Saturday, October 30, 2004

The Bin Laden Tape

The Osama bin Laden videotape released yesterday proves two things:

1. Bin Laden is alive.

2. He's hired Michael Moore as his speechwriter.

Let's check the transcript and compare talking points:

-Bush is a liar:

I am amazed at you. Although almost four years have passed since the [11 September] incidents, Bush is still practising distortion and confusion.

-Bush is the "fortunate son" of a "dynastic house":

We did not find it difficult to deal with Bush and his administration, because it is similar to regimes in our countries, half of which are governed by the military and the other half of which are governed by the sons of kings and presidents; and we have a long experience with them.

In both categories, you find many who are characterised by hubris, arrogance, greed, and unlawful acquisition of money. This similarity transpired since Bush Senior's visit to the region.

-Bush is taking our liberties:

Accordingly, he transferred dictatorship and the repression of freedoms to his son by introducing the Patriot Act under the pretext of fighting terrorism.

-Bush stole the election:

Bush Senior deemed it appropriate to assign his sons to states. He also did not forget to convey the [election] rigging experience from the leaders of the [Arab] region to Florida to benefit from it at critical times...

-Yes, even "My Pet Goat":

It never occurred to us that the supreme commander of the US armed forces would leave 50,000 of his citizens in the two towers to face those great horrors alone, at a time when they needed him badly.

This is because it seemed to him that being preoccupied with the little child's talk about her goat and its butting was more important than being preoccupied with the planes and their ramming into the skyscrapers.

All in all, a striking contrast from Osama's usual fare. Instead of "death to the infidels", we get a ad. He did everything but say Bush looks like a chimp. My first reaction is the same as Jim Geraghty's:

No, this tape should cause many on the left to stare into the mirror for a long time and ask, “What have I turned into? How did I become so reflexively partisan, so blinded by rage, so intemperate in my rhetoric that my own arguments are being echoed by a man who planned and enjoyed the mass murder of Americans?”

“How the hell did I reach the point where I agree with Osama bin Laden on Bush?”

The tape also makes clear bin Laden's desperate situation. No boasting or taunting, just a pathetic "anyone but Bush" plea. As Wretchard of Belmont Club notes in one of his usual trenchant analyses:

It is important to notice what he has stopped saying in this speech. He has stopped talking about the restoration of the Global Caliphate. There is no more mention of the return of Andalusia. There is no more anticipation that Islam will sweep the world. He is no longer boasting that Americans run at the slightest wounds; that they are more cowardly than the Russians. He is not talking about future operations to swathe the world in fire but dwelling on past glories. He is basically saying if you leave us alone we will leave you alone. Though it is couched in his customary orbicular phraseology he is basically asking for time out.

Asking for "time out"? Clearly, bin Laden hasn't gotten the memo about how swimmingly things are going for him and al-Qaeda as a result of George W. Bush's heavy handed unilateralism. Bin Laden's rant is that of a hunted fugitive whose organization is being taken apart, and whose last hope lies in the propaganda of Michael Moore and the rest of the Bush-hating left. The face of Islamist terror has spoken, and he wants a breather. If only we get rid of that evil Bush, and leave the jihadists to slaughter the polytheists, Jews, and apostates undisturbed, we can have peace. At least for a few years. I hope and pray that the American people will reject his nauseating offer.

Clarification: Please note that I am not saying that criticism of George Bush is unpatriotic or illegitimate, that supporting John Kerry is UnAmerican, or that if you like Michael Moore you must like Osama. Serious, credible debate about how well Bush has waged the War on Terror and whether or not John Kerry can do a better job is healthy and proper. My point is that bin Laden has indeed adopted the rhetoric of Fahrenheit 9/11, and clearly expressed the desire that Bush not be reelected. I regard both of these developments as significant.


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