October Surprise

The October Surprise had only two days to arrive, but arrive it did. Osama Bin Laden, despite stories of ill health, appeared healthy and well. He reiterated his point that regardless of the winner, his organization will not withdraw its stated goals of changing US Foreign Policy.

For me, there are some frustrations. First, it was reported that the US Government tried to suppress the report by Al Jazeera. Freedom of the press is fine if it is American and/or owned by Ruport Murdoch, but not if it is in Qatar.

According to "Imperial hubris : why the West is losing the war on terror (Anonymous)" the United States Government has been reluctant to actually listen to what Bin Laden has been saying. So, what has he been saying?

His fatwahs can be found on the internet, where much of his organizations communications have been taking place. The mideastweb has several of his fatwah's on their website. Now, reading though it is another exercise in cultural understanding.

So what do they want? From what I can tell, they want the US out of Saudi Arabia, want the US to stop supporting Israel, and to quit supporting dictators in the Arab World. If you put yourself in their shoes, it doesn't sound unreasonable. Of course, this isn't to advocate the method of communicating this with hijacked airplanes.

For the first time, Bin Ladens message can be seen much more clearly. I encourage everyone to READ HIS MESSAGE. More importantly, read between the lines. A transcript of the speech can be found on Al Jazeera's website. Unlike prior speeches, this one is much more conversational and directed at the American people. This time, some Americans actually read what he had to say. This time, the transcripts were more accessable to the less web savvy. Maybe, just maybe some people have read it and thought.

Bin Laden has thrown down a glove again by NOT using the same religious rhetoric as before. Perhaps Bush could follow his lead and also speak clearly, dropping the sound bytes and rhetoric that he seems barely capable of accomplishing.


On another note, thanks to rpayne for a great reference regarding North Korea and the Bush Administration by Fred Kaplan.

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