Targeting America in Iraq in terms of economy and losses in life is a golden and unique opportunity. Do not waste it only to regret it later.
Osama bin Laden, December, 2004. (via A Tiny Revolution)
Whatever one can say about Osama bin-Laden, he is not stupid. He is smart enough to understand that the U.S. has blundered into Iraq—and thus smart enough to understand that it was essentially Bush, Cheney, and their fellow conspirators that did the blundering. I hope it is widely understood that if Gore had taken office the U.S. military would likely not have invaded Iraq, nor would it have farmed out bin-Laden’s actual capture to Afghan drug-mercenaries.
He also likely understands that the invasion of Iraq has split the French, Russians, and Germans from the U.S. on matters regarding the so-called “War on Terror.” All three of those countries have actual experience with terrorism (Algeria, Chechnya, and the reported staging ground for the 9/11 hijackers).
It is also likely that he understands the effects of his first speech to Americans—I would not be at all surprised if he also believed that he was partly responsible for getting Bush re-elected. Certainly his last-minute echoing of Kerry’s complaints about the Bush administration provided some people with the excuse to vote Bush they were looking for.
Granted, that is a starting assumption, but I don’t believe it’s unreasonable given bin-Laden’s skillful ability to manipulate western media into believing there is any such thing as “al-Qaeda”. Yes, that’s right, I said it. There is no al-Qaeda organization, and furthermore, there never was. At best there are guys who know a guy, who know a guy, who met bin-Laden years ago. That’s it. People who take up international terrorism slap the label “al-Qaeda” on it so it seems like it’s bigger and badder—and thus better supported—than it really is.
The reason international terrorism exists is because terrorism is—ironically enough from Bush—the “weapon of the weak.” In case people haven’t noticed, there are about 5 billion people who qualify as “weak,” which means that the tiny minority of the world who wish to violently attack the similarly fictional entity known as “America” must by neccessity take up the “weapons of the weak.”
I could continue with the scare-quotes, or wax poetic on how blitheringly stupid it is to have a War on a Type of Weapon (or how declaring war on the “weapons of the weak” is trivially reforged into what it appears the “war on terror” has become: a war on the weak), but it’s more important to make the point: Osama bin-Laden likely knows that within the United States he is the “cartoonish supervillian,” just as George Bush, Jr. is almost certainly a cartoonish supervillian to much of the Iraqi insurgency. If he can read “Rogue State”, he can probably get a satelite feed or a sampling of media clips about himself. At the very least, he can get a summary of how western media portrays him.
Change gears for a moment: if Jefferson Davis (president of the Confederacy during the U.S. Civil War) could’ve parrotted criticisms of McClellan he saw in northern papers and then watch the monumentally incompetent general stay in charge, why wouldn’t he? If you can use reverse psychology on your opponents, via “their” media, why wouldn’t you?
Of course, you can’t permit yourself to assume that bin-Laden is using reverse psychology, because that means he stops being a cartoonish supervillian and come down to the level of the ordinary, manipulative shits that most people run into on a day-to-day basis. Which essentially means we’re killed tens of thousands of people, spent hundreds of billions of dollars, invaded two countries, and generally pissed of the entire planet trying to catch an ordinary manipulative shit who happens to have money, a fanatical take on religion, and a stack of bodybags on his eternal tab.
Osama bin-Laden using reverse psychology in international politics also drags the entire lofty edifice down to the level of ordinary humans. The follow-up question is: Who else among the would-be god-kings is similarly petty? Could it be that the Bush junta itself is populated by ordinary manipulative shits born into similarly vast commercial and political empires? Could they be attempting to use a fellow manipulative shit as an excuse to try and colonize access to the largest oil reserves on the planet, shortly before peak oil—just as bin-Laden is attempting to use Bush to build an “Islamic” Empire?
Though in fairness, I suppose if you have only ever viewed the world through limosine windows, it might be easy enough to overlook that there are millions of people who—by virtue of living there already—consider the oil theirs.
Update: Credited ATR for cartoonish supervilliany crack. Damnable assumptions.