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Osama on Obama

The usual channels have yielded another video from Osama bin Laden, wherein a still photo of the al-Qaeda godfather accompanies an audio “statement to the American people,” purportedly recorded June 4. Here is the full English translation of the 10 minute tape. First, two questions.

ONE: I find it interesting that the message echoes what most anti-imperialists already believe. From a Chavez, or Ahmadinejad, this text would be timid. Throw in the unverified nature of this transmission, the mystery of whether Osama lives, or whose interest he really served, and this new tape subverts somebody’s message, but whose?

For example, in the new tape, Osama bin Laden recommends three books. The NYT is quick to tell us that any recommendation from bin Laden is certainly unwelcome by any author. The books? The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, Jimmy Carter’s Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, and Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. The NYT just as quickly dismissed the titles as well.

TWO: Why does no one release the full translation of Osama’s message? Newspapers comment on his statements based on interpretations made by US intelligence contractors, who themselves do not release their translations to the public.

Are there no Arabic speakers who wish to translate bin Laden’s words for the international audience? Why is everyone content to hear what the US government says is Osama’s message?

Extracts the US media is reprinting of Osama’s message:

“Reasonable people know that Obama is a powerless man who will not be able to end the war as he promised, but rather, will continue it to the highest point possible.”

“The bitter truth is that the neoconservatives continue to cast their heavy shadows upon you.”

“Ask yourselves to determine your position: is your security, your blood, your children, your money, your jobs, your homes, your economy, and your reputation dearer to you than the security of the Israelis, their children and their economy?

“If you choose your security and cessation of war … this requires you to work to punish those on your side who play with our security.”

“The time has come for you to liberate yourselves from fear and the ideological terrorism of neo-conservatives and the Israeli lobby.”

“The reason for our dispute with you is your support for your ally Israel, occupying our land in Palestine.”

“If you think about your situation well, you will know that the White House is occupied by pressure groups.”

“Rather than fighting to liberate Iraq — as Bush claimed — it should have been liberated.”

“If you stop the war, then fine. Otherwise we will have no choice but to continue our war of attrition on every front… If you choose safety and stopping wars, as opinion polls show you do, then we are ready to respond to this.”

“You have only changed the faces in the White House.”

The full English translation, courtesy of the NEFA Foundation:

“All praise is due to Allah who created [the] creation for His servants and commanded them to justice, and who permitted those who have been unjustly treated to carry out similar vengeance against their oppressors…”

“O’ people of America, my speech to you is a reminder of the reasons behind [September] 11 and what took place in its aftermath in the form of wars, and claims, and the path to escape from its causes. Specifically, I draw attention to the families of those who were killed during these events, and those who have recently called for open investigations to determine the causes that led to them— this is your first step in the right direction amongst many steps that deliberately missed the path throughout eight years of little prosper that have passed you by. And it is correct that the American people should have sympathy for them, because the longer it takes you to recognize the real causes, the higher a price you will pay, needlessly. Thus, since the administration in the White House—one of the sides in this struggle— has appealed to you for years that war is necessary to ensure your security, then, to understand the truth, a wise man would want to heed and listen to both sides of the struggle, so lend me your ears.”

“First, I say: we have shown and declared many times over more than two and a half decades that our dispute with you [is based on] your support of your allies; the Israeli occupiers of our land in Palestine. It was this stance—along with other injustices—that moved us to carry out the events of September 11. If you realized the extent of our suffering caused by the injustices of the Jews backed by your administration, then you would understand that both of our nations are victims of the policies laid down by the White House, which in reality is nothing but a puppet in the hands of powerful interest groups, specifically big corporations and the Israel lobby.”

“And, the best voice who has tried to explain to you the reasons behind [September] 11 is one of your own citizens, the veteran former CIA agent whose conscience awoke in his eighth decade [of age] and he decided to tell the truth despite the pressure against him, and explained for you the message behind September 11. Thus, he carried out some actions for this purpose

specifically, from within that is his book titled, ‘Apology of a Mercenary.’ Similarly, with regards to the suffering of our people in Palestine, Obama recently confessed in his speech in Cairo to the suffering of our people there [in Palestine], under occupation and sanctions. And the matter becomes even clearer if you read what your former president Jimmy Carter has written about the Israeli discrimination against our people in Palestine, or had you listened to his statement some weeks ago, while visiting besieged and ravaged Gaza, when he said, ‘the people of Gaza are treated more like animals than human beings’…”

“And here we should pause for a moment, for anyone with an atom’s weight of mercy is compelled to sympathize with the suffering of the elderly, women, and children under the fatal siege, while above them the Zionists pour down burning American-made white-phosphorus bombs. Life there is miserable beyond any conception, such as the number of children who are dying in the hands of their fathers and doctors because of a lack of food, medicine, and basic electricity. It is truthfully a stain of shame on the forehands of all world politicians who facilitate this, and the people who ally with them with prior knowledge of their intentions—along with the influence from the Israeli lobby in America. The details regarding this have been clarified by two of your citizens, they are John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt in the book ‘The Israel Lobby in the United States.’ Upon reading these various suggested works, you will discover the truth and you will be terribly shocked by the scale of the deception that has been used against you. You will also discover that, even today, those who issue statements from inside the White House and claim that your wars against us are necessary for your security are the same ones who worked under the regime of Cheney and Bush, and marketed their former policies of fear to safeguard the interests of large corporations at the expense of your blood and economy. Truthfully, those are the ones responsible for forcing war upon you, not the mujahideen—as we are [merely] defending the right to liberate our land.”

“And should you consider your situation at some depth, then you will discover that the White House is actually occupied by interest groups, and that it [the White House] should have been liberated, instead of fighting to liberate Iraq as Bush claimed. The role of a White House leader in today’s atmosphere, regardless of his name, is like a train conductor who has no choice but to move forward on the rails laid down by interest groups—or else its path will be obstructed—and who lives in fear that his fate will be that of the former president [John F.] Kennedy and his brother.”

“The conclusion of my speech: it is time to liberate yourselves from the fear and mental terrorism that the neo-conservatives and the Israeli Lobby have used to manipulate you. Put the issue of your alliance with the Israelis up for debate and ask yourselves what your stance is: is your own security, blood, children, money, jobs, homes, economy, and reputation more important to you, or do you prefer the safety of the Israelis, their children, and economy? If you choose your own security and bring the war to a halt—and this is what the opinion polls have shown is most popular—then you must work and replace the hands of those from amongst you who have endangered our safety, and we are ready to respond to this decision in accordance with sound and just principles that have been previously mentioned. And here, there is an important point that requires attention regarding the war and stopping it: when Bush took power and appointed a secretary of defense who had assisted in killing two million suffering villagers in Vietnam, intelligent people predicted on that day that Bush was preparing for new massacres during his term in office, and this is what occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then, Obama took charge and kept Cheney and Bush’s men—those from the senior leadership in the Pentagon—like Gates, Mullen, and Petraeus. Intelligent people understand that Obama is a weak man who cannot stop the war like he promised, but instead, he will postpone it to the greatest possible degree. If he was really in control, then he would have handed over leadership to the generals who have opposed this foolish war—like the former forces commander General Sanchez and the head of Central Command who was forced by Bush to resign shortly before leaving the White House because of his opposition to the war. Instead, he [Bush] appointed someone else who would press on after him.”

“Furthermore, Obama—under the pretext of his willingness to cooperate with the Republicans— has tricked you with a big fraud, as he kept the most important and most dangerous secretary— Cheney’s man—to continue the war. It will become clear to you over the coming days that you have changed nothing in the White House except faces—the bitter truth is that the neo-conservatives are still heavily shadowing you.”

“Returning back to the original point, if you stop the war, then so be it. But otherwise, it is inevitable that we will continue our war of extermination against you on all possible fronts, just as we annihilated the Soviet Union for a decade until it was dismantled, by the grace of Allah. So, go ahead and prolong this war as long as you want, but you are engaged in a miserable losing war for the interests of others that seems to have no end in sight. The Russian Generals—who were shaken by the battles in Afghanistan—warned you what the outcome of the war would be before it began, but you refuse to listen to those who advise you. This war is being financed through ghoulish interests, the morale of your soldiers is collapsing, and they are committing suicide on a daily basis to escape it. It is a failed war, Allah willing.”

“This is has all been prescribed for you by the doctors Cheney and Bush as medicine for the events of September 11, yet, the bitterness and loss this has caused is worse than that of the events themselves. The accumulated debt alone has almost led to the collapse of the entire American economy. It has been said, some illnesses are tolerated more than their medicine. And we, by the grace of Allah, continue to carry our weapons slung over our shoulders, fighting the evil powers in the east and west for thirty years, and in all that time, we have not recorded a single incident of suicide despite the global pursuit targeting us, praise be to Allah. This should tell you something about the righteousness of our doctrine and the justice of our cause. Allah-willing, we are moving forward on our path to liberate our land; patience is our weapon and we seek victory from Allah, and we will not abandon Al-Aqsa Mosque, as our grasp on Palestine is greater than our grasp onto our souls… Thus, you can lengthen the war as you desire, [but] by Allah, we will not compromise in the least over it.”

The original Arabic transcript:

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