Saturday, January 21, 2006

Bin Laden truce offer is nothing new

The take of the conservative blogosphere is that bin Laden's proposal of a ceasefire in his latest tape is that it is a sign of weakness. At least that's the view of Glenn Reynolds, Dave's not here, and even Gregory Djerejian, who is one of the more thoughtful bloggers on the right.

But this is not a new theme for bin Laden. In October 2004, he stated, "We fought with you because we are free, and we don't put up with transgressions. We want to reclaim our nation. As you spoil our security, we will do so to you.... Any nation that does not attack us will not be attacked."[1] And as far as I know, bin Laden has always insisted that he is merely defending Muslims from Western aggression. Like the religious right in the United States, he loves to play the victim.

Because of this, I don't think that the conservative blogosphere can be accurately said to be doing analysis in this case. It is operating in political smear mode, taking bin Laden's speech out of context to make bin Laden look weak. There's nothing wrong with that as long as you read those blogs for entertainment. It's not so good if you are looking for a serious discussion of the threat posed by al Qaida.

[1] A different translation (by al Jazeera) can be found here.


Post a Comment

<< Home