Friday, October 29, 2004


OBL Video or Al-Jazeera Production? No Matter.

Al-Jazeera (a.k.a. the Islamist propaganda and part-time collaborators network) has just released the purported latest rantings of Osama Bin Laden, just in time for it to be an October Surprise. A partial transcript in English is already available here.

"We decided to destroy towers in America," bin Laden said, referring to the World Trade Center, which were brought down on Sept. 11, 2001.
"Your security is not in the hands of [Democratic candidate John] Kerry or Bush or Al Qaeda. Your security is in your own hands," bin Laden said.

"To the U.S. people, my talk is to you about the best way to avoid another disaster," he said. "I tell you: Security is an important element of human life and free people do not give up their security."

Questions remain - expect this part to grow exponetially in importance over the next few hours - as to the video's authenticity, as much of the dialogue has the translator's voice alone, allowing no means to verify the translation.

But it doesn't matter. The videotape is devastating to the Kerry camp whether it's by OBL or not:
  1. If OBL didn't create it, then who? Why, Al-Jazeera, of course! Not much wiggle room for Kerry there. What can he say? "al-Jazeera loves me, but we haven't heard from OBL yet!"

  2. If it's later proven to be an al-Jazeera fake, then OBL is probably dead; score that one for Bush, too.

  3. Regardless, it brings the whole issue of terrorism to the forefront. This is Bush's bread-and-butter issue this election, and if OBL is alive, it re-emphasizes the danger.

  4. It underscores that AQ has not been able to pull off another 9-11 since then.

  5. The tape itself, as some have noted, is also something of an invitation to negotiate! OBL (and/or al-Jazeera) are essentially going straight to the American people and suing for peace. I'm not naive enough to think it's a sincere offer, but it does indicate they are looking for time to regroup, which itself means they're hurting and they know it.
The video hurts Kerry seven ways to Sunday, regardless of whether it's by OBL or by al-Jazeera. Either way, how can he rebut it?

UPDATE: Drudge has a partial transcript available, too. The more I read it, the more it looks to me like it was written by a westernized partisan hack, not an Islamic terrorist leader; the style is completely different from OBL's earlier pronouncements. My own bet is that it will eventually turn out ot be an Al-Jazeera effort, in whole or in part.