Mickey Kaus
December 15, 2001 9:32 PM   Subscribe

Mickey Kaus gives both the New York Times and Opinion Journal a good dressing down in respect to their claims that the Bin Laden Video (transcript) did not mention the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. He points out 'But what's this reference to the 9/11 Bin Laden "operation against America" being "in revenge for the children of Al Aqsa"? That wouldn't be a reference to the Al Aqsa mosque, would it? And, gee, where is that mosque again? Oh, it's on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem...' Poor reporting or media manipulation? Regardless, from what he says about the NYT journalist, she has certainly got a lot of explaining to do.
posted by RobertLoch (3 comments total)
Um ... Kaus ...

Sulayman ((Abu Guaith)): I was sitting with the Shaykh in a room, then I left to go to another room where there was a TV set. The TV broadcasted the big event. The scene was showing an Egyptian family sitting in their living room, they exploded with joy. Do you know when there is a soccer game and your team wins, it was the same expression of joy. There was a subtitle that read: "In revenge for the children of Al Aqsa', Usama Bin Ladin executes an operation against America." So I went back to the Shaykh (meaning UBL) who was sitting in a room with 50 to 60 people. I tried to tell him about what I saw, but he made gesture with his hands, meaning: "I know, I know?"

It was the guest who spoke those words, and even he was only quoting from a TV broadcast that used them. As far as Kaus's contention that the Israeli-Arab conflict was a powerful recruiting tool for Bin Laden, not necessarily something he himself cares about, so you wouldn't expect him to babble about it in private.

But he didn't. And he was in private. He didn't even respond to that point; he just spouted on about operational details. So color me unconvinced. I still feel that bin Laden thought himself a latter-day Saladin pushing back Christendom.

In any event, those pushing for a Palestinian-sympathy interpretation usually mean it that we should press for a two-state stable peace for Israel and Palestine; but bin Laden and his ilk want to drive Israel into the sea. That's not an option we can appease.
posted by dhartung at 5:40 AM on December 16, 2001

Ostriches, fishermen, gadflies, gnats.
posted by Opus Dark at 6:02 AM on December 16, 2001

dhartung, it does seem clear that both commentators missed the reference. I doubt that it was media manipulation, but it does seem odd that a reporter who has written a book on the region should state that the transcript did not have one reference to the israeli/palestinian conflct. Why not state that there was only one indirect reference, and that, as you point out, it was basically ignored by Bin Laden?
posted by RobertLoch at 9:54 AM on December 16, 2001

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