Friday, October 29, 2004
More interesting, though, is what he did not say:
It is important to notice what he has stopped saying in this speech. He has stopped talking about the restoration of the Global Caliphate. There is no more mention of the return of Andalusia. There is no more anticipation that Islam will sweep the world. He is no longer boasting that Americans run at the slightest wounds; that they are more cowardly than the Russians. He is not talking about future operations to swathe the world in fire but dwelling on past glories. He is basically saying if you leave us alone we will leave you alone. Though it is couched in his customary orbicular phraseology he is basically asking for time out. (emphasis in original)
Is not this strategic retreat by omission the most interesting aspect of this story?
UPDATE: Orin Kerr makes the point that Bin Laden's admission trashes the paranoid belief among many Arabs (a quarter of Palestinians, according to Kerr) that Israel was behind the attacks on September 11 in order to lure the United States into war in the Middle East. The question is whether Arab conspiracy theorists will actually believe Bin Laden.