October 7, 2001
8:04 PM   Subscribe

BBC translation of Bin Laden's warning much better than the spotty CNN version. One sentence struck me as very odd: "Hundreds of thousands of people, young and old, were killed [by the US] in the farthest point on earth in Japan." Why does Bin Laden mention Japan, of all places?
posted by tranquileye (22 comments total)

 
I think in the context of attacks that are mentioned, the Japan reference is to the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as a listing of wrongs that the United States has (in Osama's opinion) perpetrated.
posted by anildash at 8:14 PM on October 7, 2001


It's probably a reference to Hiroshima and Hanagsaki being bombed during World War II...

...But considering the the Japanese Self Defense Force is sending relief supplies to the Mid-East to help the U.S. in the effort, the parallel exists only in Osama Bin Laden's mind. No troops of the JSDF are being committed, but there are debates about how the pacifist Japanese constitution--put in place after World War II--will affect any efforts by Japan to help the US stop the Al Quida and Osama Bin Laden.
posted by RoyalJack at 8:42 PM on October 7, 2001


Whoops! Apolgies for the doouble post and refering to Nagasaki as Hanagsaki. Fucked up.
posted by RoyalJack at 8:43 PM on October 7, 2001


I think CNN's translation was a real-time one. At least that's what they keep replaying on the actual channel.
posted by smackfu at 9:12 PM on October 7, 2001


is it just me, or does the bbc picture look like bin laden is singing karaoke?
posted by grabbingsand at 9:57 PM on October 7, 2001


Hey at least our ole pal bin Laden has a snazzy Casio watch.
posted by @homer at 10:11 PM on October 7, 2001


i swear, it's freaking impossible to see any footage from afghanistan that doesn't have an ak-47 looming in the background....

ak-47s must be like cell-phones, over there.
posted by lotsofno at 10:16 PM on October 7, 2001


So, basically, Traquileye, are you suggesting they have a nuclear weapon?
posted by ParisParamus at 10:21 PM on October 7, 2001


So, basically, Traquileye, are you suggesting they have a nuclear weapon?
posted by ParisParamus at 10:24 PM on October 7, 2001


Yeh it is a little troublesome, if you think about it from the angle that he always seems to be giving messages or instructions to his followers in his speeches.

Here's hoping he ain't. Old Peculier, take me away!
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:31 PM on October 7, 2001


That reference to Japan is probably why the BBC filed it under the "South Asia" section of their web site.
posted by ktheory at 10:39 PM on October 7, 2001


i don't think theres nuclear threat in there - i think he's just drawing attention to the fact that when americans commit attrocities like the horror of hiroshima (and lets not get into an argument about the reasons behind it) it's never considered a crime, but something that people can argue about. he's angry about the way americas actions are never labelled wrong even if they are too strong, because they always have 'justifiable' rhetoric behind them.

don't get em wrong, i'm no fan of bin, but i don't agree with the bombing of civilians
posted by Loula at 10:43 PM on October 7, 2001


There's no need to start reading between the lines as if this is verbal steganography.

bin Laden has mentioned Hiroshima in past interviews as an example of why America has no moral high ground on which to stand, and he has also repeatedly encouraged Islamic nations to build weapons of mass destruction, including nukes, as a counter to First World power.

There really isn't much in the way of new content in this particular speech, except that it underlines once again how bin Laden sees the world as already at that Clash of Civilizations, and Islam in jihad against the West. Everything that has happened must be framed in this vision. The fervent hope of al Qa'eda is that our attack on the Taliban will inflame Muslim support throughout the world, forcing us to respond to them as we have been forced to respond to bin Laden, and leading to a world war, or at the very least a limited war which will be one hundred or one thousand times the violence that occured in Somalia, and cause the US to turn tail and retreat generally from the Middle East.

As this general war with Islam is the way he wants us to see the conflict, we should make every effort to ensure that we do not fit into the trap he is trying to set.
posted by dhartung at 10:56 PM on October 7, 2001


Amen, dhartung, amen.
posted by donkeyschlong at 11:36 PM on October 7, 2001


i wonder if the people with hdtv over in afghanistan have called in to say that the cave set is starting to look a little dated...

and maybe it's just a blue screen. maybe he could be delivering messages from under the sea, or inside disneyland, or from space, like mtv news.
posted by gelatinouscitizen at 12:59 AM on October 8, 2001


ktheory: That reference to Japan is probably why the BBC filed it under the "South Asia" section of their web site.

What do you mean? Afghanistan is in south Asia. Japan is in the Far East.
posted by talos at 1:23 AM on October 8, 2001


this is weird, as one of the first analysis i heard september 11th was someone suggesting that it was as likely to be some japanese guy against hiroshima than an integrist-islamist against us politics in the middle east ...
posted by aureliano buendia at 3:14 AM on October 8, 2001


i swear, it's freaking impossible to see any footage from afghanistan that doesn't have an ak-47 looming in the background....

ak-47s must be like cell-phones, over there.


Probably true. ak-47's don't jam, period. And they are cheap. Those Russians couldn't make a decent car. But guns and vodka.
posted by brucec at 5:15 AM on October 8, 2001


The argument against us that Bin-Laden frames is, at its emotional core - the 'Why Don't You Come Over Here and Fight Like a Man!' argument. I'ts an attack against us using our supieror technology -- be it atom boms or attack planes -- in battle. And it never works.
posted by brucec at 5:19 AM on October 8, 2001


Kalashnikovs are so ubiquitous in the region that they have become icons in rugs.
posted by roboto at 10:39 AM on October 8, 2001


Hey at least our ole pal bin Laden has a snazzy Casio watch.

Casio's are the terrorist's choice for watches... they are easy to rig to bombs to make them time-detonated, apparently.
posted by mkn at 1:35 PM on October 8, 2001


Wasn't it the AK-47 that was the weapon of choice in Vietnam because it was the only one that wouldn't jam up even if you got it full of mud and crap in the rainy season? or am I thinking of something else...
posted by evixir at 3:45 PM on October 8, 2001


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