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October 29, 2004 1:44 PM   Subscribe

He's back: Bin Laden has released a new tape, where he attacks Bush, claims responsibility for 9/11, backhandledly backs Kerry and warns Americans to take responsibility for safety to themselves. But is it all an elaborate double bluff to make sure Bush gets in (and OBL stays as safe as he is now)?
posted by bonaldi (123 comments total)

 
Maybe you're looking at a different transcript than I am, but I'm not seeing where he "backhandledly backs Kerry."
posted by Shadowkeeper at 1:50 PM on October 29, 2004


Osama bin Laden? That must be one of those ex-ag-ger-ations.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:51 PM on October 29, 2004


Fools. Does no one remember that he releases a message primarily as a sign for cells to activate their prelaid plans? In retrospect, we find the clues that the cells may have been looking for, but DAMN...

As far as backing a candidate, I think that's a red herring that OBL would love both sides to pour resources into exploring. Talk about weapons of mass distraction.

I can't wait for the zinger Bush/Cheney spin from this, though. Does this mean Rice can't campaign as much for her boy now?

Shake the trees, people, shake the fucking trees.
posted by Busithoth at 1:53 PM on October 29, 2004


Election, schmelection. I just want to know why this fucker's on my TV set instead of dead, dead, dead.
posted by dragstroke at 1:54 PM on October 29, 2004


bin Laden's pretty cool.
posted by xmutex at 1:55 PM on October 29, 2004


At this point, I'm just hoping over and over again that the last four years all turn out to be some giant reality TV show setup to dupe the entire country. Joe President, or something.
posted by Remy at 2:00 PM on October 29, 2004


Yeah, he's looking better.
posted by swift at 2:01 PM on October 29, 2004


Mission Accomplished?
posted by EmoChild at 2:05 PM on October 29, 2004


How does he 'back Kerry' in any way?

He said:

"Your security is not in the hands of (Democratic candidate John) Kerry or Bush or al-Qaida. Your security is in your own hands," bin Laden said.

"To the U.S. people, my talk is to you about the best way to avoid another disaster," he said. "I tell you: security is an important element of human life and free people do not give up their security."

"If Bush says we hate freedom, let him tell us why we didn't attack Sweden, for example. It is known that those who hate freedom do not have dignified souls, like those of the 19 blessed ones," he said, referring to the 19 hijackers.

"We fought you because we are free .. and want to regain freedom for our nation. As you undermine our security we undermine yours."


Thanks for putting that delightful LGF spin on your FPP, bonaldi!

posted by Sidhedevil at 2:05 PM on October 29, 2004


OBL, from the transcript: "If Bush says we hate freedom, let him tell us why we didn't attack Sweden, for example."
posted by 4easypayments at 2:05 PM on October 29, 2004


Is he dead or missing, dead or missing?
Seems this Ol Laden can't decide what he is. He needs to stick to the issues.
posted by Peter H at 2:06 PM on October 29, 2004


But is it all an elaborate double bluff to make sure Bush gets in (and OBL stays as safe as he is now)?

Is this a rhetorical question?
posted by soyjoy at 2:07 PM on October 29, 2004


And I said that before I saw the "post title". Perhaps you meant to post this to freerepublic, bonaldi!

I think it is an example of how morally bankrupt Bush supporters are if the only response they can have to this is "bin Laden supports Kerry, nyah, nyah, nyah."
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:07 PM on October 29, 2004


At long last Rove has unveiled his famous October Surprise!
posted by filchyboy at 2:09 PM on October 29, 2004


I actually think that bin Laden is doing this a) because he can, and b) because of Arafat's illness. He wants to assure the Islamofascists that somebody's still going to be in the chair even if Uncle Yasser dies.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:09 PM on October 29, 2004


Can anyone locate a transcript?
posted by cell divide at 2:10 PM on October 29, 2004


let him tell us why we didn't attack Sweden, for example."

Bush: Well, duh. Because they're the neutral country.

Sidhedevil, I'm not seeing that in bonaldi's framing of this. It's a pretty common way of interpreting it.
posted by soyjoy at 2:10 PM on October 29, 2004


Bin Laden has released a new tape

AND IT'S NUMBER ONE WITH A BULLET!

I actually like his earlier stuff, though. Catchier lyrics, more about the hook and beats. Or was that Abu Gharib?
posted by Peter H at 2:12 PM on October 29, 2004


Yeah, because Yasser Arafat is such an Islamic radical and so beloved by "Islamofascists"... rolls eyes...
posted by cell divide at 2:12 PM on October 29, 2004


let him tell us why we didn't attack Sweden, for example.

Is OBL stealing from David Cross here?
posted by destro at 2:12 PM on October 29, 2004


Election, schmelection. I just want to know why this fucker's on my TV set instead of dead, dead, dead.
Yup. It's a clear sign of Bush's failure.
posted by amberglow at 2:13 PM on October 29, 2004


Yeah, he's looking better.

I have to disagree. Post 9-11, those shots of him and his disciples in the desert had him looking gorgeous. Now his nose seems to have grown. He looks like Bert on Sesame St.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 2:14 PM on October 29, 2004


I literally don't see how someone could interpret bin Laden as backing Kerry based on what he said in the tape (according to the transcripts I could find).

However, I do apologize to bonaldi because I kind of didn't see the double-entendre between his/her FPP and the post title--he/she was clearly trying to ask the question "Is this a campaign message? And if so, for whom?" and I was too stupid to see it.

BONALDI, I AM SORRY!!!!!!!!!
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:14 PM on October 29, 2004


Islamofascists?

I hate to be the one to tell you, but that's a made-up word.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:14 PM on October 29, 2004


I know it's a made-up word. So is "internet". So is "email". Your point? It's a word people made up to refer to something that only recently came into existence. I find it useful.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:16 PM on October 29, 2004


and with the bert comment, we come full circle.
posted by glenwood at 2:19 PM on October 29, 2004


dragstroke, exactly. How are we dissuading people from becoming terrorists by allowing bin Laden, the worst terrorist of all to continue breathing?

And why is Al Jazeera operating as the media outlet for all things Terrorist? If they're just the Terrorist Broadcasting Company then I'd think we would destroy that outlet for news and cues.

But at least we know bin Laden's not waiting in the wings for that election week surprise.

I don't think he cares who wins the election, he wants all Americans to die.
posted by fenriq at 2:19 PM on October 29, 2004


That's OK, sidhedevil.

The backhanded Kerry backing comes from the Bush criticism, I think. I have a feeling (OK, the wires are full of it) that we'll see more of this...
posted by bonaldi at 2:20 PM on October 29, 2004


Hmm, he's still around making threats? This is trickier than we thought. I know, let's invade Venezuela! That'll bring him to his knees!
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:21 PM on October 29, 2004


I agree that people will probably try to say "Well, he criticized Bush and therefore he must back Kerry, even though he explicitly says 'neither Kerry or Bush will protect you'"--hell, I had just come from LGF and there were dozens of people saying it over there (and hence my bizarre and stupid misreading of bonaldi's post--reading LGF actually hurts your brain).

I just think there's no way that that response is going to overcome the wave of "Holy shit, this 'war on terror' thing isn't working" that the tape inspires.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:24 PM on October 29, 2004


I think it is an example of how morally bankrupt Bush supporters are

Like we need another one.

How are we dissuading people from becoming terrorists by allowing bin Laden, the worst terrorist of all to continue breathing?

By showing them the superiority of a modern democratic society that seeks justice not vengence? (Granted, Bush has done a lousy job on the "justice" part.)
posted by rushmc at 2:25 PM on October 29, 2004


Sidhedevil: I find it useful.
Sorry I should have been more clear. It's not a neologism as we usually think of them, it's more along the lines of "boogeyman."

I guess it might be useful word if you were trying to bizarrely associate two disparate movements with neither substance nor surface in common, but who would want to do that?
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:26 PM on October 29, 2004


But at least we know bin Laden's not waiting in the wings for that election week surprise.

I don't think he cares who wins the election, he wants all Americans to die.


How's this for an alternative explanation? OBL isn't stupid. He knows he can get Bush to play into his hands: blunder into Iraq, fan the flames of Islamic dissent etc. He's not so sure about Kerry. He's plotting several steps ahead: he thinks, as Bush et al. probably do, that an imminent threat to America, especially one from bin Laden, is going to influence voters to elect to stay with the Commander in Chief. He's playing you people like marionettes!
posted by Turtles all the way down at 2:27 PM on October 29, 2004


let him tell us why we didn't attack Sweden, for example.

Because Sweden doesn't have an army?
posted by kgasmart at 2:32 PM on October 29, 2004


I find "Islamofascists" a useful shorthand for "people who are trying to use violence to bring about fascist Islamic theocracies". Obviously, you don't, sonofsamiam.

I promise that if you ever copyedit it out of something I've written, I won't make a fuss with the editor about putting it back.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:33 PM on October 29, 2004


And they would have attacked Poland, but they forgot.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:33 PM on October 29, 2004


Well, anyway, his beard is nicely trimmed. And he finallly got a decent tailor.
posted by swift at 2:34 PM on October 29, 2004


Sweden? He forgot Poland.
posted by afx114 at 2:36 PM on October 29, 2004


Sounds like bin Laden's a Michael Moore fan:
It never occurred to us that the commander in chief of the country (Bush) would leave 50,000 citizens in the two towers to face those horrors alone ... because he thought listening to a child discussing her goats was more important," bin Laden said, referring to Bush's visit to a school when the attack occurred.
Snap!
posted by kirkaracha at 2:37 PM on October 29, 2004


At the risk of sounding evil, this seems to be bin laden at his most reasonable. He has a message he wanted to get out, and he did it (yes, brutally.)

However, this lesson is not getting out. Bush is blaming nonsense rationales, and nonsense people. Kerry is similarly "I'll save you!" without much of how.

To bin Laden, this muddies the issues. So, in modern arabic for once, in simple terms, he explains, this is why we did what we did. Not what Bush has told you, that's stupid. And whether you're safe is not up to how you vote, it's up to the entire actions of America.

It almost seems as though we are meant to sit and listen, hear the truth, stop adding all this election crap on it, and re-evaluate how we treat the muslim world. If we don't meess with them, they won't mess with us, and he would be very happy if he doesn't have to take action.

(I'd still rather see him dead, though.)
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 2:48 PM on October 29, 2004


Yeah, I voted for Kerry (past tense, I'm in Oregon), but I don't think he's going to get the bastard either. We live in this fragile system of international balances. Bush has his connections with the Saudis and plays elaborate games of footsie with Musharraf. Kerry will make his own international net and probably STILL have to play footsie with Pakistan, which unfortunately is still the key problem when it comes to capturing bin Laden.

But that's all opinion, and only barely informed opinion at that. I'm just some guy on the internets. At heart, I believe that we should have done, and should DO, everything in our (and I mean all of us, the community of enlightened mankind if it exists) power to GET THIS SONOFABITCH and all his lieutenants. It is a ghastly, horrible thing that he lives and breathes a free man today. It makes me literally sick.

Frankly, I don't think our politicians OR any other nation's politicians have the stomache to just go and do the right goddamn thing. Kerry's going to be so compromised by his predecessor's actions that he'll barely be able to accomplish anything anyway, unless he throws out the old playbook and stands up for something. I don't see it happening.

I better hit the liquor store on my way home tonight, it's going to be a long winter.
posted by dragstroke at 2:55 PM on October 29, 2004


I'm not convinced that this is good for Bush. Remember how he tried to avoid discussing OBL in the debates? Clearly, someone in his campaign thinks that it's a bad idea to remind the public that the great terrorist mastermind remains uncaptured. If the public takes any message home from the release of this tape (and with the story breaking on a Friday afternoon, the amount of attention devoted to its details will be minimized--bad news cycle timing, Osama!), it's that bin Laden is still out there.

It'll be interesting to see how the campaigns handle this. I think that Bush will likely avoid discussing it directly, continue to talk security, and let the insecurity created by this tape work for him. Kerry faces a much tougher choice, though. Personally, I think he should jump on this. It can be easily made out to be a Bush administration failure: this guy should not be free and releasing public messages three years after the fact...
posted by mr_roboto at 3:02 PM on October 29, 2004


Here's the real message of that video.

"It's almost 38 months since I killed three thousand Americans on American soil, and I'm still alive and free."

That's all you need to see. He's not dead. He's not captured. 3,000 Americans died.

Why do you think OBL wants four more years of Bush?
posted by eriko at 3:20 PM on October 29, 2004


dont call it a comeback
posted by tsarfan at 3:21 PM on October 29, 2004


He's playing you people like marionettes!

Uh oh... better call on Team America!

Seriously though, this does smell funny so close to election day.
posted by LouReedsSon at 3:27 PM on October 29, 2004


Well, you know, if he's still out there and free, I'm closer to winning the office October Surprise betting pool. I have $50 on "Cheney fakes a heart attack," but the smart money was on "OBL: captured."
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:28 PM on October 29, 2004


Kerry's gotta jump on this. If he doesn't, he's a spineless bastard and deserves to lose.

Wait, I didn't really mean that.

But he's gotta jump on this. The sight of OBL taunting George Bush exposes the enormous failure that his presidency has been.
posted by PrinceValium at 3:29 PM on October 29, 2004


The local news led with the Bin Ladin tape, followed by an "Election 2004" roundup with a soundbite from Bush saying "We have the terrorists on the run." Ooops.
posted by wendell at 3:35 PM on October 29, 2004


All Kerry has to say is, "What happened to 'dead or alive', Mr. Bush? Why is Osama still around to harm us?"
posted by amberglow at 3:39 PM on October 29, 2004


Kerry's on Cspan now but his mics arent working!
posted by protocool at 3:45 PM on October 29, 2004


Well, to be fair, Osama Bin *DID* wander off somewhere while Bush wasn't looking... and Bush *DID* say he wasn't particularly concerned about Osama and that he didn't really matter anymore.. and besides, Al Qaeda was destroyed, right?

Osama obviously wants to play hide and seek. Well, Bush is too smart for him. He isn't going to play that game! ;-)
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:47 PM on October 29, 2004


first, be upfront: I support Kerry. That said, OBL mocked both candidates but he also noted that he managed to get additional things done because Bush busy reading stories to kids in classroom on 9/11.

The last reference I have seen to OBL was out of White House: we are close to catching him...in sum: Bush looks a bit bad. After all, Kerry attack states Bush spending time in Iraq instead of going after OBL--and lo, here is OBL to prove that he is alive, looking ok, and very active in the film game (sorry, Sinclair).

Kerry thus can make a bit of something of this tape but Bush can only repeat that we are going after him (and indicating that he has thus far failed.)

What the GOP should do because of this tape: disenfranchise more voters.
posted by Postroad at 3:47 PM on October 29, 2004


he would be very happy if he doesn't have to take action

Well, he must be perpetually happy, since he never has to take action. Insinuating that murderers might ever have to commit murder doesn't win you points in a rationality contest.
posted by oaf at 3:48 PM on October 29, 2004



Kerry's gotta jump on this. If he doesn't, he's a spineless bastard and deserves to lose.

Kerry on the new OBL video ...
In response to this tape from Osama bin Laden, let me make it clear, crystal clear. As Americans, we are absolutely united in our determination to hunt down and destroy Osama bin Laden and the terrorists. They are barbarians. And I will stop at absolutely nothing to hunt down, capture or kill the terrorists wherever they are, whatever it takes. Period.

From the airport at West Palm.
Jump enough for you?
posted by y2karl at 3:59 PM on October 29, 2004


Prediction: Kerry camp simply sticks with the "America is united in wanting to capture or kill the terrorists" theme, which only reinforces the general public's view that Kerry is not as tough as Bush.

Two videos in two days prior to the election point out that al Qaeda is trying to affect the outcome of the election. But what is it they want? Maybe they're just trying to psyche us out?

Al Qaeda is Kerry wins: "We win. We defeated Bush now the rest of you are gonna get it."

Al Qaeda if Bush wins: "America has sealed its fate by electing Bush. Now you're gonna get it."
posted by b_thinky at 4:01 PM on October 29, 2004


Shorter OBL: "You could have beaten me if you had been smarter. But really, if you think that voting for a President is all you have to do to be safe, you are sadly deluded. Now stop fucking with us."

He really does want the restoration of the caliphate, eh?
posted by solistrato at 4:09 PM on October 29, 2004


I hate Bush; voting for Kerry on Tuesday. But I wonder... it's five days before the election and anything could have happened, terror-wise, on the NYC subways, or in Times Square, at the Mall of America, or anywhere in the country. OBL wants to affect the outcome of election? In the end, all we get hit with is more threats, in the form of another made-for-Al Jazeera VIDEO? In Madrid, it was *bombs*, not videograms.

If the cocksucker could have attacked us again, today, right now, why wouldn't he have done so?? Why send another freakin' tape?

Is it possible Bush has done a better job shutting down Al Qaeda than we (us Democrats) admit?

(Of course, I realize there's always the weekend, or Monday...)
posted by jellybuzz at 4:21 PM on October 29, 2004


"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...

"Your security does not lie in the hands of Kerry, Bush, or al-Qaeda. Your security is in your own hands."


The Red Sox won the World Series and now I'm agreeing with Osama bin Laden. I'm stocking beans and ammo in the basement.
posted by solistrato at 4:21 PM on October 29, 2004


Is it possible Bush has done a better job shutting down Al Qaeda than we (us Democrats) admit?

jelly: nope. It's still just as easy for Osama to order those things to happen. In fact, in that video might have been those very orders. Al Qaeda is not shut down by any means.
posted by amberglow at 4:30 PM on October 29, 2004


I'm just surprised he didn't close with "I'm Osama Bin Laden and I approve this message."
posted by wendell at 4:31 PM on October 29, 2004


insert marge s. grumble here
posted by DenOfSizer at 4:32 PM on October 29, 2004


jelly: would that have the effect it did in Spain? I suspect it would help Bush to win, which although it might make life easier for OBL in the short term surely isn't a long-term goal.
posted by bonaldi at 5:08 PM on October 29, 2004


b_thinky, do you really think that tape by "Assam the American" is actually al-Qaeda approved? I think it's just random histrionics, since it didn't follow the al-Qaeda distribution patterns in any way.

Maybe they should make Osama do the "I approve this message" just so we know which tapes are really from al-Q headquarters and which are from terrorist 527s.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:09 PM on October 29, 2004


jelly: would that have the effect it did in Spain?

Does everyone willingly ignore the fact that the Spanish gov't tried to spin the bombings to their political advantage, which REALLY pissed off everyone?

that, more than the actual bombing, turned the election.
posted by Busithoth at 5:13 PM on October 29, 2004


...which is what Rove is probably thinking of this very moment.
posted by amberglow at 5:15 PM on October 29, 2004


I was amazed at how healthy he looks. Last time he looked like death warmed over. The stories of him spending time in a hospital in Pakistan recently seem more believable.
posted by homunculus at 5:25 PM on October 29, 2004


Whats all this talk of freedom and justice from a psychopathic theocrat? Sounds like he's pulling a Dalai Lama. Negate the past and play up the "liberal democracy" and "social justice" card.
posted by skallas at 11:38 PM on October 29, 2004


>Is it possible Bush has done a better job shutting down Al Qaeda than we (us Democrats) admit?

Gee I don't know. Ask the families of the people killed in Madrid, Bali, Iraq, etc. You dont have to hit cleveland to be an anti-american (or anti-western, really) terrorist.
posted by skallas at 11:39 PM on October 29, 2004


I don't see the kerry/bin laden connection. How does Osama Bin Laden support Kerry? God, my mom is going to be telling me all about this tomorrow.
posted by Keyser Soze at 1:16 AM on October 30, 2004


Does everyone willingly ignore the fact that the Spanish gov't tried to spin the bombings to their political advantage, which REALLY pissed off everyone?

Thank you Busithoth, I get really tired having to repeat that until my face is as blue as Metafilter.

I would also remind everybody in the black and white version of America, that Spain, like most countries, has a complex political landscape, in many ways even more complex than that of the US. Spain has lived with the threat of terrorism during 40 years, not 4; this is a hardened society, not easily scared into rash decisions (for instance, Spain hasn't bombed Morrocco in retaliation for the Madrid bombings). That means that many other factors affected the last election in Spain, not only the terrorist action, bloody as it was. Although I do understand that in your black and white world Spain only exists insofar as its tragedies (bombings in Madrid, Government that supports an illegal war in Iraq against the will of the people) are politically useful to Republicans or Democrats in a given moment. Forgive me if I'm not impressed with your analysis.
posted by sic at 2:22 AM on October 30, 2004


Speaking to reporters in Ohio, White House communications director Dan Bartlett said Kerry should have frozen his criticisms for 12 hours.

"You would think that there would be a, maybe, 12 hours to let the Americans absorb what has just happened today," he said.


I just don't get this. This makes absolutely NO fricking sense.
posted by swell at 2:58 AM on October 30, 2004


my first thought was 'october surprise'.

maybe it wasn't a pakistani hospital he was in, but a US one. for all we know, rove could have him wrapped round his little finger.

if the administration could get OBL to say what they want when they want they could have an interesting effect on the election.
posted by knapah at 3:37 AM on October 30, 2004


skallas, jesus christ...
posted by matteo at 4:09 AM on October 30, 2004


"We fought you because we are free ... and want to regain freedom for our nation. As you undermine our security we undermine yours," bin Laden said.

The arrogance found in this thread amazes me: for the first time bin Laden has come out and said in very clear and concise words why he did what he did and all that you people come up with is electionfilter and I-wish-he-was-dead. Pathetic.
posted by ashbury at 4:52 AM on October 30, 2004


"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

Damn, these fundies really do understand one another. And here I was thinking they were all deluded but Osama definitely has Dubya's number.
posted by nofundy at 5:30 AM on October 30, 2004


Oh no!
ashbury is disappointed in everyone here. I hope you're all properly ashamed of yourselves.
posted by kavasa at 6:35 AM on October 30, 2004


Mission Accomplished?

Isn't the "mission" referred to in that original statement one other than capturing or suppressing OBL?

let him tell us why we didn't attack Sweden, for example.

That's precisely what I said to myself a while ago.

Because Sweden doesn't have an army?

If freedom itself is the thing that OBL hates (as opposed to US foreign policy) then whether or not a country praticing it has an army would not seem very relevant.

How's this for an alternative explanation? OBL isn't stupid. He knows he can get Bush to play into his hands: blunder into Iraq, fan the flames of Islamic dissent etc [...]

Well, of course that is possible, but the idea that OBL intended the US to move into Iraq and indeed manipulated Bush et al into doing so appears rather fantastical.

"It's almost 38 months since I killed three thousand Americans on American soil, and I'm still alive and free."

Well, that is something that can be deduced from the video but I don't know why that would be a more important fact than anything else we can learn from it.

Why do you think OBL wants four more years of Bush?


It doesn't appear the he does, particularly, does it?

This does smell funny so close to election day.


How do you mean?

The sight of OBL taunting George Bush exposes the enormous failure that his presidency has been.

It exposes the fact that he and/or the forces under his control have failed in capturing OBL, I'm not sure what else about presidential failure can be rationally drawn from that fact alone.

Is it possible Bush has done a better job shutting down Al Qaeda than we (us Democrats) admit? / nope. It's still just as easy for Osama to order those things to happen. [...] Al Qaeda is not shut down by any means.


Well, whether or not this is the case, it was not the question. It would seem that the US have had at least some success in suppressing AQ, the removal of a government that permitted them to train and plan attacks for instance.

Ask the families of the people killed in Madrid, Bali, Iraq, etc.

As above. Whether or not attacks are still happening and still possible does not mean that the US have had no success in suppressing AQ. Plus the fact that a person is a grieving relative of such an attack makes them no more of an authority on this question than anybody else.

I'm just surprised he didn't close with "I'm Osama Bin Laden and I approve this message."

If he'd have done that then popped his finger up, I'd have forgiven him everything.


This all reminds me - I've left myself no time to get my terrorist costume ready for tonight.

posted by ed\26h at 6:51 AM on October 30, 2004


Why don't you address my point instead of mocking me, kavasa?
posted by ashbury at 6:52 AM on October 30, 2004


How are we dissuading people from becoming terrorists by allowing bin Laden, the worst terrorist of all to continue breathing?

OBL is the face of the enemy. As long as he lives, the war on terror has meaning. As soon as he is killed, the war will lose momentum. Unless, there is someone who is as well known that we can splash on the news. There are rising stars, but for now OBL is the man. Kill him too early and people will expect the war to draw down. In short, his continued existance is what keeps the fear alive. Fear is what will get Bush re-elected.
OBL's latest video is proof that the war is still on. I think it will help GW at the pollls in Tuesday.
posted by a3matrix at 7:02 AM on October 30, 2004


Well, it could be the case that OBL is being intentionally kept alive in order to propagate an Orwellian idea of the world; but it is not something it would appear very rational to accept.
posted by ed\26h at 7:11 AM on October 30, 2004


George Bush is a much worse terrorist than Bin Laden. He has killed far more innocents in pursuit of an equally radical agenda; he has given international terror a place to gather and train and troops to easily kill; he is arming the terrorists better than Bin Laden ever could; and he has divided America and alienated us from our allies, weakening our unity. If Bin Laden deserves to die, then why does Bush deserve to live?

I welcome this communication for the terrorist jackal: now we have words to replace those idiotic lies Bush puts forward about what motivates Al Qaeda. I don't want to see anyone dead. I want Bin Laden brought before a world court, along side Bush and Rumsfeld. They, and those who made their actions possible, deserve the world's hatred.
posted by squirrel at 7:35 AM on October 30, 2004


Every time someone calls him OBL, I can't help but think of him as a Wu Tang member.
posted by adampsyche at 7:37 AM on October 30, 2004


Squirrel: From what I've seen, we normally make more progress in these sorts of threads when we employ reason and rational debate rather than simply rhetoric.
posted by ed\26h at 7:48 AM on October 30, 2004


ed\26h,

The Sweden comment is a joke based on the President's gaff: (from the Times "Without a doubt").

Lantos went on to describe for the president how the Swedish Army might be an ideal candidate to anchor a small peacekeeping force on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Sweden has a well-trained force of about 25,000. The president looked at him appraisingly, several people in the room recall.

"''I don't know why you're talking about Sweden,'' Bush said. ''They're the neutral one. They don't have an army.''

Lantos paused, a little shocked, and offered a gentlemanly reply: ''Mr. President, you may have thought that I said Switzerland. They're the ones that are historically neutral, without an army.'' Then Lantos mentioned, in a gracious aside, that the Swiss do have a tough national guard to protect the country in the event of invasion.

Bush held to his view. ''No, no, it's Sweden that has no army.''

The room went silent, until someone changed the subject.

This is one key feature of the faith-based presidency: open dialogue, based on facts, is not seen as something of inherent value."
posted by xammerboy at 9:02 AM on October 30, 2004


Blow it out your ass, ed. I'm using widely reported facts about what the Bush administration has done to the Iraqi people, not simple rhetoric. From the civilian death toll, to the catastrophic rise of terror within Iraq, to the hundreds of tons of HMX allowed to fall into terrorist hands: all facts. Pointing out that this administration is a terrorist organization is merely connecting the dots.

If you don't agree, then please tell me why the lives of the tens of thousands of civilians killed because of the Bush invasion and occupation are worth less than those killed by Bin Laden? Why is Bin Laden reviled as a terrorist (as he should be) while Bush is not?

Did the world ever get a valid justification for all the killing the Bush administration has done? Did I miss that? That Bush is a terrorist is a fact known by the majority of the world; your blindness does not reduce fact to simple rhetoric. Nor does your smug dismissal serve to respond to my argument, but rather tries to obscure it with your own rhetoric.
posted by squirrel at 9:16 AM on October 30, 2004


Catching or killing OBL before the election helps Bush.

OBL mocking him on international TV hurts Bush.

These Bushies can't have it both ways. America isn't that stupid. A mass-murderer appears on TV, mocks your country, all the while your president has been "hunting" him? Specially with plans drawn up by Rumsfeld, a civilian? This hurts Bush and a lot. His one card is terrorism and the master terrorist looks better than ever and throws in a 'The Pet Goat' joke for good measure.

Three more days is more than I can take with these incompetent morons.
posted by skallas at 10:10 AM on October 30, 2004


fenriq, did you even RTFA? "I don't think he cares who wins the election, he wants all Americans to die."

Hello? Wake up: he says quite explicitly "Any state that does not mess with our security, has naturally guaranteed its own security."

That's the fucking opposite of wanting all Americans to die.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:18 AM on October 30, 2004


Here's a healthy hint for a bunch of you:

Quit reading between the lines. Take what Osama says at face value.

The biggest challenge to Americans appears to be stepping back from their egocentric world view, and reading what people say without spinning it in terms of their own opinions and fears and desire to dominate.

Bin Laden directly tells you that if America to let the Arab world sort itself out. Keep to your part of the world, and he'll keep to his part of the world.

It's that simple.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:36 AM on October 30, 2004


The arrogance found in this thread amazes me: for the first time bin Laden has come out and said in very clear and concise words why he did what he did and all that you people come up with is electionfilter and I-wish-he-was-dead. Pathetic.

The arrogance of this post amazes me: Rather than make the sort of constructive or valuable comment that is said to be lacking in this thread all ashbury can come up with is complaints about electionfilter and I-wish-he_was_dead posts. Pathetic.

Of course I've just done much the same thing!

Concise. I'll buy that. Clear? I'm lost. What clear reasons were given? Generalized and conceptual reasons I can see. Such as freedom, pride, greed, supposed influence over much of Israeli activity, endorsement of enemies, etc. Nothing we haven't already heard. I'd imagine this is why this isn't the subject of discussion.

The effects of the election come up I believe, because of the concept of the October Surprise and the fact that much of the incumbent's platform is based on his strong reaction to and supposedly efficient and effective battle against "the terrorists." The appearance of Bin Laden on tape might be somewhat related to this. At least I make the association but perhaps I'm wrong and one has nought to do with the other and so shouldn't be discusses. Similarly, the actual election is a few days away and somehow this might be a topic of interest to those who believe such things are related.
posted by juiceCake at 10:46 AM on October 30, 2004


I have come across an alternate translation of the Bin Laden statement, and I believe everyone should read it.

This would be the first time I regret not being able to self-link on the Front Page. Or maybe the second.
posted by wendell at 11:14 AM on October 30, 2004


Keep to your part of the world, and he'll keep to his part of the world.

what does "keeping to your part" mean? the attacks on 911 were before invading either afghanistan and iraq. so presumably he objects to more than that. maybe you mean that the usa should no longer support israel or trade with saudi arabia, for example? if so, you should be more clear, because your post reads to me as "get out of iraq and things will be ok" which doesn't make sense.
posted by andrew cooke at 11:39 AM on October 30, 2004


wendell, you're still not funny.
posted by angry modem at 11:57 AM on October 30, 2004


what does "keeping to your part" mean?

If you take fff's comment in context (i.e. the fact that he is paraphrasing what Bin Laden said), the transcript of the tape is pretty explicit. He says, for instance, that he first thought of attacking the U.S. after the U.S. became involved in Lebanon -- that after seeing towers fall in Lebanon, he decided the twin towers had to fall. I think it is a leap to assume fff is advocating an immediate pull-out of Iraq, though I would imagine Osama wouldn't mind if the U.S. stopped taking sides in the Palestenian-Israeli conflict.

But Bin Laden's ultimatum/warning was exactly as fff paraphrased -- don't meddle in Middle Eastern affairs and we won't meddle in yours. Basically, a Monroe Doctrine for the 21st century. It will be safer for everyone if you stay in your hemisphere and we stay in ours.
posted by rafter at 12:08 PM on October 30, 2004


But there's no reason to assume he'll stop either doing stuff to us, or stop anything from happening to us even if we pulled out of the Middle East entirely, today. Hasn't Al Qaeda already morphed into something uncontrollable by just one person? And--If something that happened in 1982 was the trigger that created 9/11 in 2001, haven't we already done many many many more things that might have created more triggers in the years since 82?
posted by amberglow at 12:21 PM on October 30, 2004


And--If something that happened in 1982 was the trigger that created 9/11 in 2001

The 1982 reference is OBL trying to rewrite history, "See I hated the infidel way back then, I was never the CIA's bitch nosiree bob"

Hopefully this will convince Americans they are dealing with an astute, clever enemy, and they need brains not brawn to win this war.
posted by fullerine at 12:30 PM on October 30, 2004


But there's no reason to assume he'll stop either doing stuff to us, or stop anything from happening to us even if we pulled out of the Middle East entirely, today.

I'm not sure if this was (specifically) directed at me, but I don't think we should try to "reason" or negotiate with Bin Laden at all. If the U.S. pulls out of the Middle East entirely, we should be doing it because it is the right thing to do, not because Bin Laden offered a truce.
posted by rafter at 12:41 PM on October 30, 2004


It was more based at those saying we should take the words at face value. We already know that Osama, and many millions of other Middle Easterners, want us out of the region. (Which is funny/tragic, because our being in the region actually helped arm him to begin with, and helped Saddam too, no?) Whether it's I/P stuff, or legacies of Cold War maneuvering, or our occupation of Iraq, we're there. Neither Bush nor Kerry is going to fundamentally change that fact. So we're damned either way.
posted by amberglow at 12:48 PM on October 30, 2004


Angry modem, why does your user page redirect to some other site?
posted by euphorb at 12:49 PM on October 30, 2004


wendell, you're still not funny.

But the original Bin Laden transcript was ROFLMAO!
I know I am probably the only MeFite who does NOT put Al Queda or terrorism in general on my Top Ten list of things to worry about, and I know I'm the only one who narrowly avoided getting blown-up by a home-grown terrorist in the late 1980s. But doesn't that statement and the performance by the alleged Osama look more than a little FAKE?

One bad joke I forgot to include in the original post:
"And I'd like to thank the Fab Five for the makeover - I'll be releasing them sometime next week - but you probably never even noticed they were missing. And special thanks to the Cedars of Cleveland Hospital for taking such good care of an old man without health insurance, especially to my kidney donor: I hope the bathtub full of ice wasn't too uncomfortable."

I'm sorry if I can't take this "terrorism" thing more seriously, but fullerine's line about "an astute, clever enemy" was one of the funniest things I've seen all week. I'm just sorry I don't have time right now to expain the umpteen reasons I'm not signing up for the "War on Terror". Maybe later.
posted by wendell at 1:06 PM on October 30, 2004


And maybe I could've made my "bit" funnier if I referred to the goat in the garterbelt suing him for sexual harassmant. I dunno.
posted by wendell at 1:10 PM on October 30, 2004


The arrogance of this post amazes me: Rather than make the sort of constructive or valuable comment that is said to be lacking in this thread all ashbury can come up with is complaints about electionfilter and I-wish-he_was_dead posts. Pathetic.

No, juiceCake, that wasn't arrogance, that was disappointment. AFAIK, this is the first instance where bin Laden has said what he wanted and given reasons, vague though they are, as to why he has done what he has done. This is obviously a very big event and will likely change how the powers-that-be will deal with obl. Is it important to this election? Yeah, I think it is, but not as important as many here seem to think it is.

I'm not so good explaining things with the written word, but I'll do my best and try to keep it simple. I think that in many ways it doesn't matter who is elected since the apparatus that is the government takes a long time to make substantial changes in how things are done. If Kerry were elected, would he take the troops out of Iraq? Frankly, I have doubts that he could do so with any ease and that it would take a long time. More importantly, would he change the way the U.S. views its foreign policy, which is in my opinion the strongest and most devastating weapon the U.S. has? Once again, I don't think he could since business and foreign policy are so intertwined together that they are virtually indistinguishable. If American foreign policy isn't changed, then lines that have been drawn by OBL and others of his ilk as well as the American guidelines of diplomacy will remain unchanged, the situation will be a stalemate and more people will get hurt and killed.
posted by ashbury at 1:11 PM on October 30, 2004


but fullerine's line about "an astute, clever enemy" was one of the funniest things I've seen all week

Hey, at least I was funny.
posted by fullerine at 1:17 PM on October 30, 2004


You know, it's kind of funny to think that Bin Laden is trying to talk directly to the American people. After 9/11, he specifically mentioned that so long as the palestinian people know no peace, neither shall the Americans. That was around a year into the intifada, and no policy ever came of it. Bush has washed his hands of it, and we promptly forgot all about it, as we readied ourselves for invasion-time.

I get the feeling Bin Laden's asking himself "what the Allah do I have to do to get through to these idiots and make them listen?"

I think his timing might have had more to do with Arafat's death rattles than the election, though it doesn't hurt that they're coinciding...

As far as that cockamamie CIA-Bin Laden connection, I'm not buying it. He associated with others who got direct aid, but Pakistan's ISI did almost all the hands-on work in Afganistan. We just sent money (matched $ for $ by the Saudis, who were more involved in it, as wahabiist fanatics could test their mettle in Afganistan, rather than organize and overthrow the Saudi regime...)

I was marveling at the lack of props in this address, however. And the tone.

Wendell, I don't think many Americans are taking this terrorism thing seriously. They just know they're scared of them, and want someone to tell them he'll keep them safe.

Like Britney says, we should just trust our president...
posted by Busithoth at 1:26 PM on October 30, 2004


But doesn't that statement and the performance by the alleged Osama look more than a little FAKE?
Apparently Walter Cronkite said something along these lines on CNN (yesterday i think), accusing Rove, but i can't find a link/transcript.
posted by amberglow at 1:27 PM on October 30, 2004


Here's the Cronkite thing: CRONKITE: What we just heard. So now the question is basically right now, how will this affect the election? And I have a feeling that it could tilt the election a bit. In fact, I'm a little inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, he probably set up bin Laden to this thing. The advantage to the Republican side is to get rid of, as a principal subject of the campaigns right now, get rid of the whole problem of the al Qaqaa explosive dump. Right now, that, the last couple of days, has, I think, upset the Republican campaign.


And this is telling: "We want people to think 'terrorism' for the last four days," said a Bush-Cheney campaign official. "And anything that raises the issue in people's minds is good for us."

A senior GOP strategist added, "anything that makes people nervous about their personal safety helps Bush."

He called it "a little gift,"
saying it helps the President but doesn't guarantee his reelection.
NYDN
posted by amberglow at 1:50 PM on October 30, 2004


It looks like Osama is a politician after all. He's changing his reasons for his war on America.

Before he said he hated America for (among other things) supporting Israel, having an economy based on interest (against Islamic principles), "stealing" oil from Arab countries, using women in advertising, exporting our sinful Hollywood entertainment to corrups muslims, etc, etc, etc.

Now he says he wants freedom. Is this not the same person who terrorizes Saudi Arabia because their religious laws are too liberal for him? Does anyone recall how he and the Taliban ran Afghanistan?

You cannot negotiate or listen to these people. They're intelligent, but so out of touch it's crazy.

The fact that he appears is bad for Bush, but Kerry and the Democrats can't be too happy about him ripping on the Patriot Act, My Pet Goat, etc.
posted by b_thinky at 1:51 PM on October 30, 2004


The West is trying to westernize the mid-East in all ways. In particular, Western corporations are trying to use Western methods of managing consumer desire. And Western corporations want to be rid of Islamic control of the mid-East governments (and thus Islamic law that would regulate Western corporations operating in the mid-East).

It is a clash of cultures: Western "secular" government versus mid-East religious government. The West generally tries to keep religion and government separate. In the mid-East, religion and government are the same thing.

There is no middle ground to be had. Either the West pulls out and lets the mid-East be what it is, or we war.

Are we so devoted to Western domination of the distant mid-East to die for it? Because sure as hell, they are religiously devoted to their land and their customs, and are willing to die by the score for it.

Before he said he hated America for (among other things) supporting Israel, having an economy based on interest (against Islamic principles), "stealing" oil from Arab countries, using women in advertising, exporting our sinful Hollywood entertainment to corrups muslims, etc, etc, etc.

Now he says he wants freedom.


Freedom from US support of mid-East regimes, including Israel. Freedom from US banking interests that are pushing for interest-bearing loans in the mid-East. Freedom from US control of Arab oil. Freedom from US corporations using women in advertising in the mid-East. Freedom from US corporations exporting Hollywood entertainment, etc, etc, etc.

It's all in how you want to spin it.

I think if you read him at face value, you'll see he is quite consistent: get the hell out of the mid-East, or die for it.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:08 PM on October 30, 2004


If something that happened in 1982 was the trigger that created 9/11 in 2001, haven't we already done many many many more things that might have created more triggers in the years since 82?

It's not the things we've done since 1982. From bin Laden's perspective, it's what we've done since 1095, the start of the Crusades. His view of September 11 is that it was a defensive act in response to a centuries-long effort by the West to destroy Islam. (And attacking Iraq on false pretenses played right into that perception.) Bin Laden takes a very long view for history, and often cites America's dropping the atomic bombs on Japan as an example of America's brutality.

Michael "Anonymous" Scheuer's Through Our Enemies' Eyes and Imperial Hubris have a lot of informaiton about Bin Laden and his motivations. Here's a nice recap of Imperial Hubris, and here's an excerpt that addresses "they hate us for our freedoms":
One of the greatest dangers for Americans in deciding how to confront the Islamist threat lies in continuing to believe--at the urging of senior U.S. leaders--that Muslims hate and attack us because of what we are and think, rather than what we do. The Islamic world is not so offended by our system of politics, guarantees of personal rights and civil liberties, and separation of church and state that it is willing to wage war at overwhemling odds in order to stop Americans from voting, speaking freely, and praying, or not, as they wish.

...

Many Muslims may not particularly like what and who the rest of us are, but those things seldom if ever make them hate us enough to attack us.

...

Part of bin Laden's genius is that the recognized early on the difference between issues Muslims find offensive about American and the West, and those they find intolerable and life threatening. The difference, that is, that moves large numbers of people from demonstrating with placards to demoloshing with plastic explosives. And in the movement-causing category fall, almost exlusively, U.S. political, military, and economic policies toward the Islamic world.
I would imagine Osama wouldn't mind if the U.S. stopped taking sides in the Palestenian-Israeli conflict.

Bin Laden's said the same thing in earlier speeches, this one from October 2001:
To America, I say only a few words to it and its people. I swear by God, who has elevated the skies without pillars, neither America nor the people who live in it will dream of security before we live it in Palestine, and not before all the infidel armies leave the land of Muhammad, peace be upon him.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:04 PM on October 30, 2004


But that's not gonna happen, whether we want it to or not. We're inextricably entwined with the region, and until the oil runs out, are not going anywhere.

Also, why are we more important than the very leaders closer to home Osama talks about? Wouldn't he get more of his aims accomplished by getting rid of Jordan's leaders (the father/son thing, i believe) and those others? I think we make an easy scapegoat, while millions of Middle Easterners' lives are not improved. (Just as the plight of the Palestinians has served as a distraction from the things those leaders haven't done to help their people) You have to wonder why there's no threats to them.
posted by amberglow at 3:11 PM on October 30, 2004


Keep to your part of the world, and he'll keep to his part of the world.

Reasonable! We just get out of Iraq and he'll be cool. And Saudi Arabia The Land Of The Two Holy Places, Israel Palestine, Spain Andalusia, and Turkey Anatolia.

He considers a hell of a lot of the world part of the "Caliphate" that is not the Middle East, by any definition save his own, and he has no intention of stopping there.
posted by swell at 3:18 PM on October 30, 2004


I think if you read him at face value, you'll see he is quite consistent: get the hell out of the mid-East, or die for it.

This sounds suspiciously like Bush's "You're with us or you're with the terrorists" dogma. Both Bush's and bin Laden's statements are invalid.
posted by oaf at 3:43 PM on October 30, 2004


Sounds like he's making an appeal to swing voters-- moderate Muslims and even some Europeans and Americans. Usually he speaks in flowery, koran-drenched Arabic, invoking ancient history, quoting famous poetic verses, etc. This time he even tried to look more moderate, got rid of the desert-warrior motif, and spoke of more recent history and current events.
posted by cell divide at 3:58 PM on October 30, 2004


Also, why are we more important than the very leaders closer to home Osama talks about? Wouldn't he get more of his aims accomplished by getting rid of Jordan's leaders (the father/son thing, i believe) and those others?

Juan Cole, Bin Laden's Vision Becoming Reality:
For al-Qaeda to succeed, it must overthrow the individual nation-states in the Middle East, most of them colonial creations, and unite them into a single, pan-Islamic state. But Ayman al-Zawahiri's organization, al-Jihad al-Islami, had tried very hard to overthrow the Egyptian state, and was always checked. Al-Zawahiri thought it was because of U.S. backing for Egypt. They believed that the U.S. also keeps Israel dominant in the Levant and backs Saudi Arabia's royal family.

Al-Zawahiri then hit upon the idea of attacking the "far enemy" first. That is, since the United States was propping up the governments of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, etc., all of which al-Qaeda wanted to overthrow so as to meld them into a single, Islamic super-state, then it would hit the United States first.
(Juan Cole is a history professor at the University of Michigan and his weblog that discusses the Middle East, history, and religion.)

We just get out of Iraq and he'll be cool. And Saudi Arabia The Land Of The Two Holy Places, Israel Palestine, Spain Andalusia, and Turkey Anatolia.

He considers a hell of a lot of the world part of the "Caliphate" that is not the Middle East, by any definition save his own, and he has no intention of stopping there.


All of the countries you mentioned were part of the caliphate circa 900.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:03 PM on October 30, 2004


ahh. Are we truly propping them all up tho?
posted by amberglow at 4:08 PM on October 30, 2004


Yep.

p.s. Al-Jazeera has a more complete transcript of the bin Laden tape than most other sites do.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:35 PM on October 30, 2004


These Bushies can't have it both ways. America isn't that stupid.

Um. Where have you been lately?

Let's see if you're still saying that on Wednesday (or Thursday, or Christmas, or February, or whenever this gets settled).
posted by rushmc at 6:33 PM on October 30, 2004


I think his timing might have had more to do with Arafat's death rattles than the election

The address is marked for the American people, specifically mentions Kerry, Bush, and the election. These things are (presumably) not easy to shoot and distribute, and the news of Arafat is brand-new, while the election timing was known for years in advance. And yet you are the second person to reference Arafat, even though the speech only mentions Palestine or the Palestinians in passing. I'm trying to figure out, what it is that gives you (both of you who mentioned this connection) the impression that this would be more tied to Arafat then to the election? I'm genuinely curious how that came to be.
posted by cell divide at 8:44 PM on October 30, 2004


Codependence
posted by homunculus at 8:58 PM on October 30, 2004


The Bush campaign is now trying madly to spin the bin Laden tape into "Look at how this crazy terrrorist uses the same criticisms against Bush that Kerry and Michael Moore and the left use! Do you want that kind of mindset running your country?".

Thing is, will people see through this tactic? Probably not, sadly.
posted by tapeguy at 11:46 AM on October 31, 2004


Xammerboy: Thanks for the info about the Sweden thing. That comment makes much more sense to me now.

Squirrel: Thanks for your rude post...

If you did intend your primary text to be a logical argument then I must say – you have a lot of nuts, squirrel :). So I will address it as such.

Firstly, it would seem a little difficult to use terms such as “terrorist” and “radical agenda” in any way normatively; but I do not need this objection to be noted in order for my counter argument to succeed. So while this may cause some difficulty in the long run, I will use them as normative terms simply for the sake of argument.

George Bush is a much worse terrorist than Bin Laden. He has killed far more innocents [...]


It appears rather dubious to mark a person’s level of “terrorist-ness” by the amount of innocent casualties there have been as a result of their actions. Let’s consider, for example, the wartime actions of Winston Churchill. Those actions resulted in far more innocent civilian casualties than those of either Bush or Osama Bin Laden – but I’m sure you’ll agree, that fact alone does not mean that Winston Churchill is as much or more of a terrorist than Osama Bin Laden. To draw a basic parallel – a person who is, for instance, guilty of manslaughter is not, however reckless, incompetent or ill-motivated that person was in committing that crime, consequentially guilty of first degree murder.

[...] in pursuit of an equally radical agenda [...]

Similarly, the “radicalness” of a person or parties agenda would also not seem a valid means by which to determine the attribute of “terrorist”. To illustrate this, let’s look at the following two examples. Person X pursues agenda A which sates “We will propagate as much happiness within the human race as possible; regardless as to the consequences” whereas Person Y pursues agenda B which sates “We will propagate as much suffering within the human race as possible; regardless as to the consequences”. Now, obviously there two examples in no way represent those of Bush or Osama Bin Laden but they will adequately serve our purpose. Person X’s agenda is equally as radical as that of Person Y; but obviously this fact alone is of no use in determining whether X or Y are no “better or worse” or more or less of a terrorist than one another.

He has given international terror a place to gather and train and troops to easily kill.

The above statement creates the impression that Bush actively and intentionally provides training facilities to terrorists in the same way as Osama Bin Laden does or has an interest in doing. An impression that is clearly misleading. Even if the idea that Iraq is a place for terrorists to gather and train troops, which does not seem to be a very accurate description of the current situation, Bush has also, and with full intention in this case, suppressed exactly such a situation in removing the Taliban government in Afghanistan.

He is arming the terrorists better than Bin Laden ever could

This is similarly misleading. Osama Bin Laden uses his personal funds and those donated to him to purchase weapons for and train terrorists. Bush, or soldiers acting on the orders of Bush and/or his administration, have lost a large amount of high explosive in a volatile environment. These two sets of circumstances are clearly very dissimilar. Also, quite whose hands these explosives are now in is something that appears to be presently unknown, your statement asserting that they have fallen into terrorist hands seems to be pure speculation on your part.

If you don’t agree, then please tell me why the lives of the tens of thousands of civilians killed because of the Bush invasion and occupation are worth less than those killed by Bin Laden?

Fortunately, this is not something that I have to do in order to rationally disagree with your argument. It does not follow that if the killing of innocents is more justified in one case than in another then the lives of the innocents in the more justified case are consequentially “worth less”. The lives of innocent Berliners killed in WWII, for example, were not “worth less” than those that were being snuffed out in gas chambers but I’m sure you can agree that the former case has far more cause for justification than the latter. If you are, however, asserting that since their actions have equally guilty motivations, the only way that Bush can be any more justified in causing the deaths of innocents than Osama Bin Laden is if one set of innocent’s lives are worth less than the other, then you are laying claim to the conclusion.

That Bush is a terrorist is a fact known by the majority of the world; your blindness does not reduce fact to simple rhetoric.

Well, this also begs the question, but in a more crude way – simply asserting that your conclusion is certainly true in your premises by referring to it as a “fact”. Two more fallacies here are that stating that in not accepting your conclusion I must be being “blind” is an example of prejudicial language; and appealing to the idea that your conclusion being true is something that is “known by the majority of the world”, even if such a proposition were acceptable at face value, is one of argumentum ad populem. Many beliefs that are held by the majority of the world are also beliefs that are absolutely false.

Pointing out that this administration is a terrorist organization is merely connecting the dots.

Well to some degree this is true, however, given the problems with your argument I have detailed above, it would seem you are using a hefty pinch of poetic license with where the dots actually are and then joining them with lines that are not particularly straight.
posted by ed\26h at 4:31 AM on November 1, 2004


Full English transcript of the Bin Laden tape
posted by fleener at 4:08 PM on November 1, 2004


I love the Halliburton ref: It is true that this shows that al-Qaida has gained, but on the other hand, it shows that the Bush administration has also gained, something of which anyone who looks at the size of the contracts acquired by the shady Bush administration-linked mega-corporations, like Haliburton and its kind, will be convinced. And it all shows that the real loser is...you.
posted by amberglow at 5:00 PM on November 1, 2004


Terrorist Strategy 101--an excellent rundown

... Bin Laden has been very clear about his strategy, which depends on the same principles that won the Soviet/Afghan War. In his taped message of October, 2004 he said (according to an al-Jazeera translation):

All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaida, in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies.
...
In other words, he wants to draw the well paid, lavishly supplied American soldiers into wars on his territory, where he can fight cheaply. The more American troops he can attract, the more expensive the war will be, until even the economy of the United States can no longer support it.
This idea is not new. Abu-Ubayd al-Qurashi wrote in Al-Ansar in December 2002 that Al Qaeda would imitate the Vietnamese strategy of attacking the "center of gravity" of the United States. Then, the center of gravity was American popular opinion, so the real Vietnam War was fought on television. But things have changed:
...

posted by amberglow at 11:19 PM on November 9, 2004


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