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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Without bin Laden, he is nothing

Chris Floyd:
Bush has never had the slightest intention of catching Osama bin Laden. He needs bin Laden like he needs air or water. Without bin Laden, he is nothing. Without bin Laden, he wouldn't be a "War President" wielding dictatorial powers over a cowed, confused nation. Without bin Laden--whom Bush has now taken to quoting as an expert on world affairs--the Potomac pipsqueak would be just another failed, one-term president named George Bush, a national joke, a trivia quiz answer, a half-forgotten goober ridiculed for a feckless reign that made Jimmy Carter look like Bismarck.
Let me bask in that vision for a few moments.
This quoting of Osama and other terrorist leaders is freaky, and aWol is now doing it all the time. In yesterday's speech, aWol sounded like a preacher quoting some great spiritual leader:
Hear the words of Osama bin Laden earlier this year: "Death is better than living on this Earth with the unbelievers among us."
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.
Episcopal Book of Common Prayer

And then there's the dubious provenance of most of the quotes from W's favorite terrorists--video tapes fortuitously delivered at times of political crisis, or letters or CD's intercepted by US troops, both conveniently translated by the US government to reinforce W's latest talking points: Iraq is the central front in the "war on terror," etc. In these days of cheap laptop computers, none of these videos or other messages have been conclusively linked to OBL or the other terrorists by independent analysts. Who actually said these things, and what they actually said, is very much in doubt.

Then there is the issue of credibility. Bush:
They're driven by a radical and perverted vision of Islam that rejects tolerance, crushes all dissent, and justifies the murder of innocent men, women and children in the pursuit of political power. They hope to establish a violent political utopia across the Middle East, which they call a "Caliphate"--where all would be ruled according to their hateful ideology. Osama bin Laden has called the 9/11 attacks--in his words--"a great step towards the unity of Muslims and establishing the Righteous... [Caliphate]."

This caliphate would be a totalitarian Islamic empire encompassing all current and former Muslim lands, stretching from Europe to North Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. We know this because al Qaeda has told us. About two months ago, the terrorist Zawahiri--he's al Qaeda's second in command--declared that al Qaeda intends to impose its rule in "every land that was a home for Islam, from [Spain] to Iraq. He went on to say, "The whole world is an open field for us."
Assuming for the moment that OBL and Zawahiri said this stuff, my first response is "Yeah? You and what army?" As WIIIAI put it, "intentions are not capabilities." At most, al Qaeda is capable of killing a few thousand people a year through terror attacks--hardly enough to take control of a vast region (you'd think W, who has killed many more and only controls a few blocks in Baghdad and Kabul as a result, would know this).

And finally--who is Osama bin Laden to be directing US policy? If our pResident is quoting some Saudi terrorist to support his policies, who exactly is running our country?