Sunday, 29 January 2006

The Osama Bin Laden Book Club

How the world's most notorious terrorist just launched an obscure left-wing American author into bestseller stardom.

Watch out, Oprah Winfrey, Osama bin Laden has jumped into the book-promotion game.

On Wednesday, the 72-year-old Washington author William Blum existed only on the fringes of the publishing industry. His 2000 foreign-policy diatribe, "Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower" ranked No. 205,763 on Amazon's bestseller list. Today its number 35 on that bestseller list. His byline rarely appeared in print, he says.

But then the world's No. 1 newsmaker, Bin Laden, showed up Thursday on the Al-Jazeera network to promise another terrorist attack on America, ask President Bush to withdraw American troops saying:

"If you (Americans) are sincere in your desire for peace and security, we have answered you. And if Bush decides to carry on with his lies and oppression, then it would be useful for you to read the book "Rogue State," which states in its introduction: "If I were president, I would stop the attacks on the United States: First I would give an apology to all the widows and orphans and those who were tortured. Then I would announce that American interference in the nations of the world has ended once and for all."