Friday, Osama bin Laden released his first video in three years, and it has been posted, in full, online. Unlike his fire and brimstone videos in the past, this one is more relaxed and he talks in a calm, definite manner as if he was trying to teach people his beliefs rather than indoctrinate them by force. Bin Laden doesn’t directly attack America as a whole—as he is prone to do—but instead attacks certain aspects of American culture and history that he disagrees with and which demonstrate the faults he believes America has.
( At the end of the post there are two videos: the first video is of a newscast from Al Jazeera English and the second is the actual full 26 minute speech which is rather hard to find and isn’t being distributed by the major video networks. Also, you can read the full text translation, download the the original PDF scan of the NBC transcript or view a up version here)
The odd thing is that most of his complaints are reasonable: for example he blames global warming on large corporations:
The life of all mankind is in danger because of the global warming resulting to a large degree from the emissions of the factories the major corporations…and despite this brazen attack on the people [referring to global warming], the leaders of the West — especially Bush, Blair, Sarkozy and Brown — still talk about freedom and human rights with a flagrant disregard for the intellects of humans?
The sad thing is if he had started this way 6 years ago rather than killing thousands, people would have been more likely to listen, but since he decided to start with violence like a psychopath rather than act civilized, this message is far too little too late and just screams propaganda.
What major News organizations are saying
“We continue to see a very determined enemy who wants to plot, plan and kill Americans and act against American interests,” White House homeland security adviser Fran Townsend told CNN.
“But I’d encourage Americans to keep in mind whenever we see these sorts of statements, they’re propaganda. And they’re the enemy’s propaganda. They’re meant to manipulate the American people and to frighten them,” she said.
From BBC News:
Gone is the straggly, unkempt beard that was heavily flecked with grey.
Instead, his beard appears dark, thick and trimmed, although analysts have suggested that rather than being dyed, it may be actually false, and that to help avoid detection he is clean-shaven these days.
The al-Qaeda leader’s face still looks tired and lined, as befits a fugitive who may well have to sleep in different locations almost every night, but it is not quite as gaunt or exhausted looking as it was three years ago.
Unlike some of the more psychopathic adherents of al-Qaeda, Bin Laden has often tried to sway the opinions of the Western public in the hopes of driving a wedge between them and their leaders, and between European countries and his most hated enemy, the US government.
The Homeland Security Department was continuing to analyze the video to see if it includes any coded messages, department spokesman Russ Knocke said. But the department has found no credible information of an imminent threat to the homeland.
Also from ABC
Osama bin Laden’s latest message is a hodgepodge of anti-capitalist vitriol, impassioned Islamic evangelism and what can best be described as a twisted attempt at reconciliation: Join us, or we’ll kill you.
Whether the video will resonate on the Arab or Muslim street is not at all clear. In Iraq, where disillusionment with the United States runs high, most people voiced disgust with bin Laden’s latest message.
Al Jazeera English
Cleaned up transcript images
(Click to see full images.)