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History builds on cripples and corpses

History 1

History 2

History 3

Bin Laden’s mentor Abdullah Azzam—called the “Lenin of international jihad”—produced a philosophy of history more precise than that of Hegel or Nietzsche (certainly more concise):

“History does not write its lines except with blood. Glory does not build its loft edifice except with skulls. Honour and respect cannot be established except on a foundation of cripples and corpses. Empires, distinguished peoples, states and societies cannot be established except with examples. Indeed, (one cannot) change reality, or change societies, without blood, sacrifices and invalids, without pure, innocent souls.”

Empires, states and societies—the creation of history—builds upon “cripples and corpses.” Suicide bombings enact this philosophy. History, Azzam says, grows out of the “blood of the martyr” and the “ink of the scholar.”

History requires three classes of people: those who kill, those who die, and those who record the killing and dying (journalists or “historians”).

History is created when men like Napoleon, Douglas Haig, Hitler, Stalin, Emperor Hirohito and Mao produce prodigious numbers of “cripples and corpses”—and when scholars record the number of cripples and corpses that they have produced.

Historians write monumental narratives. But where are the “causes”—the “reasons”—now? Relegated to the dustbin of history. What do we remember? The number of cripples and corpses.