One Man's Evolving View of Democracy…


Any thoughts on the discrepancies in Osama bin Laden's views on the vote?

From November, 2002:

You may then dispute that all the above does not justify aggression against civilians, for crimes they did not commit and offenses in which they did not partake:

This argument contradicts your continuous repetition that America is the land of freedom, and its leaders in this world. Therefore, the American people are the ones who choose their government by way of their own free will; a choice which stems from their agreement to its policies. Thus the American people have chosen, consented to, and affirmed their support for the Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, the occupation and usurpation of their land, and its continuous killing, torture, punishment and expulsion of the Palestinians. The American people have the ability and choice to refuse the policies of their Government and even to change it if they want.

From yesterday's address:

We didn't find difficulty dealing with Bush and his administration due to the similarity of his regime and the regims in our countries. Whish (sic) half of them are ruled by military and the other half by sons of kings and presidents and our experience with them is long. Both parties are arrogant and stubborn and the greediness and taking money without right and that similarity appeared during the visits of Bush to the region while people from our side were impressed by the US and hoped that these visits would influence our countries. Here he is being influenced by these regimes, Royal and military. And was feeling jealous they were staying for decades in power stealing the nations finances without anybody overseeing them. So he transferred the oppression of freedom and tyranny to his son and they call it th e Patriot Law to fight terrorism. He was bright in putting his sons as governors in states and he didn't forget to transfer his experience from the rulers of our region to Florida to falsify elections to benefit from it in critical times.

Maybe it's just standard election-season waffling, but it seems to show a pretty stark difference in his characterization. As villains go, I prefer the old down-with-freedom Osama to the new taunting-us-directly Osama.

NEXT: Osama to Sweden: 'You're Safe!'

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  1. Consider the following--

    Because the vast majority of voters
    are apathetic and ignorant, elected
    officials in democracies aren't much
    different than despots.

    When the rulers of democracies do wicked
    things, the voters remain responsible because
    they shouldn't be apathetic and ignorant.

    How different is "much different?" And
    this sort of argument certainly doesn't
    justify terrorism.

    Capital punishment seems too harsh for
    negligence of any sort.

    Shouldn't young children get a pass?

    And there are voters who aren't apathtic
    or ignorant and dissent against official
    policy. How are they guilty of the "crimes"
    of their rulers?

  2. Here I am running to defend Osama again. (Sometimes I defend joe too.)
    I don't see a contradiction in what Osama said on the two occasions.
    Bill Woolsey, above, has contradictions in a single post! All governments are formed to be tyrannical. The tyrant is the majority in a democracy. The tyrant is one or more individuals in other forms of government.

    Besides, the weapons Osama uses to get his points across are not "smart" weapons after all. Collateral damage is part and parcel of terrorism.
    More importantly neither terrorism nor counter-terrorism (Shock and Awe?) produce predictable results.
    Smart weapons, terror weapons: Both dumb!

  3. Walter Cronkite to our rescue! "Somewhat smiling, Cronkite said he is "inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, he probably set up bin Laden to this thing."" And that's the way it is?

    More at Drudge.

  4. OBL is a goddamned flip-flopper. The bastard probably cut his defense budget this year, too.

  5. Woolsey,
    Is your post supposed to rhyme?

    I dont think you get the death penalty for negligent homicide, only for murder 1, in any state. Im not sure about that though.

    Also, what to you want to give the children a pass to?

  6. If bin Laden's still alive (which is doubtful), it's clear he'd rather have Bush in office to create new recruits for Al Qaeda.
    Based on what I saw of the new tape, the new video probably helped convince some Americans that Muslim's can't be reasoned with. (I watched the portion with the talking head, not bin Laden.) He said that we are "evil Americans... You are guily, guilty, guilty as President Bush." The talking head had his face covered and a black and white checkered headscarf (the distinctive garb of the Allawi shiites). According to the Taliban's and Osama's standards, the Shiites are apostates, and headscarves aren't real turbans, so back when the Taliban had firm control of most of Afghanistan he would have been shot if caught wearing such garb in public. The headscarf wasn't meant to reflect the way Al Qaeda members dress, it was just meant to appear scary in the eyes of Americans.
    One would think Bin Laden would also like to change the outcome of the election, like Al Qaeda did in Spain. Those 2 goals might seem to conflict, being that Bush has a slightly higher chance of winning than Kerry, but from what I saw I'd say it was meant to raise popular support for Bush.

  7. "OBL is a goddamned flip-flopper. The bastard probably cut his defense budget this year, too."

    What that pesky Fly said got me thinking.
    OBL wouldn't use the euphemism, "defense." He'd call it offense. Recall our Defense Department was the War Department back in the days before obfuscation.

    How different is Al Qaeda from the Reason Foundation?
    It's not a question of cutting defense budgets. It's more like, the more money you donate, the more offense I can cause.

    Has Reason ever considered high explosives as a means to sway and focus hearts and minds? I'm not suggesting it. I think Hit and Run will work just fine, given time.

    Hint, hint, Osama, ol' buddy.

  8. "If bin Laden's still alive (which is doubtful), it's clear..."

    I think if there's anything we know about bin Laden, it's that very little of what he says in public is "clear".

  9. Douglas Fletcher,
    What you said confirms what I said in another post, namely you suffer from not having a buddy by the name of Abdul.

  10. Ruthless,

    Are you aware that "Abdul" means "slave"?

    are you high? (not that there is anything wrong with it if you are)
    It is far from clear that OBL wants Bush in power, rather quite the opposite. And that Bush provides a recruiting tool for OBL is a canard too.

  11. "Are you aware that "Abdul" means "slave"?"

    Probably in the sense of slave to Jesus or some shit?
    All I know is he can bring a high sheen to my shoes.
    My barber is Catholic.

  12. Sort of. In Islam there are 99 names for God. So when you hear a moslem name that begins with Abdul, it is usually followed one of the names of God. Thus a way of saying "slave of God"

    Thus; Abdullah, Abdul Rahman, Abdul Kareem.

    "Bin" means "son of", and "bint" means "daughter of". (I wonder if in an open liberal society, if the gay ones would switch)

    "Abu" means "Father of". This is complicated for an intelligence officer, because sometimes they become "Abu" of a son that they haven't had yet. So trying to figure out who called who is difficult when they can have several names.

  13. To expand on Kwais' points:

    There's no way Osama want's Bush in power. Lets look at his stated goals: To ignore his grand sense a 'pure' version of Islam ruling the world a more achiveable goal has been to remove the infidel (us) and all corrupt (non Shira following) governments removed from the 'holy land.' Lets look at what happened before Bush. Osama's boys hit the WTC, the Cole, and a couple of Embassies, to which we went after to a certain extent, but certainly not enough to really disrupt his grand schemes all of that much. During the 90s he also achieved the goal of turing one country into a Shira loving cesspit (granted, it was Afghanistan, but you have to start somewhere). Things were looking not too shabby for old Osama.

    With Bush: Shira's Graceland (the aforementioned Afghanistan) is now occupied by the infidel, as is Iraq (thrown if for good measure). Other 'corrupt' (as Osama sees them) Arab countries have *not* tumbled, but instead have (admittedly begrudgingly) started laying some wood to Osama's club. His financing apparatus is being dismantled, and AQ are having members, both high level planners and foot soldiers, liquidated at an impressive rate.

    How about the argument about Bush being a recruiting tool? Well, that assumes a few things. Firstly, that the Arab world was at worst indifferent about the US before Bush became president. This is laughably absurd. Mosques and madrases in the middle east have been radicalized for at least a couple of decades and have been full of anti-Americanism (and anti-westernism) for quite some time. AQ had no problem recruiting people to plan and execute the aforementioned attacks on western targets during Clinton's administration. Assuming Kerry wins next Tuesday I think its incredibly naive to think that Arab hatred of the west will all of the sudden disappear.

    And look at Spain. Are you telling my the AQ leadership were sitting around after the Spanish elections, slapping themselves in the forehead saying "Dammit, how could we have screwed up so badly. What are we going to do with all of these recruiting posters with Anzar's face on them?" No, they wanted Anzar out. Removing a head of state who supported the war and replacing him with one who didn't was about a billion times more valuable that what little promotional value they could have gotten with an "enemy of Islam" running Spain.

    Rest assured, AQ do not want Bush in power (That's not to say that means they want Kerry in power, but that's an argument for another day).

  14. In his "Letter to America" Osama bin Laden's logic to justify murder of US citizens doesn't hold up. Politicians that are the product of our democracy do indeed help to oppress the Palestinians via financing that oppression. But the salient point is that they do it with taxes which we are forced to pay. Even ignoring that fact, beside the afore mentioned case of children, people who don't vote or people who vote libertarian should not be targeted within bin Laden's flawed justification.

    I want my government to adapt a non-interventionist foreign policy for many reasons of justice and security and prosperity. I disagree with the government's support of the brutal Israeli occupation. But, if I don't pay my taxes, which finance it, I will lose my own liberty.

    So, in his willingness to murder innocent American civilians, bin Laden demonstrates a wielding of injustice in common with the Israeli government of his complaints that murders and otherwise oppresses innocent Palestinians.

  15. OBL:
    "He was bright in putting his sons as governors in states..."

    This guy's stuck with a serious hard-on for GHWB. That his homeland was used as launching ground for GW1 seems to occupy his mind in a way that makes me think all the rest of what he says is just background noise. One thing's for sure, he hates Bush senior and his spawn.

    One of those subjects we just don't talk about much is that Bush Jr. might have been partially motivated to invade Iraq because his dad was too timid to finish the job. I look at this theory as one where the son tries to out-perform the father. OBL sees it the other way around, i.e., to OBL, the father still rules through his spawn, and so he projects his culture on this question. OBL sees the Bush family as a dynasty, like the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia, whereas most Americans see the father and son presidency as an historical anomoly.

  16. Speaking of democracy:

    Public Opinion Poll Indicates Iraqis Favor Kerry over Bush in U.S. Presidential Race -

    22.5% favor Kerry; 16% favor Bush; and the rest don't give a flying fuck.

  17. And about 0% of Americans give a fuck who the president of is. That's like it should be.

  18. Where do I send the cheque for bin Ladin's political newsletter?

    - Josh

  19. "This guy's stuck with a serious hard-on for GHWB." - JDOG
    Right. OBL doesn't want Bush re-elected. But if he had said, "Vote for Kerry," he knew very well Bush would benefit. So he sort of straddled the issue except for his slamming of the Bushes, which maybe we're supposed to process in some subliminal way (?) and thus do the right thing without knowing we've been manipulated. Or something like that. Or something unlike that. OBL sucks.

  20. OBL:

    "So he transferred the oppression of freedom and tyranny to his son and they call it th e Patriot Law to fight terrorism."

    Sorry, I have nothing else to do right now but parse OBL's diatribe.

    I don't care what he thinks about the idiotic Patriot Act. Rather I am interested in OBL's equivocation of freedom and tyranny. He is completely consistent with Islam, a toxic religion, where only your submission is valued.

  21. "Douglas Fletcher,
    What you said confirms what I said in another post, namely you suffer from not having a buddy by the name of Abdul."

    Ruthless, is it too late to ask what on earth you're talking about?

  22. Doug,
    I hear that Abdul the shoe shiner has the answers to a lot of things you need to know.

    I hope you are not mad at me stealing your thunder. (am I right in my assesment of your friend Abdul?)

  23. Bin Laden clearly wants Bush, as shown in this Democratic commercial:

  24. (Please please do not accuse me of Godwin's law!!!)

    Throughout history, in war all the belligerents have had valid points and all have been equally "wrong" - in both the conduct and the consequences of the war.

    If bin Laden were a simpler blogger, we might find some of his comments worthy of passing consideration.

    For example, in a democracy the sovereign IS the people (theoretically). Bush et co. are your agents. Ms England works for you. As I have said (ad nauseam), you bought the leash.

    True. You are forced to pay taxes. But there is always a choice. Human beings ALWAYS have choice when it comes to that sort of thing. And the ability to choose is all that Liberty is, after all. So you choose one evil over another. You choose the "lesser of two evils" - consistent with what you perceive your best interests to be.

    (Even in a tyranny, the people are complicit in the acts of their governments.)

    So you become accomplices to the evil of the day. "Unwilling" accomplices? Nope. Because you've chosen. And because you've chosen, you bear personal responsibility. You bought the leash.

    Does that justify bin Laden's execution of thousands of people whose government has chosen to support injustice and death? Of course not. The right to Life is unalienable. Does the "right-thinking man" sympathise with the victims and their families? Of course. But the "right-thinking man" also condemns state execution. How, he asks himself, can people who damn bin Laden and his horrors not see the irony of their own support for capital punishment?

    (Like everyone else here, I consider myself a "right-thinking" man.)

    Many Americans like to remind the French that the US liberated France, and that this liberation requires some sort of eternal gratitude.

    As someone pointed out on this board earlier, America's "entanglement" in WWI helped make WWII (in Europe) possible.

    In order to liberate France, America allied itself with Stalin - as evil as the enemy the US were fighting. So while the French should, perhaps, be expected to feel eternally grateful, Americans should expect - even demand - eternal hatred from the descendants of those who your alliance with Stalin allowed to be his victims.

    Israeli violence v. Palestinian violence. India v. Pakistan. China v. the Uighurs. The US v. Iraq. Wrong. All wrong. Wrong, evil, and stupid.

    War is a violation of fundamental human rights. Even when "nice" people wage it.

    Perhaps Kerry will be as awful a president as the one you've got now. However, those who vote for Bush are choosing to violate fundamental human rights. They have no excuse. Absolutely none. They are acting "en connaissance de cause".

    I used to see the US as a force for good in the world. The Declaration of Independence, and all that. Now, regrettably, I see it as a force for evil.

    That is really depressing.

  25. He of Little or No Ruth needs a shine. Would you oblige, Ray?

  26. Curtis,

    I saw the Cronkite interview with Larry King live, when he made the comment about Karl Rove putting Osama up to it. It was an obvious joke, based on the supposition that an Osama tape released the weekend before the election was a boon to Bush. Its counterpart would be, on the lousy job figures that came out, "I'm inclined to think that Bob Shrum slipped the Bureau of Labor Statistics an envelope." Har har har.

    Is there nothing right wingers won't believe aboutg the media, or pretend to believe, if it suits them?

  27. Kwais asked, "Woolsey, Is your post supposed to rhyme?"

    The real question is whether his post was supposed to make sense.

  28. Kwais, thanks for the useful information on names in Arab society. Allow me to return the favor and be your informant on gay culture.

    You wrote, "'Bin' means 'son of', and 'bint' means 'daughter of'. (I wonder if in an open liberal society, if the gay ones would switch)."

    In an open liberal society, like in closed repressive ones, most gay people do not feel like members of the opposite gender. We just feel sexual and emotional attraction to members of our own.

  29. Just saw some tool on Fox feigning outrage about the Cronkite quip. So it's become a GOP talking point to pretend it wasn't a joke.

    Useful to see who's mouthing the party line, eh Curtis?

  30. Raymond,
    I favor the death penalty. I think it is preferable to life in prison, and I also think it is preferable than letting a predator out to the public. I oppose just about every other thing we do to prisoners, but I wholeheartedly support the death penalty.

    I guess I am not a right thinking man?

    It is my understanding that there are a wide range in which people understand their sexuality. My comment was in reference to some things that I have seen in a gay pride parade. My mistake was to say "gay people" and to not be more specific.

    I guess in retrospect there was no point to my "gay ones"comment. I thought I was making a comment on how Arab culture might not hold up in an open and free society, but the culture would do the same as our culture.

  31. Wrong. All wrong. Wrong, evil, and stupid.
    War is a violation of fundamental human rights. Even when "nice" people wage it.
    ...That is really depressing. ---- raymond
    Killing for something, dying for something,
    determining good and bad, to act or be passive,
    are deep questions, but doesn't have to be depressing.

    Careful, Raymond, or you won't be eating anything
    that is alive, or been alive, or could become a life. -- dj
    In the 3 years of war by Bush, two countries have fallen and less than 2000 US troops have died. No further attacks have come to the USA. How big a disaster has that been? It was too big for some as soon as the museums were 'looted.' The US has taken the war to the heads of state. The first attack was on the home Saddam was in. The generals can no longer sit back in safety and order tens of thousands to attack as Iraq and Iran did before. War has changed. The US has a military base in the middle east. Is that good or bad, or is it a military question? Did Osama say it was OK for the US to attack whole cities of civilians if their government is against the US?

  32. Kwais, no offense was taken from your post. And your additional context certainly demonstrates none was intended. You wrote: "It is my understanding that there are a wide range in which people understand their sexuality. My comment was in reference to some things that I have seen in a gay pride parade. My mistake was to say 'gay people' and to not be more specific."

    That's certainly true, and those individuals who feel their gender does not match their anantomy--transgendered people--are generally considered members of the gay community. However, there are both hexterosexuals and homosexuals who are transgendered. I know a woman, born with male genitals, who had sexual re-assignment surgery who now lives happily with her female lover.

  33. In the 3 years of war by Bush, two countries have fallen and less than 2000 US troops have died. No further attacks have come to the USA.

    Don't forget that between the first attack on the World Trade Center and the second, 7 1/2 years passed.

  34. "The US has a military base in the middle east."

    Actually, the US has over 3 dozen bases in the mideast in places like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar. A bunch more are being built and a there's lot of adjacent staging areas in the Balkans. When we took Afghanistan we added 5 and now with Iraq I think 14 more are planned. About the only time a Muslim sees an American now they are dressed in fatigues and carrying a weapon.

    Bomb for peace, man.

  35. kwais,
    You didn't steal my thunder. I used to have thunder, but I'm lucky just to have gas.

    Doug Fletcher,
    I'm saying it's easy to get the Arab or Islamist or whatever you call it point of view wherever you live here in the US. You should seek it. My friend has been referred to earlier by me as "Waki Paki."
    And it would be truer to say I shine Abdul's shoes, but that's really neither here nor there.

    Have you e-mailed Hit and Run to start a thread on gay etc. issues? Homophobes are terrorists too, and we'll need topics come Wednesday.

  36. The meds, man, take your meds.

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