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Monday, November 01, 2004

Bin Laden's Message

The full transcript of the Osama bin Laden video was obtained by ABCNEWS. It contains an even more intense attack on President Bush, supporting the notion that al Qaeda leader is trying to tilt the U.S. elections against Bush.
It seems clear that al Qaeda's wants to affect the elections through the release of two tapes, 'Azzam the American' and Bin Laden, in one week. (see ABCNEWS' analysis), but analysts disagree on how the videos will affect the elections, if at all. An editorial in Arab News notes that the tape was "fortuitously timed" and argues that it could support either candidate, depending on how it's used. The Guardian proposes the tape could either remind voters of Bush's leadership in the "war on terror" or of his failure to capture bin Laden. New York Times' Columnist William Safire argues that the noted change in bin Laden's attitude and the "conciliatory tone" in his message is a sign of weakness. He suggests his intercession will help get President Bush re-elected.
The complete transcript shows how bin Laden goes to considerable length trying to explain why Americans are a target. He suggests his goal is to drain U.S. resources. "So we are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy," he says.
One of Bin Laden's more confusing statements was: "any state that does not mess with our security will automatically secure its own." His use of the word "state" or "welaya" in Arabic led to some confusion about whether he means "U.S. state" or "country." Al Qaeda sympathizers however seem to suggest through messages posted on jihadi websites that bin Laden was addressing U.S. states independently, attempting to cause division between them and the government. They suggested that states can secure themselves by voting against Bush, not sending troops to war and pressuring the government to stop aggression against Muslims.
Meanwhile, U.S. efforts to identify the American al Qaeda member "Azzam" have escalated. The FBI is currently leading its website with an urgent appeal for help in identifying the mysterious speaker who is covered in a shroud during his 75 minute invective.

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

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