The Bin Laden Factor in November 2006


bin laden.jpg
Another new tape.
Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda were always the ball George W. Bush, the Congress, and the Pentagon should have had their eye on.
Saddam Hussein — though a thug who needed serious supervision — was a contrived, self-damaging distraction for this country.
By failing to compete against bin Laden who is trying to appeal to the grievances many Muslims hold — particularly over the Palestinian/Israeli divide — we have allowed bin Laden to claim “legitimacy” in the eyes of many in the global audience he is performing for.
While America has focused on military means to kill bad guys and terrorists, we have neglected the fact that we, as Americans, must compete for legitimacy against him and reconnect with the aspirations of the “silent majority” in the Muslim world.
If this tape proves to be a record of bin Laden comments, it shows that he is getting bolder because the timing of current events he refers to on these tapes and their release is growing shorter.
If this tape is verified as bin Laden, the fact that another tape has appeared so close to the last is also a sign of impressive boldness on his part — and hopefully, recklessness.
If America does, in fact, capture or kill bin Laden in the next few months, I suspect that it will produce somewhat of a surge of support for Republicans in the election.
If these tapes keep appearing, there is increasing likelihood of a bin Laden factor in November 2006.
— Steve Clemons