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January 19, 2006


On the Daily Show last night, James Woolsey claimed that al-Qaeda's philosophy was expressly genocidal with respect to Shiite Muslims. Is there any truth to that? Because it seems like such a fact would pretty much foreclose them from developing an acceptable brand in either Iraq or Iran.

There's definitely a lot to that. Some of the theorists of Salafist/Wahabbi Islam who were deeply influenced by the politicization of the Muslim Brootherhood view Shiites as apostates, and have advocated "restoring" Islam and the Caliphate to the way they were prior to the split in Islam between Shia and Sunni. It's not entirely clear where bin Laden and Zawahiri are on this issue, but some of the extreemists in Pakistan and Afghanistan have definitely taken that view.

Follow the Robespierre link, and there's more on that subject there.

It was striking, the difference between the reaction of Jim Lerher's vs. Ohlberman's expert guests tonight. Lerher's were an ex-CIA counter-terror guy named Piller and academic-at-Rice U, Mamoun Fandy; Ohlberman's were some kid from a website - no offence, but...really - and that (pardon me, I know this is a family site, unless we're talking about reading comprehension) dipshit and professional hysteric Steve Emerson. The former two were practically entierly in agreement, basically seeing the release as a sign of weakness, not to say cause for complacency. Emerson (no transcript yet), on the other hand, played up the fear fear FEAR. I hope, along with DHinMI, that, whatever public face the administration puts on this, that there are people on the inside more like the former guys, if not necessarily with the exact same opinions, then at least with the same seriousness.

It also occurs to me that the WH can't very well goose up the fear too much at this point - bin Laden's still being at large doesn't make them look very good. The Ohlberman show did play the footage of Bush vowing to 'git 'im dead or alive' (and we're not having an election).

I'm inclined to agree that this is a sign of weakness on the part of OBL. And talking about rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan isn't really the firery and apocalyptic rhetoric we've come to expect from him.

Oh, also agreed about Emerson. He's just a complete nutjob.

And nice, sly reference about reading comprehension. Thinking about any threads in particular? ;-)

I think this guy's now controlled by the US. His "election statement" a year ago, offering peace etc..., first clued me into this (also Walter Cronkite it appears), his most recent tape couldn't work better for the Bush administration.

Imagine holding Pat Roberson (not Pat Roberts, unfortunately) in custody, forcing him to say whatever is best for the US, killing or manipulating whatever messengers (and extended friends) appear out of the wilderness offering to do dirty deeds they and Roberson had hatched. Hey, maybe this is a good stategy for Robertson too!!

Mr. Osama's been captured, ain't happy, and does whatever the US wants, IMHO.

I don't know about that, Joseph, but the two guys on the Newshour mentioned that a variant of that theory - that the US doesn't really want to capture bin Laden, so as to have the pretext to occupy first Iraq, then Syria, then, etc. - is widely believed (or 'believed') all around the Arab world.

Believe it or not, that interview on the Newshour was really interesting. Fandy said that the statement was very different, diction-wise, from former bin Laden statements, even that it might have been written in English and translated into Arabic!

I agree that the Progressive Blogs today have been strangely silent on the latest tape.

Larry Johnson over at TPM Cafe has an interesting take -- His point is that Bush has not put anyone in charge of finding Bin Laden, instead he has given the mission to a slew of military and intelligence persons, with the result that no one is in charge, and no one is cooperating with others. My own guess is that the tape came out now because of last week's attacks in Pakistan. I suspect it had been available for some time, ready for just this purpose.

For this reason, I am less interested in today's tape -- more interested in the matter of last week's attack The most critical aspect of this is publication of the information that Intelligence knew a dinner was planned, and who had been invited. This is a clear message to the upper echalons of al-Qaeda that they have somehow been penetrated -- and perhaps they do not know how or by whom. This is a huge danger signal -- much more dangerous than the bombing actually, if the information is in fact close to correct. Releasing the tape is stage one of a response "we are still able to release a pre-made tape" -- and now we await stage two -- will it be an attack someplace, or will it be a leak investigation in the upper realms of al-Qaeda? A leak hunt could be fairly deadly in those parts. (They tend not to use special prosecutors and grand juries.)

But I agree the Lehrer material was very interesting. Paul Pillar was head of Counterterrorism at CIA in the late 90's and then retired to write a rather dull but fascinating book that came out in early 2001. He was then called back out of retirement at Brookings after 911, and played a mujor role in preparing the CIA responses to various investigations as well as expanding his former division.

My wife asked me this question and I couldn't respond: When has Bin Laden, etc done a tape when Bush hasn't been in trouble?

It might be fascinating to go back through the 19-21 video/audio tapes released by Al-Qaeda and study the events a day or two before these tapes were released. For example, yesterday the talk was "who in the White House did Abramhoff meet with?" What Administration crisis that merits a massive diversion is going to cause the next one?

I remember that just before Bin Forgotten's speech in November 2004, Kerry was up in the polls and things were looking bad for Smirky. I also seem to recall another tape that came out about the time folks were laughing when Bush said he didn't know Ken Lay.

It seems that everytime the administration is on the ropes, they role out the fear card. "Be afraid" is their motto and that's all that's kept them in office. Contrast that to a great leader who said "the only thing you have to fear, is fear itself".

What also bothers me is that the folks who should be the most afraid (like in NYC, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, etc) are the ones who oppose Bush. Meanwhile, Wingnuts, who have the least amount to fear (i.e. Rural and Suburban Red Staters) are the folks who support Bush. Obvious Terror Targets oppose Bush, unrealistic Terror Targets like Raleigh live in fear and support Bush's Fascism.

I have the same question as Ron Russell's wife and halfway think the latest tape is another attempted diversion from Bush's scandals. Bush, the man who cried "terrorist" once too often. Former Vice President Gore hit it dead on (I paraphrase): Our overwhelming, paralyzing fear of today's terrorists is not comparable to the sensible and effective way we dealt with more terrible threats in our past.

Reading these comments some of which are shrewd, only to be brought up short by many others others which start of sane enough, then fall off in the twilight zone of with pure paranoia, I almost wish the self contradictory Democrat liberal position were actually implemented.

Quit while were ahead, let Iran have Nukes and let her cycnical politicians give a couple to Osama. Let him infiltrate a few and what would happen? New York and 5-10 million blue voters turn to expanding glowing orange gas; 5-6 million blue voters in LA/Hollywood turn to glowing orange gas too. (They would never nuke Dubuque.) The "elites" at the grim Gray Lady and the "more money than brains" political doners all disapear into glowing gas too.

Result: the Red Staters win for the next half century, and take the gloves off. Too bad for any denizens who happen to be close to the presidential palaces in the midEast. Too bad for any muslim madrassas worldwide, or even any remotely revolutionary Muslim leader. The reaction would come in a hundred years or so inveitably, but so what? The piners for the seventh century won't count for much until the 22nd century.

The only thing that stops me is the realization that 10-20 million decent Americans would die merely to get rid of a few hundred thousand cock sure people convinced they are the 'elite' and have the right to run everybody else's life. Defintely not worth it!

I fear it the consequences of Vietnam. They never felt any pain so what they had accomplished. If a couple of million Asians drowned in boats or had their heads bashed in with clubs for the crime of being able to read and write, it didn't effect anybody the 'elite' actually knew or cared about.

Then instead of libs constituting 17-30 percent of the population and sometimes being able to motivate 45% to support them, they would be at most 10% motivating perhaps another 20%. That's a prescription for lomng rightist rule. And the wierdest and most impractical, dominating the left's councils they would all be gone, never to return. Perhaps the left-center would return to reality and over time even win, but it might take 50 years until then.

i was searching the google to see my name.and i found by accident some one called peter daou and someone else called mamoun fandy into this site and they talk about bin laden.
i am warrying to to say: i dont know who are those people and mamoun fandy is someone else had the same name of me.
i am a violine player and a music composer and a music searcher
(i have my own discovery about the smart evoulution ,basic on the piano teaching)and i am not concerning to talk or to discuss any political idea on the net ... so... i am pleasing the man called mamoun fandy if hi is using a fictitious name to search another name ...with a lot of thanks to him

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