Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Interview with a suicide bomber (on Pakistani TV)

A fascinating and illuminating interview with a Taliban-trained suicide bomber on Pakistani TV. What makes it especially chilling is that this intended suicide bomber is not simply a homicidal nut. He comes across as a serious, dedicated fanatic, committed to a coherent theocratic world-view whose implications he has thought through and is willing to follow remorselessly to the end. In a way for which there are plenty of historical parallels, there is a bizarre but recognizable purity of purpose at work here.

At one point the interviewer tries to reason with him by noting that "In suicide bombing, innocent Muslims and even those who hate America are killed." The suicide bomber cogently responds: "No. Those who are not [actively] taking part in jihad are not innocent." Interviewer: "Is there no one [innocent] in the entire Pakistan?" Suicide bomber: "No. We have no repentance, no sorrow for killing."

Later, the interviewer tries again: "Sometimes [suicide bombing] takes place in mosques and even young children are killed...." The suicide bomber breaks in and shoots back: "Why do you consider these children innocent?"

For the rest of his rationale, listen to the interview. Andrew Sullivan, who flagged this, correctly described it as a case of "Interviewing Evil".

Andrew Sullivan got this video clip from Adil Najam of All Things Pakistan. When he posted it, Adil Najam asked a question that will sound eerily, or ironically, familiar: "Why do they hate us so?"
Once again, Pakistanis stare into the darkness of nothingness, looking for answers. There are few words of sympathy from those who claim to be our friends. There are only sneers and jeers from those who are our enemies.

Why, one asks, why? Why do they hate us so?

In this video interview one would-be suicide bomber speaks up. It is harrowing. Listen, if you will, to the voice of hatred. Listen, if you can, to what Pakistan’s enemy sounds like.
=> The fact that increasing numbers of middle-class Pakistanis seem to be starting to realize that murderous fanatics like this one are their enemy, and not just India's enemy or America's enemy, may be a step in the right direction.

But one has to put that in very tentative terms. As Trudy Rubin and others have pointed out, even many of those Pakistanis who now condemn these terrorist fanatics and the murders they commit still believe that Al Qaeda, the Taliban, the suicide bombers, and the rest are somehow acting as hidden tools of the US, of the "Zionists," or of some other grand foreign conspiracy. They should listen carefully to this suicide bomber, as Adil Najam recommends.

--Jeff Weintraub