Monday, November 01, 2004

More on the Bin Laden Tape

The more that comes out about Friday's bin Laden tape, the creepier it sounds.

Yigal Carmon of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), an invaluable source for translations of Arab and Islamist materials, has the following update posted at National Review Online:

The tape of Osama bin Laden that was aired on al-Jazeera on Friday, October 29 included a specific threat to "each U.S. state," designed to influence the outcome of the upcoming election against George W. Bush. The U.S. media in general mistranslated the words "ay wilaya" (which means "each U.S. state") to mean a "country" or "nation" other than the U.S., while in fact the threat was directed specifically at each individual U.S. state. This suggests some knowledge by bin Laden of the U.S. electoral-college system. In a section of his speech in which he harshly criticized George W. Bush, bin Laden stated: "Any U.S. state that does not toy with our security automatically guarantees its own security."

The Islamist website Al-Qal'a explained what this sentence meant: "This message was a warning to every U.S. state separately. When he [Osama Bin Laden] said, 'Every state will be determining its own security, and will be responsible for its choice,' it means that any U.S. state that will choose to vote for the white thug Bush as president has chosen to fight us, and we will consider it our enemy, and any state that will vote against Bush has chosen to make peace with us, and we will not characterize it as an enemy. By this characterization, Sheikh Osama wants to drive a wedge in the American body, to weaken it, and he wants to divide the American people itself between enemies of Islam and the Muslims, and those who fight for us, so that he doesn't treat all American people as if they're the same. This letter will have great implications inside the American society, part of which are connected to the American elections, and part of which are connected to what will come after the elections."

In other words, bin Laden is threatening to confine future al-Qaeda terror attacks to Red States. Unbelievable. Hmm, I wonder where he could have gotten that idea...

Many families have been devastated tonight. This just is not right. They did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New York, DC, and the planes' destination of California--these were places that voted AGAINST Bush!

Michael Moore, September 12, 2001

(emphasis added-DD)


Blogger Simon W. Moon ksc said...

Sounds like hogwash dreamed up by a propagandist @ NRO. Can't trust politicos.

The joke at the end of the column- that Mr. Moore is significant enough to've had an impact on aQ strategy- is very funny though.

Can I borrow that?

9:23 AM  
Blogger Simon W. Moon ksc said...

You did note that the "Islamist website Al-Qal'a" and "Islamist website Al-Islah" are merely internet message boards didn't you?

As a rule of thumb, MBs do not offer the highest quality of citations. To attribute the content the way that it was ("The Islamist website Al-Qal'a explained..." & "The Islamist website Al-Islah explains...") makes it easy to misconstrue the authority of the judgments contained therein. It implies that there's is some sort of an ‘officialness’ about the explanations, or tha the explanations are offered by someone learned. However, in my experience with MBs, any idiot w/ an internet connection (such as myself) may post whatever sort of tomfoolery he wishes. Because of this, an anonymous poster's comments on a MB lack some of the more valuable qualities of an authoritative or meaningful citation.

Why run a story that cites anonymous netizens as sources? Who cares what some fella on some MB somewhere has to say? Unless a citation can add weight, why not just express the opinions as your own? This sort of an attribution makes it easy to misconstrue the authority of the judgments contained therein.

Regardless of the motivations of Yigal Carmon I can say that the practice fails to avoid the appearance of propagandistic pandering. Gotta watch all of them there politicos and politicians who're trying to influence your vote. Eternal vigilance and all that.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These comments are an effort to divide the electorate. Irresponsible and unnecessary. If true however, Michael Moore would likely be pleased.

10:48 PM  

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