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March 20, 2008
New Bin Laden Tape Something of a Puzzle
There is a new audio tape purportedly from a living Osama Bin Laden that was issued yesterday, the 5th anniversary of the war in Iraq.
But several commenters, including Rusty over at Jawa Report and Allah at Hot Air point out some interesting omissions.
For one thing, Bin Laden does not mention the Iraq War. And he directs his fire at the European Union rather than the US:
Five minutes of audio devoted to the Mohammed cartoons and the papist Crusade, a subject he already droned on about two years ago. There’s some ambiguity from the news reports as to whether he refers specifically to the republication of the cartoons this year or to their publication generally, which could come from an older tape. Too bad; if he’s going to revisit old jihadist grievances, I’d sure like to hear more of his take on global warming. Rusty thinks Osama is dead and the audio tape is from 2006. He makes a pretty convincing case that the tape is old but how you can extrapolate from that Osama is dead I'm note sure.
Note that the tape is directed not at the U.S. but at the EU and conspicuously doesn’t mention Geert Wilders’s film, which is of a piece with the cartoons and has been in the news for at least a month. Any theories as to why he’d release a tape on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war that not only doesn’t mention Iraq but isn’t even geared at the Great Satan? Any possible explanation — perhaps in light of some of his other recent tapes — why he might not be in the mood to chatter about Iraq’s imminent transformation into a Wahhabist paradise?