Al-Qaida chief kickstarts ‘State’

Bin Laden urges Americans to read 'Rogue'

Of all the people surprised to hear Osama bin Laden‘s recent message encouraging Americans to read an obscure leftist polemic called “Rogue State,” none was more surprised than William Blum, the book’s author.

“I couldn’t figure out where he might have seen it,” Blum says.

Turns out the book’s British edition had been translated into Arabic. And while one of the passages bin Laden cited isn’t in the American edition, that didn’t stop Blum from becoming an unlikely media celebrity as his book shot into Amazon’s top 25 list.

Blum, who claims “total distaste” for religious fundamentalism, also says, startlingly, that those who share his goals of “slowing down the American empire” must “reach the American people.”

“On that basis only, I welcome this so-called endorsement,” he told Variety.

But though Osama played Oprah with his endorsement, bookstores weren’t ready; the publisher was out-of-stock last week.

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