Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Bin Laden's generous offer

Here is the full transcript (or here) of bin Laden's latest speech, without misleading translations or editing. It's a smart piece of work, whether written by bin Laden or a sane faction of the CIA. A few excerpts (my emphasis):

  • " . . . we fight because we are free men who don't sleep under oppression. We want to restore freedom to our nation, just as you lay waste to our nation. So shall we lay waste to yours.

    No-one except a dumb thief plays with the security of others and then makes himself believe he will be secure. Whereas thinking people, when disaster strikes, make it their priority to look for its causes, in order to prevent it happening again.

    But I am amazed at you. Even though we are in the fourth year after the events of September 11th, Bush is still engaged in distortion, deception and hiding from you the real causes. And thus, the reasons are still there for a repeat of what occurred."

  • " . . . as I looked at those demolished towers in Lebanon, it entered my mind that we should punish the oppressor in kind and that we should destroy towers in America in order that they taste some of what we tasted and so that they be deterred from killing our women and children.

    And that day, it was confirmed to me that oppression and the intentional killing of innocent women and children is a deliberate American policy. Destruction is freedom and democracy, while resistance is terrorism and intolerance.

    This means the oppressing and embargoing to death of millions as Bush Sr. did in Iraq in the greatest mass slaughter of children mankind has ever known, and it means the throwing of millions of pounds of bombs and explosives at millions of children – also in Iraq – as Bush Jr. Did, in order to remove an old agent and replace him with a new puppet to assist in the pilfering of Iraq's oil and other outrages.

    So with these images and their like as their background, the events of September 11th came as a reply to those great wrongs, should a man be blamed for defending his sanctuary?

    Is defending oneself and punishing the aggressor in kind, objectionable terrorism? If it is such, then it is unavoidable for us."

  • " . . . we have found it difficult to deal with the Bush administration in light of the resemblance it bears to the regimes in our countries, half of which are ruled by the military and the other half which are ruled by the sons of kings and presidents."

  • "All that we have mentioned has made it easy for us to provoke and bait this administration. All that we have to do is to send two Mujahideen 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."

  • ". . . 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.

    It is the American people and their economy."

  • "And it's no secret to you that the thinkers and perceptive ones from among the Americans warned Bush before the war and told him, 'All that you want for securing America and removing the weapons of mass destruction – assuming they exist – is available to you, and the nations of the world are with you in the inspections, and it is in the interest of America that it not be thrust into an unjustified war with an unknown outcome.'

    But the darkness of the black gold blurred his vision and insight, and he gave priority to private interests over the public interests of America.

    So the war went ahead, the death toll rose, the American economy bled, and Bush became embroiled in the swamps of Iraq that threaten his future."

  • "In conclusion, I tell you in truth, that your security is not in the hands of Kerry, nor Bush, nor al-Qaida.


    Your security is in your own hands. And every state that doesn't play with our security has automatically guaranteed its own security."

Some comments:

  1. Bin Laden, supposedly a madman, makes the completely sane offer to the American people that he will stop threatening America if America stops threatening the security of the people living in the Middle East. This is a deal, in some form or other, that Americans are eventually going to have to accept, and the sooner the acceptance the fewer the deaths of both Americans and others.

  2. Bin Laden has never been unclear about what makes him angry about the United States, and in this speech he emphasizes the importance of the completely one-sided American support for Israeli state terrorism against the Palestinian people (see also Juan Cole on this subject). If Americans really wanted to do something about terrorism other than strip-searching grandmothers in airports in places like Omaha, a reevaluation of the American support for Israel would be the best place to start.

  3. Predictably, and reflecting the fact that the war on terror is really a propaganda war, the reporting on bin Laden's speech completely missed the points he was carefully trying to make. MEMRI was caught red-handed misstating bin Laden's words (only read MEMRI to find out what Zionists want you to think, and never read it thinking you will find truth), and this misstatement was picked up by the usual suspects to use as fodder for the Bush election campaign. Overall, coverage completely ignored the deep and justified criticisms of American politics and foreign policy leveled by bin Laden.

Americans should think carefully about the common sense in bin Laden's speech. All Americans have to do to lose the fear and massive expense caused by terrorism is stop abusing the people which bin Laden claims to represent. Is that all that bad a deal?