It was the politics of our country which was intermingled with foreign interests. The power of our rulers came from exchanges with the West. This is what allowed for money to smoothly flow, exchanges of trade that were most convenient to them. You understand that the West was ripe for us to make a trade with, and the House of Saud went from a backwater tribe of a collapsing Ottoman Empire to the most powerful family of Arabia since the lineage of Mohammed, peace be upon them. This power, this nation that they built out of the desert sands where the Prophet came and the Kaaba rests at Mecca, came at a cost. My people were not free under this system of exchange. They were wealthy, my family became powerful and exalted, but my name was not so important to me as my love for Islam."
We had limited conversations about the origins of the mujahideen in Afghanistan. "Different groups and tribes," he explained, "were involved so there were different methods of working together from the beginning. At first, no one really knew how they would do it. It was very difficult and took a lot of work. We had to build trust with each other, and that was the hard part. That meant showing up to fight in battles together, and if people [from different tribes] died together, then that was what brought tribes together. Secondly, we needed the resources, and that was where other governments were involved. Pakistani ISI, the CIA, British intelligence, and the General Intelligence Directorate of Saudi Arabia worked together and established a chain that kept going into Afghanistan. The Soviets could not have won that war, because Pakistan did not want them to. It is that simple. It is the same reason that the United States has fled Afghanistan with nothing to show for their decades of sacrifice. We would always have a fresh supply of fighters, a fresh supply of weapons, a fresh supply of whatever resources were necessary because the Ummah was resolved to work together. When the Ummah is resolved to work together on any particular thing, it is beyond the boundaries of nations, it is for Islam. Inshallah, Palestine will be free just as we have won in Afghanistan."
That was really heavy. That was really deep. Wow. It occured to me then how much I wanted to drink. That obviously wasn't acceptable here in the heavenly gamer room of Jannah's top jihadi, so without much more to discuss, I parted ways with the greatest gamer of the Great Game. Osama Bin Laden invited me back again. I told him that we should definitely make a habit of doing this. We exchanged ideas on what games we would play in the future, tossing around Mario Kart and Sonic The Hedgehog 2, and ultimately decided whatever we did that a multiplayer game would be in the works. Perhaps by learning to work with my enemy, then I would be able to defeat our mutual enemy, the people who killed John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
MAKE THE INTERNET WEIRD AGAIN