The Bush-haters say that the new OBL tape hurts the President because it reminds people that OBL is still on the loose. Maybe. But I am inclined to believe that it will also piss off a lot of Americans because they see it is an attempt to influence our elections next Tuesday.
And, then, some of the best minds online, like Wretchard at the Belmont Club and Donald Sensing, see OBL's message as a pathetic bid for a truce. Sensing makes a very detailed case for this interpretation, including this:
I think it's telling that al Jazeera only broadcast a very short excerpt of the whole tape and only summarized what it didn't broadcast. One US newscast said that al Jazeera explained its snip of a broadcast by saying that it didn't want inadvertently to broadcast secret codewords for terrorist attacks in the tape, a concern that seems never to have bothered the network before. Evidently al Jazeera is no longer awed by the great and mighty Osama bin Laden anymore; maybe it is even trying now to hedge its bets. Or maybe the arabist network was just too embarrassed by bin Laden's new humility to show it all.There've been some weird stirrings among the al-Qaedists lately, with Zarqawi's profession of fealty to Osama and this crap from "Azzam the American." It's like they're all jockeying for position on the final lap coming into the homestretch (i.e., the Great Satan's elections next week). But to what end? They're not going to surrender because the only thing they've got that we want is their own bodies, preferably blown to pieces.
But, after all is considered, I agree with Sensing: OBL is in justification mode, trying to shore up his defenses while calling off the dogs. To him, John Kerry's election would be the biggest dogs calling-off he could hope for. That's because Kerry is an appeaser who wants to work with "allies" and circle-jerk it at the UN.
Let's have none of that. If Osama is showing us an olive branch, I'd say it's time to snatch it from his hands and beat his ass with it.