How Bin Laden Was Right (And Where He Was Wrong)

A critical reading of Osama bin Laden’s “Letter To America”


The TikTok kids are all right

History, when it is rewritten, will date the fall of the American Empire to September 11th, 2001. The hegemon lashed around for a while, but at that point, it was mortally wounded. Historically, the fall was quite quick, actually. After decades of occupying, bombing, and destroying the world, after centuries of genocide and slavery, America was finally hit back on September 11th, and once was all it took. America has been falling ever since, and the signal is just now reaching the brain.

I know that sounds crazy, so feel free to smash the unsubscribe button, I don’t mind. If you’re still here, understand that the TikTok generation — who has grown up with nothing but the ultra-violent reaction to 9/11 — has been re-reading bin Laden’s “Letter To The Americans,” and finding much to agree with. Because there is. Bin Laden actually denied the attacks, but the letter writes as if he definitely wanted to hit America, so take that as you will.

You have to read his letter critically, especially since he’s wildly (and incorrectly) anti-Jewish, but there is both truth in his words and effect in his (purported) actions. So if you’re open to rewriting history now — as the Empire is still falling down around us, as the blood is still wet— let’s see what we find. Mazer Rackham (from Ender’s Game) said there’s no greater teacher than the enemy, so what can we learn from the 21st century’s greatest villain?


Firstly, your narrator is a Sri Lanka who grew up in America and Canada (same thing, one White Empire). I had just turned 18 about a week before 9/11 and I was walking down the streets of Montreal, minding my business. My friend Jeremy — who served in the IOF, incidentally — ran up and said the twin towers were hit, and I thought he meant Israel. I don’t know why, but that’s what made sense to me at the time.

At that point, I still believed in America and this was quite a shock, outside the realm of possibility really. America had been hit in all of its chakras — the World Trade Center (financial power), Pentagon (military power), with a near-miss on the Capitol (we assume). America had also been hit in a grotesque and…



Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at, or just email me at