Another Perspective

Journal of the Plague Years

Some leaked excerpts from an unimpeachable Taliban source.

By 5.17.11

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Osama bin Laden's journal has been seized and studied for leads to al Qaeda's terrorist plans. Some excerpts have been leaked to me from an unimpeachable Taliban source:

9/14/01: It was so sweet of the kids to give me a journal after 9/11, embossed with my name. I hope I have something interesting to put in it. When I kept a journal at school, after a week or two I could never think of what to write in the darn thing. So where do I start? Well, it's a really pretty fall day here -- they're saying it could heat up by the end of the week. I think a couple of the wives are planning to take me to dinner to celebrate our successes in America. I need to remember to get my oat extract ED prescription refilled.

9/29/01: I have to be more religious about entering my thoughts in the journal, but suddenly it got really hectic around here. It seems like everyone wants an interview, but I don't want to be overexposed so I'm only going to do a phoner with al-Jazeera.

10/6/01: I just hired a video guy to make tapes of my proclamations to release to the world. Hope it finds an audience. I've never been much of a public speaker -- they say I ramble and need to lighten up a little -- but the PR guy thinks these tapes will be a great way to get more ink. He says I can't just rest on my laurels.

10/19/01: Wife No. 3 (she's the cute little one with the big eyes) says I've been ignoring her at night. She claims I mumble in my sleep about virgins. So? I'm thinking it might be a good time to replace her and maybe also tell Wife No. 1 to take a hike. I don't need any more aggravation right now, when I'm working overtime to come up with a really inventive new attack on the Great Satan. It won't be easy to top the World Trade Center, but a couple of ideas on the back burner could pan out. I vetoed a plan to kidnap Lady Gaga -- too high risk and bad for the image, but she's really my type.

1/4/02: I haven't had a moment to myself to add any new entries in the journal, what with the holidays and Wife No. 2 constant nagging me about our living conditions. I tell her the cave is just temporary. We're looking for something affordable in Pakistan with three bedrooms, but the housing market in Tora Bora is brutal.

6/28/02: This "shoe bomber" jerk is giving terrorists a bad name. What a scruffy looking character! I wonder how he got the dopey idea to blow up a plane by lighting his shoe. Well, he's innovative, you gotta hand it to him, but what a goofball. The upside is that he's angered every passenger forced to take off their shoes at the airport. We've got the Yankee dogs where we want 'em now. One day they'll have body scanners!

8/11/02: I got a really nice new camel for Ramadan and a beard trimmer I've been hinting at. The camel gets great mileage even though I won't be able to use it for a while.

Not much else happening right now. We're looking for new suicide bombers on Craigslist.

8/18/02: I need to write another rant for the video series, but it's tough coming up with anything new. I don't want to lose my audience. How do Gaddafi and Mubarak do it? I guess they're naturals at the long-winded tirade. I've always been basically a shy guy, uncomfortable in the spotlight. Wife No.1 says I'm more charismatic than I realize, so maybe I'll renew her contract. She's 27 and still got a few good years left on her.

11/28/02: I'm embarrassed to realize I haven't added a new journal entry since August. Boy, time really flies when you're on the run. I don't think the caves are going to work out much longer. It's time to move up to something roomier. A very nice terrorist in Cave 378 suggested Abbottabad, which he says is a great getaway from the jihad rat race. I need to have my courier check it out.

2/13/03: The U.S. finally got Saddam Hussein, the old rascal! I guess that makes me No. 1 bad guy at last! My head is sort of reeling today. I just hope I'm worthy of the honor. I feel sort of responsible for his capture because the U.S. claimed we were in cahoots. What a laugh. Saddam was not my favorite dictator, but, as I always say, the death of any anti-American anti-Israeli scourge diminishes us all.

2/28/03: The tabloids are full of chatter about what our next attacks may be, so we've really got to get serious about planning a new one. I keep telling my team to come up with a clever unexpected place to bomb, but all they come back with is trains and planes. These guys on the payroll are so unimaginative. I used to think they were pure Islamists, but they're just in it for the easy dough. Why do I have to do everything around here?

3/26/03: Omar, my oldest son, is all over me about appointing someone to take over when I'm gone. He says I refuse to face facts, and that I could be taken out any day. In his dreams!

5/12/03: We just had a big meeting whether to take out the Golden Gate Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, or the Parthenon, but nobody could agree which target would get the most press. It all ended in a loud argument between two hotheaded middle management guys I finally had to separate. I just tabled it till next month's meeting.

9/23/03: After dinner last night we all watched a film on what to do if waterboarded by the U.S. military. Pretty scary stuff. There was also a demonstration of how to pack an emergency evacuation kit in case of a raid or something. So I need to pick up one of those battery powered radios tomorrow and probably a new fake ID.

11/6/03: None of my 18 kids is doing well in school. I told them they've got to study to get ahead in this world, but they never listen to the old man. OK, I dropped out of school, but I had a dream of destroying America. Whenever I try to instill a sense of purpose in them, they go "Yada-yada-yada." These kids today in Afghanistan have it much too easy. Some of them don't even know how to find New York on a map!

4/17/04: I can't believe it's been almost three years since 9/11 and we haven't followed it up with anything worth writing home about. The local papers are calling me a "one-hit wonder." That can really hurt a guy. I was sort of hoping to make the cover of Time again, but I guess that won't happen soon.

6/2/04: I met this really hot young girl from Yemen on muslimmatch.com but she refuses to believe I'm the Osama bin Laden. She told me that's the oldest line in Yemen. What does a guy have to do to get some action in this region?

9/9/04: I sent a few of my poems to the Yemen chick but she hasn't responded. I like the one that begins, "Let my grave be an eagle's belly…" The New Yorker turned it down, as usual. The U.S. poetry market is almost impossible to crack these days.

10/14/04: Some guy in Pakistan intelligence called again to ask how I was doing. He said if there was anything I needed not to hesitate to give him a jingle. Down deep, the Pakistanis are really a caring, supportive people.

11/15/04: One of the moderate factions wants to confer with me at a neutral cave, but I'm not sure there's much point. These moderate clerics are all hat and no cattle (as Bush might put it). Speaking of "W," I guess we're in for four more years of him, Cheney, and Rummy. In an odd way, I've almost come to feel close to these boys -- well, like they say, better the devil you know…!

1/7/05: Got a new rifle for my anniversary -- not exactly the one I wanted but it looks great in the videos of me taking target practice. One of the guys at the gym invited me to go leopard hunting with him sometime. It's been pretty quiet lately and I just might. Wife No. 3 says I need to find a hobby instead of hanging around the house getting underfoot.

4/12/05: Went to a pancake breakfast thrown by the local Muslim Brotherhood, the first time out of the hotel in a year. I disguised myself as an aging beatnik with a cane and they bought it! A few people recognized me, I think, but I didn't let on. Met a terrific woman there but it turns out she was once married to me. Life is full of surprises.

6/13/05: Wife No. 2 has been nagging me lately about watching myself on al-Jazeera all day and not reading more. I've got a lot of things on my mind now and at night I just like to kick back in my recliner and catch a little TV. Now she wants me to join her damn book club! Three wives sounds great, but don't you believe it. They're on me night and day -- dye my beard, give them money for new burqas, get out of the house -- do this, do that. They're never happy. I just might replace all of them if they don't get off my back.

8/4/06: Ever since we left the caves and got a nice suite at the Paki Hilton, I've felt more secure. The manager here couldn't be more accommodating -- a real sweetheart. He doesn't mind that all 23 of us are bunking in the same suite. I wonder how much to tip the maid for not revealing our whereabouts.

9/16/06: My inner circle accuses me of being "westernized" just because I happen to like Cokes and smoke a little weed from my garden. A guy's gotta have some fun. Not much else to do in this place -- five years in one room! No wonder I spend a few hours a day watching porn online. My all-time favorite is still "Debbie Does Islamabad."

1/15/07: One of my kids says I need to find a new slogan beside "Death to America." He told me, "Dad, that's so post-9/11!" He may have a point. Smart youngster. I promised I'd raise his allowance if he could come up with something catchier.

11/7/08: Barack Obama actually got elected with that crazy name -- will wonders never cease! I'm sorta proud of the guy, but then anybody that isn't Bushie would brighten my day. Obama seems a nice enough fellow -- friendly smile, good-looking wife, nice kids. Thanks to the home mortgage scandal and the auto industry bailout, I suspect he'll probably forget about tracking me down. You could say I'm too big to fail. LOL!

12/6/09: I don't quite recall ever giving the go-ahead to this Christmas Day "underwear bomber" guy, so he must be a free-lancer out of Dearborn. It's getting harder and harder to keep tabs on all of these self-employed terrorists. Sometimes I feel out of the loop, or maybe the memory is starting to go. I get my kids confused all the time.

3/10/11: I cannot believe I'm 54 today! It's been a pretty full life up to now, so I won't complain -- except for this damn arthritis in my hip. I've done pretty much all I set out to do but bring America to its knees, but, hey, you can't have everything. We've got the Great Satan on the run now, the nicest present a terrorist leader could wish for.

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About the Author

Gerald Nachman is the author of Funny: The Rebel Comedians of the 1950s and 1960s, Raised on Radio and Right Here On Our Stage Tonight!: Ed Sullivan's America. He is currently working on a book about the great Broadway musical show-stoppers.