Friday, October 29, 2004

Osama and the middle finger of righteousness

Bin Laden shows up again and, say, which finger is he holding up, anyway?

October Surprise indeed, and the only question we all ask is how it will affect the US election. “You’re so vain, you prob’ly think this jihad’s about you.” Well, Kerry supporters will think it shows Bush’s failure to accomplish the first necessary response to 9/11--capture the guy responsible, and the Bush supporters will think that it shows there are still terrorists out there who only Bush can save us from. Bin Laden specifically said he wasn’t endorsing either candidate, just to make that clear.

He says that Bush is “still misleading you and hiding the real reason [for 9/11] from you” and then cites a reason for it I’ve never heard before. For a fairly blunt piece of symbolic communication, his message wasn’t really all that clear. Evidently, it was a response to the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, specifically the bombing of tower blocks in Beirut. So his idea was that America should “taste what we taste and would be deterred from killing our children and women.” With yesterday’s Lancet report of 100,000 dead in Iraq, we can now say that bin Laden is actually less effective in his tactics than George Bush.

The “they hate us for our freedom” thing seems to have pissed him off. He responds, “we are a free people ... and we want to regain the freedom of our nation. ... If Bush says we hate freedom, let him tell us why we didn’t attack Sweden, for example. It is known that those who hate freedom do not have dignified souls, like those of the 19 blessed ones.” Dignified souls?

This part is cute: “We had no difficulty in dealing with the Bush administration because they resemble the regimes in our countries, half of which are ruled by the military and the other half by the sons of kings. He adopted despotism and the crushing of freedoms from Arab rulers and called it the Patriot Act, under the guise of combating terrorism.”

He even zings Bush for the “My Pet Goat” thing, although he thinks the kid was talking about her own goat (“It appeared to him that a little girl’s talk about her goat and its butting was more important than the planes and their butting of the skyscrapers”), which means 1) he really knows nothing about America, much less Florida, where there are not that many goatherds, 2) he hasn’t seen “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

Maybe the butting thing sounded better in Arabic.

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