Dangerous Dan Thoughts and musings on the world

1/19/2006

Bin Laden Speaks

Filed under: Politics,World — Dangerous Dan @ 8:58 pm

The big news today, of course, is that a new audiotape from Osama bin Laden has been released. And the news is good. While blustering that his forces are winning in Iraq and Afghanistan and that there are operations ready to go in America, he's also pleading for peace between al Qaeda and the U.S. Wanting a truce belies his chest-thumping. If you have the upper-hand in a conflict, you don't ask for a cease-fire, you continue pressing your advantage until you win. Only when you're losing do you ask for a temporary peace, usually for the purposes of self-preservation or strategy. So when OBL says he wants a truce, it is because things are not going his way and he wants a break from American forces kicking his rear so that he can regroup and launch fresh, more potent attacks.

What's especially funny is that OBL is his own worst enemy in that he parrots the talking points of the anti-war left – the only people who can win the conflict for him:

But what triggered my desire to talk to you is the continuous deliberate misinformation given by your President [George] Bush, when it comes to polls made in your home country which reveal that the majority of your people are willing to withdraw US forces from Iraq.

We know that the majority of your people want this war to end and opinion polls show the Americans do not want to fight the Muslims on Muslim land, nor do they want Muslims to fight them on their [US] land.

But Bush does not want this and claims that it is better to fight his enemies on their land rather than on American land.

Bush tried to ignore the polls that demanded that he end the war in Iraq.

OBL fully realizes that he cannot win the war militarily, he can only hope that Bush's domestic opposition can force a withdrawal, a la Vietnam. By using their talking points, however, OBL discredits them since he makes them sound like the bad guy and therefore erodes their support. He'd be better off sounding like a maniacal Bond villain that everybody can boo and hiss at, while leaving the anti-war folks their arguments.

Note also that he calls this a 'truce.' Now, I don't know if this is the best translation from Arabic or what the connotations are of the word he used, but in the English world, a truce is merely a cease-fire – it's a negotiated respite between battles. In fact, MEMRI says that 'truce' is a poor translation, and 'cease-fire' is closer to the truth. He clearly just wants a break from us and not a long term peace.

Truce or cease-fire, though, the promise is hallow. The same deal was extended to Spain if it withdrew its troops from Iraq. That's exactly what they did and it got them nowhere as there have been several successful and attempted terrorist attacks in Spain since then. Agreeing to a truce is nothing but a sign of weakness to al Qaeda – it's blood in the water. They see that their attacks succeeded in attaining their goals and so they will execute more attacks for further success. It's only suicidal to agree to their demands.

One last point… is it just me or is OBL channeling Howard Hughes. We don't actually see him anymore, we only get audiotapes of him, letting us know that rumors of his death are greatly exaggerated. I suspect he's in a cave in Pakistan somewhere with Kleenex boxes on his feet.

Update:
If you want fun reading on this topic, check out the comments on this HuffPo post. HuffPo is quickly becoming DU-Lite and I expect them to soon set up a merchant site that sells only the very best tinfoil hats with Arianna's picture branded on them. Many think OBL's statement is an indicator that we're in trouble. Others (at HuffPo and at DU) tuned in signals telling them that this is a scam by Bush & Co. to help his poll numbers, nevermind that the current timing isn't very helpful (these are the same folks who think raising the terror alert level at election time is a Bush ploy, ignoring the fact that it would be a likely time for terrorism and that al Qaeda actually did the Spain train bombings three days before national elections).

Related to how OBL damages his own cause, it seems Chris Matthews thought the same thing:

On Hardball today, Chris Matthews compared Michael Moore to Osama Bin Laden while discussing the newly released tape with Joe Biden.

Matthews: I mean he sounds like an over the top Michael Moore here, if not a Michael Moore. You think that sells…

There's a lot of sound and fury in the HuffPo comments over the association, but this is exactly the problem I mentioned. By using the anti-war left's talking points, he makes those people sound like him – the bad guy – and that's not helpful to his cause.

Update2: Dread Pundit Bluto has a nice roundup of comparison quotes between the new tape and the anti-war left.

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