That haggard old ghost; so he reappears on the eve of the anniversary of his greatest slaughter; his zenith and his nadir, all at a single point….
Now, a few thoughts on this video of his - first, is the whole damn thing just another al-Qaeda propaganda piece that the Western media has swooned over in an attempt to make anti-Bush hay?
A blogger posting at the Booman Tribune makes a salient point that most of the media seems to have missed:
Osama Bin Laden's widely publicized video address to the American people has a peculiarity that casts serious doubt on its authenticity: the video freezes at about 1 minute and 36 58 seconds, and motion only resumes again at 12:30. The video then freezes again at 14:02 remains frozen until the end. All references to current events, such as the 62nd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Japan, and Sarkozy and Brown being the leaders of France and the UK, respectively, occur when the video is frozen! The words spoken when the video is in motion contain no references to contemporary events and could have been (and likely were) made before the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Go check it out for yourself, Osama’s video is there; bring your stopwatch...
Over at A Chequerboard of Days and Nights, Pejman goes to the videotape, and points out the philosophical implications of Osama's diatribe:
According to the transcript, bin Laden says there are two ways to end the war:
"The first is from our side, and it is to continue to escalate the killing and fighting against you."
The second is to do away with the American democratic system of government. "It has now become clear to you and the entire world the impotence of the democratic system and how it plays with the interests of the peoples and their blood by sacrificing soldiers and populations to achieve the interests of the major corporations."
[. . .]
"To conclude," bin Laden says, "I invite you to embrace Islam."
Pejman draws the only logical conclusion:
So it would appear that national character and personality does cause anger among the fundamentalist terrorists and that a significant part of their rhetorical attacks involve denouncing our national character.
Of course, the irony is that all of these Moveon/DailyKos/Mainstream Media/Democratic Party talking points that Osama is now espousing could possibly have been written for him by a simple minded left-coast left-wingnut:
A Californian heavy metal fan, who converted to Islam and became the first American to be charged with treason in half a century, has been fingered as the author of Osama bin Laden's latest video lecture - which left the terror chief sounding like an anti-globalisation protester.
American spy chiefs were quick to name Adam Gadahn, the head of al-Qaeda's English language media operations, as the author of large sections of bin Laden's broadcast.
Last October, the 28-year-old "loner" became the first American charged with treason since 1952, for appearing in a succession of al-Qaeda videos under the guise of "Azzam The American", in which he condemned globalisation and made American cultural references.
Is this the best big bad Osama bin Ladin can do? Poorly edited videotapes where he rants like a unemployed Berkley graduate student?
If this is truly what the "face of terror" has been reduced to, then we really do owe George W. Bush a tremendous debt of gratitude…
UPDATE 9/11: Another "new" Osama tape? More still images - interesting, interesting...