27 January 2006

More Bin Laden Tape: "Nice Try, But Still No Cigar"

From Victor Davis Hanson's piece today in the Chicago Tribune:
But examine Al Qaeda's plight. Bin Laden's home base in Afghanistan is lost for good. Elites of his terrorist organization are targeted from the air even in the supposedly safe Pakistani borderlands. Plenty of Al Qaeda terrorists have been killed in Iraq.
Second, Al Qaeda's talking points seem to derive from American anti-war rhetoric, as bin Laden & Co. desperately cling to the notion that our resolve may yet crumble. (...) Either bin Laden can't come up with any more grievances himself, or he figures that Americans are better at making his case for him.
Third, bin Laden conveniently distorts history to achieve victim status. Again, he relies on many Americans' penchant for blaming themselves first.
In fact, there are three lessons: Al Qaeda terrorists are losing. Their only hope is to mimic critics in the United States for ideas about derailing American military and diplomatic efforts that are destroying them. And as they go down, they play the victim in desperate search of pity and thus reprieve.

For most Americans--nice try, but still no cigar.

And from Cardinalpark at Tigerhawk last week with Osama - "Hey, Over Here (?) I'm Still Alive, Remember Me?
He is talking to his listeners -- who, by the way, are shrinking in numbers, if you buy into the Pakistani and Afghani and Iraqi polling. He should really broadcast on Air America - does that still exist? -- and see if he can recruit some unhappy Americans. He's gotta get out more. Zarqawi is soaking up all his PR. Poor Osama can't really operate much. And now it turns out the Pakistanis are helping the US roast his best operators and bomb guys with targetted missile attacks -- that sounds downright Israeli!
Seriously folks, I don't know if he put this out in the immediate aftermath of the Missile Strike in Pakistan or if he did it in response to growing questions of his continued existence. But this is a spectacular sign of weakness. It's reactive. It's off message. And it's almost as factually ridiculous as Baghdad Bob, Saddam's wartime PR genius, sounded as the US Military was approaching Saddam's palaces. You will recall he was talking a big game about US losses and Iraqi Army victories, etc. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Next thing you know, Saddam is having his teeth cleaned by an American Army medic and is getting deliced.

Bill Roggio:
When looked at from a higher level - the overall struggle against al-Qaeda in the Global War on Terror - the rejection of al-Qaeda by their Muslim brethren fighting against the forces of the West is a major strategic defeat for al-Qaeda. The premier terrorist group and self-proclaimed defenders of the faith could not maintain support in the heart of the Middle East among its most likely group of supporters: minority Sunnis subject to the rule of a Shiite-dominated government. This is part of the ideological struggle which is sorely missed in the popular reporting and analysis.

Bin Laden emerges from obscurity from Evan Kohlmann at the Counterterrorism Blog

Compare these takes with this one: There They Go Again

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