Emanations from a Cave
Osama Bin Laden's latest statements have been calmly analyzed by Tigerhawk who summarizes each of Osama's ten talking points.
1. Hamas: Despite the fact that we (including Ayman Zawahiri) warned (Muslim Palestinians) not to take part in elections in general, the victory of Hamas shows that there is a "Crusader Zionist War against Islam." Cutting foreign aid to the Palestinians because of Hamas victory proves that war.
2. The public (in the West and the US), despite our warnings, continues to reelect these Governments, pay taxes to these Governments, and send their children to fight against us. They (civilians) are therefore part of the war against us. They are responsible for any harm that would be caused to them.
3. Sudan: The Bashir Government is failing in stopping the Crusader War in Sudan. The Crusaders (Britain) has pushed the southerners (Blacks) to separate. The US has armed them and is supporting them. And now, because of tribal tensions in Darfour, the Crusaders are planning on intervening there. We are calling on the Jihadists to fight them in Darfour and Southern Sudan.
4. Long War: We're calling on all Jihadists, particularly in Sudan and the Arabian Peninsula to prepare themselves for a long war.
5. Danish Cartoons: We are asking the Danish Government to remit the Cartoonists to al Qaida.
6. Saudis: We criticize the Saudi Monarch for refuting the idea of Clash of civilization. There is a clash led by the West against Islam.
7. Arab Liberals: Jihadists must silence the Arab and Muslim liberals. (A list has been established, but it wasn't aired).
8. Education: We warn from any change that would affect the educational curriculum in the Arab and Muslim world.
9. Arab TV: We warn against those TV stations airing into the region and propagating Crusader propaganda.
10: Truce: We offered a truce to the West (US and Europe) but their public refused to accept it. They will only blame themselves.
After this measured beginning, Tigerhawk ends the litany with a punchline worth of J. Alfred Prufrock
Apart from the list's comic aspects, it is fascinating for its omissions. Why didn't bin Laden talk about Iraq?
Pajamas Media has a roundup of what other bloggers are saying on the subject but even the liberal MyBlahg can only think to compare Osama's statement to George Bush's. "Shorter Osama bin Laden: Stay the course. We won’t cut and run. Support the troops." Which is to say that since the liberals think that GWB is a disaster that Osama Bin Laden must be the same dire strait.
Tigerhawk goes on to say that:
Al Qaeda drew a line in the sands of the Sunni Triangle, and the United States Army and Marines walked right across it. First, al Qaeda tried to kill Americans, per bin Laden's orders. It largely failed. Then al Qaeda went after America's allies, and succeeded only in turning public opinion against itself in every Muslim country it attacked. After thirty months of battlefield defeats and political embarrassments, bin Laden won't even mention Iraq in one of his rare public utterances, and he rallies his troops to fight a war where American soldiers aren't. How humiliating. How delightful.
You don't have to fully agree with Tigerhawk's assessment to acknowledge there is some truth to it. One can argue about the extent to which the enemy is hurting but it is difficult to maintain that the enemy is unhurt. But if Tigerhawk was surprised by the omission of Iraq, I was doubly surprised by the inclusion of the Danish cartoons in Osama's list of vital fronts. The Danish cartoon battle has been largely fought by the blogosphere and a handful of European newspapers; that is to say fought by the no-account, podunk, non-Pulitzer Prize winners of the world. The decision by the great flagships of modern Western thought -- the newspapers, networks and towers of academia -- to stay out of it has inadvertently but fortunately eliminated them from the reckoning. Their self-exclusion means that a bunch of guys with computers on TV carts, kitchens, basements, attics and in the garages have actually left a mark on Osama Bin Laden. This calls for ... (glance into non-existent wine cellar) ... another cup of coffee.
John Kerry thinks that Osama Bin Laden's recent statement is another reason why Donald Rumsfeld should resign.
"Osama Bin Laden is loose today because we allowed him to escape at Tora Bora," said Kerry, echoing a statement often heard during his failed 2004 presidential bid. ... Kerry also cited the tape in echoing calls from several retired generals for change at the top of the Defense Department, saying, "This is another reason Donald Rumsfeld should resign." ... Kerry slammed the administration's Iraq policy, arguing, "There's no excuse ... for American troops to be driving by IEDs and getting blown up." Kerry continued, "Where is the standing down? It isn't taking place." ...
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