...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

October 31, 2004

Two Days Left

Yesterday i posted about al Qaqaa, one of three major issues that have been monopolizing the news during this last week before the election. The second major issue is bin Laden's videotaped message to America, and the third is the apparent "dead heat" as shown by the polls. Here's my take on issue number two.

Syphilitic Camel Monkey's Message To America

i think this latest video by Osama bin Laden is very unusual. As far as i know this is the first time he has directed an entire message to the American people. i've heard a lot of analysis about what exactly he was trying to accomplish, and i disagree with pretty much all that i've heard.

The radio and TV pundits i've heard seem to have missed two important points that are obvious to me. One, why did bin Laden send a videotaped message instead of attacking? To me, this was very much out of character for al Qaeda. Although there are still two days left (and i hope i'm not proven wrong), it seems logical to me that bin Laden chose to send a video message because he was unable to attack us.

If that's true, all the credit goes to our law enforcement, intelligence and military communities. i think the War on Terror, as it has been prosecuted so far, has done so much damage to al Qaeda that they simply have not been able to do to us what they did to Spain. i've no doubt that al Qaeda wanted to attack us before our election. Nor do i doubt that they misunderstand Americans so much that they probably thought an attack might achieve the same outcome. But instead we got this message from OBL.

The other thing the pundits seem to have misinterpreted is the intent of bin Laden's message. Most pundits insist on analyzing the message through the prism of this question: "Will the bin Laden video help George Bush or will it help John Kerry?" The question misses the point completely because it assumes that bin Laden has a preference for one candidate over the other. And here i will probably be departing from the Republican party line, but i don't think bin Laden gives a rat's ass who wins.

He said so himself:

Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or al Qaeda.
Why would bin Laden say this if he wanted Kerry to win, as the right argues, or if he wanted Bush to win, as the left contends? i don't believe bin Laden has a preference, but he wants whoever wins to know where he stands. He will continue to try to kill Americans as long as we don't do as he says. The final line is the key:
Your security is in your own hands, and each state that does not harm our security will remain safe.
George Bush is a known quantity to Osama bin Laden. If Bush is re-elected, bin Laden wants us to know that we should expect continued belligerence from al Qaeda. But bin Laden is also under the impression that much of this country is ready to reject Bush because people believe that a more dovish Kerry administration will make us more secure.* OBL's message is intended to remind those voters, and Kerry too, that rejecting Bush is not enough to keep us safe. In other words "dovishness" means nothing to OBL unless we do exactly as he says. Translated into plain language, bin Laden is saying:
If you people think you will be safer under a Kerry administration than with Bush, think again. The only thing that will keep you safe is for your leader, whoever he is, to do as I say.
That being, as i understand it, for America to 1) get out of every Islamic nation, and 2) abandon Israel to the wolves.

If Kerry wins, the world might see America withdraw from Iraq sooner than otherwise. And some have surmised that Kerry would indeed be less supportive of Israel, not because of al Qaeda, but to placate the Europeans and the U.N. But whatever happens, OBL probably won't be around to watch. Because much as i dislike Kerry, i'm still pretty certain that even with his "more sensitive" War on Terror, that Syphilitic Camel Monkey is gonna be toast.

(But Kerry's not going to win. And you'll see how confident i am about that tomorrow when i discuss issue number three: the polls.)

* If OBL really thinks John Kerry won't go after al Qaeda, he's mistaken. Although his national security policy is weak, misguided and wrong for America, Kerry is not dovish on getting OBL. But since so many of Kerry's supporters are hate-America cut-and-run wackos, it's easy to see where OBL might get that impression.

Posted by annika, Oct. 31, 2004 |
Rubric: annikapunditry



two quick things.

1. It was Chainee who first used the word sensitive with regard to prosecuting the war on terror.

2. Your jump from knowing OBL "wanted to attack us before the election" to "was unable to attack" to "it must be law enforcement" is a typical RW syllogism.

No support. just a dangerous wish.

Posted by: mike on Nov. 1, 2004

Well, Mike, don't you think that OBL and AQ wanted to attack us at least once in the last 4 years? Or did you forget about Richard Reid, and Moussouai, and the intel from bin Alsheeb and Khalid Sheik Mohammad.

Anyway, I do think the message is a sign of weakness for other reasons, not least that the threats of violence are now more conditional than they were in the past.

My blog has a little thing on this too.

Posted by: Roach on Nov. 1, 2004


Americans are not the main target of this strategic communications effort, but the rest of the Arab/Muslim world. We are too quick to analyze things through our perspective - how he's trying to affect our elections.

We are directly involved in the Iraq War and the Afghan War. The Arab and Islamic worlds see us as a cobelligerent with Israel in the Israeli and Palestinian conflict. Finally, we are involved in a struggle with Islamic extremists and terrorists of which Al Qaeda is only one element - one whose status has been falling. Post 9/11, OBL was the leading figure to reestablish the caliphate; now, given the rise of others such as Al-Zarkawi and Sunni insurgents in Iraq, he's fallen from that perch. Playing to the American audience, especially right before the election, is a certain way to get massive publicity (for cheap!) and reestablish his place in the "struggle." Give him credit, when else has an outside individual been able to weigh in so overtly and arrogantly into our elections?

If you have spent some time in Arab countries, you know that Arab males, in general, make considerable efforts to enhance their own individual dignity. The status of many Arabs and preserving "face" is dependent upon the image they uphold in public. The public image is not necessarily the "facts"; facts are what you see, what you experience, what you want to see.

Dwell not upon thy weariness, thy strength shall be according to the measure of thy desire."

Arabic proverb

Posted by: Col Steve on Nov. 1, 2004


"I don't know" is all I can say with assurity regarding what was on their mind(s). Anybody who says differently is guessing in the direction that serves their agenda.

IMHO, if they wanted to cause some election day mayhem they could have without streching. This morning I was crossing the Brooklyn Bridge to enter Manhattan and found my self traveling behind a 12' Ford cube truck. Trucks are not allowed on this bridge. Police are stationed at both ends. You tell me if this is reflective of tight security.

If OBL had called two Islamic martyrs in Paterson NJ and told them to cook up some pre election mayhem in NYC nothing on earth would have been able to stop them. They could do something as simple as buy a box of baking soda, put a couple of spoonfulls in 100 envelopes, write ANTHRAX in arabic on the out side and start riding subways leaving them behind at each stop. By Monday evening, Tuesday voting would be in jeopardy in NYC.

You are never going to convince me that Annika's fallacious logic is a substitute for truth. It is however, a fine rendering of the mind set that has, as I have stated before, traded intellect for fear.

Posted by: mike on Nov. 1, 2004

You are baiting me Mike. Don't make me school you on logic. i know what a post hoc argument is, that's why i said "if." Although it is a favorite tactic of knee-jerk liberals, pointing out logical fallacies is not a substitute for proof.

Posted by: annika on Nov. 1, 2004


I see only one 'IF". I see plenty of "i have no doubt" and "nor do I doubt" All sounds pretty emphatic to me. All seems pretty much unprovable. Unless you feel you have proved that he did not attack. Logic is no substitute for truth.

I think he did not want to attack us and may or may not have been able to.

I do, however, think that you are right when you say he does not care who wins.

If he wanted either man to win he could have said many things that would have resulted in a voter shift. He did not.

I am as confident that Kerry will win as you are that the dullard will. What odds are you giving?

Posted by: mike on Nov. 1, 2004

Don't move the goalposts, Mike. You accused me of asserting that the reason we haven't been attacked yet is "law enforcement." That's where my qualifier "if" comes in. Of course i know i can't prove that law enforcement is the reason we haven't been attacked. But it's a reasonable assumption to make.

If i believe that theory A explains fact B, a counter argument that theory A does not prove fact B (which i concede) does not prove that theory A is incorrect. Nor does that counter-argument prove that theory C is correct.

No one knows why we haven't been attacked yet. You say, somewhat contradictorily, that it's because "he did not want to attack us and may or may not have been able to." What is your evidence for that position? The argument that OBL wants to attack us is well supported by his statements to that effect, and in the historical record.

As to my wager, put your blog up against mine. Oh that's right, trolls never have blogs. i wonder why that is.

Posted by: annika on Nov. 1, 2004

I wonder too! I guess the intrinsic value of running (or does one own), a blog has escaped me. I have simply answered your public request for comments and for that selfless act I get plastered with a derogatory label! (Although Shreck has taken some of the sting out ?) Shall I only comment to blog owners who share my point of view? What other like asset can I put up against the value of your blog? I look to you for guidance.

Posted by: mike on Nov. 2, 2004

"Shall I only comment to blog owners who share my point of view?"

Mike, there's no need to go elsewhere. i'd rather you stay here and share my point of view. lol.

Posted by: annika on Nov. 2, 2004