Monday, January 23, 2006

Escobar on Bin Laden political strategy: "We know that the majority of your people want this war to end and based on the substance of the polls, which indicate Americans do not want to fight Muslims on Muslim land, nor do they want Muslims to fight them on their land, we do not mind offering a long-term truce based on just conditions that we will stand by ... a truce that offers security and stability and the rebuilding of Iraq and Afghanistan that war has destroyed ... And there is nothing wrong with this solution except that it deprives the influential people and warlords in America from hundreds of billions of dollars - those who supported [President George W] Bush's election campaign with billions of dollars.
- Osama bin Laden on tape, January 18"

"In at least 35 messages - in audio or video - delivered by both bin Laden and Zawahiri since September 11, the heart of the matter is always the same. The US must leave the Middle East alone - it must stop supporting Israel over Palestine and stop supporting corrupt dictatorial regimes in the Arab and Muslim world."

"Bin Laden's latest tape is devoid of any window-dressing of Islamic phraseology. Al-Qaeda is above all involved in a long-range political war of attrition.... It's all about coining the right rhetoric - and the right audio-video global media coups - to lift the Muslim masses out of fatalistic passivity, impregnate them with political conscience, and persuade them to join the jihad."

"Al-Qaeda inevitably has to move beyond surprise, stealth and heavy symbolism (how can you top September 11?) ... Politically, addressing US public opinion, bin Laden clearly identifies the Bush administration - and its "war on terror", a military response to a concept - as the problem. Overwhelmed by media noise, Americans once again won't listen."

"Careful examination of bin Laden's latest words also reveal that unlike the Bush administration spin, al-Qaeda does not want to destroy the United States or its way of life. But at the same time the US, and the Bush administration in particular, may enhance al-Qaeda's appeal as it will never waver from its two strategic imperatives - absolute security for Israel in the heart of the Arab Middle East and the obsession in taking over all of the Middle East's oil reserves. So there's no way to stop the infernal spiral."

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