On the eve of October 29 last year, as the mandate for Iraq hung in balance and between Senator Kerry’s promises of “killing terrorists” by “organizing summits” and President Bush’s reassurances of “hard work,” a new and unprecedented voice addressed the American people: one from America’s public enemy number one, his eminence, Mr. Osama Bin Laden.
In his address to the American people broadcasted from Doha, Qatar by Al-Jazeera this was the enemy’s best articulated attempt to tell the American people that the proverbial sword hanging over American lives held fast by the strings of American counter-terrorism measures, is nothing personal, but unfortunately, there’s just no other way of putting it. The speech, which both in Arabic and its English equivalent, is a fine piece of prose, is also one whose perceived moral logic is as unwavering and presumptuous as some claim ours to be.
However, Osama Bin Laden’s purported facts are laced with at least as many inconsistencies as the alleged flip-floppings of Senator Kerry, and President Bush’s unwarranted claims of WMDs (weapons of mass destruction).
I will attempt to take key citations from the Bin Laden speech, and to the best of my ability and information, offer a factual benchmark.
“Before I begin, I say to you that security is an indispensable pillar of human life and that free men do not forfeit their security, contrary to Bush’s claim that we hate freedom.” Osama Bin Laden
– Mr. Bin Laden seems to be shuffling here between his Cliff Notes to the Qu’ran, and the Dummies guide to the American constitution.
– He is conveniently forgetting that the freedom he professes to love had been denied by the Taliban to millions of Afghani women who constitute 48.96% of Afghanistan’s total population of nearly 27 million.
– Women under the presence of Taliban and the Al-Qaeda, had been stripped of their education, professions, forbidden to dress as they once pleased, and regularly humiliated, tortured, and murdered in public.
– The Taliban under the witness of Al-Qaeda sabotaged the Afghani economy and turned it into an opium cartel, forcing thousands of Muslims to forfeit their freedom to till the ground according to their diet, and forcing young impressionable purposeless men to bear guns under the name of a little butter and a lot of “Islam”.
– The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines freedom as “1 : the quality or state of being free: as a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another.” When Mr. Bin Laden is referring to this word “Freedom” he has no choice but to acknowledge this definition.
“No, we fight because we are free men who don’t sleep under oppression. We want to restore freedom to our nation, just as you lay waste to our nation. So shall we lay waste to yours.” Osama Bin Laden
– Neither Iraq (as of 1992) nor Afghanistan was attacked prior to 9/11.
– The oppression Mr. Bin Laden refers to exists naturally within the folds of too many Islamic societies. The Iraqi dictator had possibly killed many more innocent Muslims than any major collateral damage inflicted by the American army.
– Lebanon’s fourteen year old civil war lay waste to that fine country as Muslims fought with Muslims internally, as well as against Israelis and Christian Maronites.
– In present day Iraq, different Islamic denominations, including Al-Sadr’s Mehdi army are fighting each other apart from the American army.
– Osama Bin Laden does not seem to recall these as oppressive incidents that have existed within the tribal Middle Eastern fabric for many years since. Where is the Al-Qaeda fighting such oppressions?
“The events that affected my soul in a direct way started in 1982 when America permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon and the American Sixth Fleet helped them in that. This bombardment began and many were killed and injured and others were terrorised and displaced. I couldn’t forget those moving scenes, blood and severed limbs, women and children sprawled everywhere. Houses destroyed along with their occupants and high rises demolished over their residents, rockets raining down on our home without mercy.” Osama Bin Laden
– The Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s and the Lebanese civil war brutalized the topography of civilization in very similar and much more protracted ways. Where was Al-Qaeda then with its lance and shield?
“All that we have mentioned has made it easy for us to provoke and bait this administration. All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaida, in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies.” Osama Bin Laden
– This is something that is indeed true, and something that our administration needs to address with strength and urgency.
“Rather, the policy of the White House that demands the opening of war fronts to keep busy their various corporations – whether they be working in the field of arms or oil or reconstruction – has helped al-Qaida to achieve these enormous results.” Osama Bin Laden
– Profit is the very tenet of capitalism. Undeniably, all wars fought by America since the turn of the century and until the present, have produced economic booms. Such profit also holds the potential to assist those in need.
– For instance, America profited handsomely from World War II. However, Axis oppression was stopped, and economies in those countries today are dominating the world market and its peoples are enjoying excellent living standards: thanks to the Marshall plan- a successful, and yes profitable, American reconstruction program.
– Reconstruction attempts in Iraq had been thwarted by constant terrorist sabotages. Consequently, billions of dollars formerly allocated to the rebuilding of sewage and subsistence systems for Iraqi welfare, are now being diverted to the funding of security bulwarks. An Al-Qaeda that is interested in preserving security and peace of mind for Muslims is jeopardizing both of those things equally.
“And it was to these sorts of notions and their like that the British diplomat and others were referring in their lectures at the Royal Institute of International Affairs. [When they pointed out that] for example, al-Qaida spent $500,000 on the event, while America, in the incident and its aftermath, lost – according to the lowest estimate – more than $500 billion.” Osama Bin Laden
– I think Mr. Bin Laden underestimates the purchasing power of the American dollar. Nevertheless the point is legitimate, and more efficient promises of consolidating resources are something the administration needs to deliver upon.
“So the war went ahead, the death toll rose, the American economy bled, and Bush became embroiled in the swamps of Iraq that threaten his future.” Osama Bin Laden
– President Bush was reelected on Nov.3, 2004
– Fallujah- the nexus of insurgency- was overwhelmed in an operation conducted within the following week.
– The number of American casualties by military standards has remained and will likely remain at minimum. The vast majority of deployed troops have survived the continuing war, and the American military enjoys an overwhelming kill ratio versus the numerous insurgencies.
– The American economy is currently in a state of growth. However a deficit in excess of $7 trillion remains, which the President has promised to address.
“In conclusion, I tell you in truth, that your security is not in the hands of Kerry, nor Bush, nor al-Qaida. No. Your security is in your own hands. And every state that doesn’t play with our security has automatically guaranteed its own security. And Allah is our Guardian and Helper, while you have no Guardian or Helper. All peace be upon he who follows the Guidance.” Osama Bin Laden
• America’s security is in the hands of its soldiers: the finest in the world, and its leaders: chosen by the American people. The powerful army is being used by the American government to combat terrorism at ground zero everywhere with lethal effectiveness.
• According to Jim Garamone of American Forces Press Service, “In the United States, Islam is the fastest growing religion, a trend fueled mostly by immigration. There are 5 million to 7 million Muslims in the United States. They make up between 10,000 and 20,000 members of the American military.”
For a man so sensually concerned about peace, tolerance, freedom, and security, Osama Bin Laden has hypocritically spearheaded multifaceted attempts to sabotage each of those qualities he describes. Ultimately, his appeal to the American people, in fact draws references to constitutional values engendered amongst us, whose allusion, actually panders to and acknowledges American moral intelligence, countering any credibility and originality his arguments may have offered.
If Osama Bin Laden wanted so badly to run for office as a third party Al-Qaeda candidate, all he needed to do was have his mother indicate to Allah to grant him a birth in America. Sorry, Osama; it’s a little too late for that: I guess your best bet now is to just hate what you will never have.