Sunday, October 31, 2004

The Bin Laden Tape and its Possible Effects on November 2nd

It appears that the 6 minute OBL tape was edited down from 18 minutes by Al-jazeera. It is unfortunate that we have not been made privy to the entire tape, as it seems that in the missing bits, Bin Laden whines about his situation, the democratic elections in Afghanistan, and other successes by the US and Coalition partners, and-- not to politicize the tape but -- generally makes the case that Bush is doing a better job than what Kerry credits him with.

But speaking of politicizing this tape, Bush's initial reaction to it was measured and appropriate. "Let me make this very clear," Bush said in Toledo, Ohio. "Americans will not be intimidated or influenced by an enemy of our country. I'm sure Senator Kerry agrees with this."

Kerry's initial reaction was equally appropriate: "My reaction," said Kerry, "is that all of us in this country are completely united. Democrat, Republican--there's no such thing. There's just Americans, and we are united in hunting down and capturing or killing those who conducted behind that raid. We always knew it was Osama bin Laden."

But then he just couldn't help himself a minute latter by adding, "[and] I am prepared to wage a more effective war on terror than George Bush."

Tsk, tsk.

Now in today's (Sunday's) NY Post:

Officials said that in the 18-minute long tape — of which only six minutes were aired on the al-Jazeera Arab television network in the Middle East on Friday — bin Laden bemoans the recent democratic elections in Afghanistan and the lack of violence involved with it.

On the tape, bin Laden also says his terror organization has been hurt by the U.S. military's unrelenting manhunt for him and his cohorts on the Afghan-Pakistani border.

A portion of the left-out footage includes a tirade aimed at President Bush and his father, former President George H.W. Bush, claiming the war in Iraq is purely over oil.

The tape also sparked some concern that an attack aimed at disrupting Tuesday's election may be planned.
By Tuesday, when all of the this completely sinks in with the American people, I am predicting it will be curtains for Kerry. But we'll shall see.

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