The latest tape from the Al Queda leader brought to my mind (strangely enough) the Book of Mormon communications between the leader of the Gadianton band and the Nephites, in 3 Nephi 3. Bin Laden shares Giddianhi’s boldness and his rhetorical strategies. Compare:
Giddianhi: “I hope that ye will deliver up your lands and your possessions, without the shedding of blood, that this my people may recover their rights and government, who have dissented away from you because of your wickedness in retaining from them their rights of government, and except ye do this, I will avenge their wrongs.”
Bin Laden: “Security is a need for all humans, and we could not let you have a monopoly on it for yourselves. People who are aware would not let their politicians jeopardize their security… By describing us and our actions as terrorism, you are necessarily describing yourself and your actions. … Our actions are reactions to your actions that destroy and kill our people in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine.”
Should we react like the Nephites did, by getting the hell out of the Middle East and fortifying ourselves? Remember that an interventionist option was brought before the Nephites, and rejected: “Now the people said… Pray unto the Lord, and let us go up upon the mountains and into the wilderness, that we may fall upon the robbers and destroy them in their own lands. But Gidgiddoni saith unto them: The Lord forbid; for if we should go up against them the Lord would deliver us into their hands.”
The Book of Mormon is an inconsistent text if we want to look to it to justify pacifism. However, on the point of extraterritorial intervention, it seems much more clear. Are we being delivered into the hands of these robbers, by foolishly rushing into lands not our own? Can our scriptures tell us anything about current U.S. military action?
*Update: Sure, this is a specious argument. But please tell me why. This is the blog equivalent of a dunk tank. I will tell commenters when they have successfully dunked me.