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.