When a crazy person says something crazy, he usually believes what he’s saying.

That’s why I shook my head and furrowed my brow while reading this article in the latest Newsweek.

Rod Nordland interviewed a fellow named Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, the new chief cook and bottle washer in Somalia. He’s a top dog in the Islamic Courts Union.

I had a hard time believing the second paragraph quoted below:

He praised bin Laden to NEWSWEEK, comparing him to Nelson Mandela in that “South Africans said that Mandela was a terrorist and his people know him as a hero.” He also justified Al Qaeda’s attacks on the World Trade Center. “Since Osama was fighting against his enemy, he could use any tactic he had available to him,” he said. “It is not compulsory to think as the Americans want us to think.”

Despite Aweys’s stated views, many observers give the Courts the benefit of the doubt. “Most of us in the international and relief community do not see them as a new Taliban,” says World Food Program country director Zlatan Milisic. “There may be extremists among them, but overall they’re providing relief for suffering people.” [emphasis added]

What will it take for Mr. Milisic and his colleagues to believe that the Sheik is a nut?