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April 23, 2006

Osama bin Laden's Latest Diatribe

Earlier today, Osama bin Laden issued his latest series of threats against the West. it was carried, predictably, on al Jazeera

In the recording, aired on Sunday, the al-Qaeda leader said the isolation and cutting off of aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian government reaffirmed that the West was at war with the Islamic nation.

"The blockade which the West is imposing on the government of Hamas proves that there is a Zionist crusaders war on Islam," he said.

"Zionist-Crusaders" again, eh? Time to check out the Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) again, I think.


Waled Phares, writing at the CounterTerrorism Blog summarizes OBL's main points

1. Hamas: Despite the fact that we (including Ayman Zawahiri) warned (Muslim Palestinians) not to take part in elections in general, the victory of Hamas shows that there is a "Crusader Zionist War against Islam." Cutting foreign aid to the Palestinians because of Hamas victory proves that war.

2. The public (in the West and the US), despite our warnings, continues to reelect these Governments, pay taxes to these Governments, and send their children to fight against us. They (civilians) are therefore part of the war against us. They are responsible for any harm that would be caused to them.

3. Sudan: The Bashir Government is failing in stopping the Crusader War in Sudan. The Crusaders (Britain) has pushed the southerners (Blacks) to separate. The US has armed them and is supporting them. And now, because of tribal tensions in Darfour, the Crusaders are planning on intervening there. We are calling on the Jihadists to fight them in Darfour and Southern Sudan.

4. Long War: We're calling on all Jihadists, particularly in Sudan and the Arabian Peninsula to prepare themselves for a long war.

5. Danish Cartoons: We are asking the Danish Government to remit the Cartoonists to al Qaida.

6. Saudis: We criticize the Saudi Monarch for refuting the idea of Clash of civilization. There is a clash led by the West against Islam.

7. Arab Liberals: Jihadists must silence the Arab and Muslim liberals. (A list has been established, but it wasn't aired).

8. Education: We warn from any change that would affect the educational curriculum in the Arab and Muslim world.

9. Arab TV: We warn against those TV stations airing into the region and propagating Crusader propaganda.

10: Truce: We offered a truce to the West (US and Europe) but their public refused to accept it. They will only blame themselves.

He promises a complete analysis, but that is not up as of this posting.

All good stuff, as Dr Phares' analyses usually are. TigerHawk asks why OBL didn't talk about Iraq. Good question

Less than 2 1/2 years ago, al Qaeda broke the news to the Taliban that it was diverting resources to Iraq so as to humiliate the American "Crusaders."

All this was on the orders of bin Laden himself, the sources said. Why? Because the terror chieftain and his top lieutenants see a great opportunity for killing Americans and their allies in Iraq and neighboring countries such as Turkey, according to Taliban sources who complain that their own movement will suffer... Bin Laden believes that Iraq is becoming the perfect battlefield to fight the “American crusaders” and that the Iraqi insurgency has been “100 percent successful so far,” according to a Taliban participant at the mid-November meeting who goes by the nom de guerre Sharafullah.

Al Qaeda drew a line in the sands of the Sunni Triangle, and the United States Army and Marines walked right across it. First, al Qaeda tried to kill Americans, per bin Laden's orders. It largely failed. Then al Qaeda went after America's allies, and succeeded only in turning public opinion against itself in every Muslim country it attacked. After thirty months of battlefield defeats and political embarrassments, bin Laden won't even mention Iraq in one of his rare public utterances, and he rallies his troops to fight a war where American soldiers aren't. How humiliating. How delightful.

Al Qaeda has lost in Iraq, and bin Laden is desperate to change the subject. He and his organization are at grave risk of being discredited, and when that happens it will be much harder for al Qaeda to attract recruits, raise money, or deal with governments.

But Why Can't We Get Him?

I heard this today from a lady at my part time job. On Sunday's I work at an electronic retail store, and we usually have Fox News on the TV. We were watching the news of OBL's latest and she asked the obvious.

"Since we know he's in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region, why can't we get him?"

Just for the record I avoid discussing politics at work, especially with customers. But I figured I could answer this one without betraying my political sympathies. What I told her went something like this.

We are caught in a Catch-22. When Pakistan was formed in the late 40s and early 50s, it's new government realized that it couldn't control this mountainous region. So it made a deal with the local tribes; you don't make trouble for us and we'll grant you de facto autonomy. They agreed, and a deal was struck. All off the record, of course.

The current president/dictator of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, is in a somewhat precarious position. While his position is pretty solid, it is also fragile. He has been the target of four(?) assassaination attempts already. His enemies are radical Islamists, and there are many of them in Pakistan, and particulary in their security services. In other words, he needs to tread carefully.

So flooding the border region with US troops will create much angst and will likely destabilize the country. Pakistan has nuclear weapons. The last thing we want are these weapons in the hands of Islamic fanatics.

The bottom line is that it is a difficult situation, and if you hear anyone make trite remarks like "why can't we catch the tallest man in Pakistan(or whereever)", you can be sure you're dealing with someone afflicted with Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Posted by Tom at April 23, 2006 10:32 PM

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