Bin Laden Burns, But Is He "Desperate"?

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In an audiotape broadcast Sunday, a voice that officials said is Osama bin Laden says "nobody is showing any concern for the fact that our countries are being burned, our houses shelled and our people killed."

More in the Detroit Free Press here.

Meanwhile, Aljazeera's Web site has an interview with Fawaz Gerges of Sarah Lawrence University and author of The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global. Snippets:

For bin Laden, the current struggle is more than political or economic; it is existential and civilisational. His mission, as he clearly states, is to incite young Muslims and remind them of the stakes involved in this global conflict.

He sounds deeply disappointed that his messages have fallen on deaf ears….

The truth is that there are few takers for his civilisational war….

The only way for the US and the international community to win this war [against Al Qaeda] is by creating coalitions and alliances with Arab and Muslim societies, not just counter-insurgency tactics.

The US must really endeavour to address the legitimate grievances of the floating middle and Arab and Muslim public opinion and create alliances by addressing regional conflicts like the Palestinian predicament.

It does this by keeping a healthy distance from Arab and Muslim dictators and by building bridges with the largest constituency in the Arab Muslim world—Arab and Muslim youth.

More here.

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  1. This is his first video in a year and a half. He needs to get a better agent, see if he can hook up some more screen time.

  2. And, Thoreau: maybe he needs an antibiotic for the burning. Drew Rosenhaus is available, BTW. might they make a good team? (“next question”)

    since he probably already sought out and found susan, hence the need for the cipro… 🙂

  3. Desparate Jihadis are burning to talk to you for only 99 cents a minute.

  4. It would certainly help if the U.S. played a more balanced role in mediating between the Israel and the Palestinians. The commitment of Americans to Israel is a very good thing. More American aid goes to Israel than to any other country in the world. This enormous aid should give the U.S. more leverage in restraining Israel than it generally exercises. Nevertheless, we should never believe that it Israel disappeared, our problems would be over in the Middle East.

  5. thoreau,

    You wouldn’t happen to be in Dallas for the APS gig, would you? I am considering going to see Lisa Randall talk about string theory tonight. I was just wondering if I might see you there.

    Sorry for the thread-jack…

  6. “He sounds deeply disappointed that his messages have fallen on deaf ears….”

    That’s surprising, being recruited to fly planes into buildings sounds really appealing.

  7. “The US must really endeavour to address the legitimate grievances of the floating middle and Arab and Muslim public opinion and create alliances by addressing regional conflicts like the Palestinian predicament.”

    God knows we have never tried to mediate the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Just about four times in the last 15 years, only to see the Palestinians take any concession as a sign of weakness and walk out of the talks and use the whole thing as an excuse to perpetrate more terrorism.

    Other than the Palestinians, what grievances are there? Certainly, Muslims have a legitimate beef about their lousy, oppressive governments, but the United States just forcibly removed two of the worst governments and God knows that bought them lots of popularity in the Muslim world.

    To have any hope of “addressing grievances” the party hold the grievance has to have some willingness to have it addressed. It seems more and more like Muslims in the middle-east really have no desire to have any of their “grievances” addressed and are really more interested in using their grievances as an excuse to hate the West and feel sorry for themselves. For years, the warmed over conventional wisdom on the middle-east has been this “if we could just address their grievances, everything would be okay” kind of thinking. What it never takes into account is that maybe they don’t want their grievances addressed.

  8. Trey-

    Nope, I went to the March Meeting in Baltimore. The April Meeting isn’t really my sort of thing.

  9. But the truth is that there are few takers for his civilisational war. Neither Iraqis nor Palestinians are willing to wage a war on bin Laden’s behalf; nor do they subscribe to his vision. They have much more limited goals than bin Laden’s ambitious and convoluted rhetoric.

    Unfortunately even a few out of millions is a lot of suicide booms.

    Nevertheless, we should never believe that it Israel disappeared, our problems would be over in the Middle East.

    Suppose tomorrow Israel decided enough was enough and moved, lock stock and barrel, to U.S. Government land in Arizona or somewhere. The next day all the Palestinians would go outdoors and celebrate by shooting their AK-47s up into the air. About the time the last bullet came back down they’d be at war with the other tribes of Arabs, and no closer to a homeland.

  10. This is his first video in a year and a half.

    What video? I only see mentions of another audiotape.

  11. Desperate
    But not serious
    Your burning kisses drive
    Me delirious

    — Osama bin Ant

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