Just when I'd about made up my mind that Louis Farrakhan of the black separatist Nation of Islam was Mr. Anti-America, the recent waggling of his malicious tongue has given me good reason to suspect he is nothing more than a gullible and pitiful tool of radical Muslims like Osama bin Laden.
The minions who observe the teachings and purported wisdom of Farrakhan likely will be offended by my defining him as a gullible dupe of bin Laden. But I believe the proof is in the pudding.
Farrakhan seldom has had a congenial word to spend on his America, his adopted nation. So it was entirely in character for him, after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, to assert that President Bush rushed to seek revenge by bombing Afghanistan without validating his case against bin Laden.
The Washington Times reported in October that Farrakhan made his assertion that Bush's evidence was flimsy while speaking to a gathering of religious leaders organized by the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, a group organized by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church.
The Times quoted Farrakhan as saying: "You show your friend (British Prime Minister Tony Blair) the evidence, but not the people you're about to bomb?"
Some of the political bigwigs in attendance included former Vice President Dan Quayle, former Indonesian President Abudurrahman Wahid and the former presidents and prime ministers of Guyana, Guatemala, Barbados, Seychelles, Nepal and St. Kitts.
While the rescue workers were still digging for the dead in New York, Farrakhan leveled his vicious and misinformed attack against the United States during a 100-minute speech. He was given a standing ovation at its conclusion.
The purpose of the meeting was to examine the root cause of global violence and how to cope with it. The irony is, of course, that now we know that the politicians who applauded Farrakhan's insight were indirectly applauding one of the world's most violent men, Osama bin Laden.
Last week, in an interview with the London Telegraph, bin Laden confessed to the world that, yes, he and his al-Qaeda group planned and carried out the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I cannot help but wonder whether the people who stood to applaud Farrakhan's fractured logic realize how closely Farrakhan resembles bin Laden - since both of them, in my mind, are card-carrying crazy citizens of the Third World.
Farrakhan also noted during his October speech that the pursuit of bin Laden and his group was "a campaign against Islam."
I wonder if he has considered whether Sept. 11 was an attack against Christianity or an attack against men, women and children whose only crime was that they were Americans.
The Telegraph recently reported that "in a previously undisclosed video which has been circulating for 14 days among his supporters, he (bin Laden) confesses that "history should be a witness that we are terrorists. Yes, we kill their innocents.' "
Bin Laden added that "the World Trade Center's twin towers were a "legitimate target,' and the pilots who hijacked the planes were "blessed by Allah.' "
Bin Laden punctuated his bravado by adding that "the killing of at least 4,537 people was justified." He said it was legitimate because they were "not civilians" but were working for the American system.
The fat is in the fire. The site where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once stood high above the New York skyline is a smoldering funeral pyre to this day. I, for one, believe that the time and national mood are ripe for the intellectuals in the clergy and the media - be they black or white - to expose Farrakhan for the dupe of terrorists that he is.
I'm the first to champion free speech, but Farrakhan is a voice of dissent that the nation can ill afford to let go unchallenged, especially when the misfortunes of war begin to bear fruit: young soldiers, sailors and Marines returning to America's shores in flag-draped coffins.