Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 29, 2004

Billmon: Osama's Endorsement

Billmon on Osama's Endorsement for Bush:

... a boogeyman with which to frighten that last sliver of undecided voters into rejecting change. Al Qaeda, it seems, has evolved into one hell of an effective 527 organization.

Posted by b on October 29, 2004 at 06:40 PM | Permalink

Comments

First reactions of the campaigns:

Kerry said "we are absolutely united in our determination to hunt down and destroy Osama bin Laden and the terrorists" and told reporters, "I will stop at absolutely nothing to hunt down and capture or kill the terrorists."
... absolutely nothing ...
Bush, campaigning in the showdown state of Ohio, vowed "Americans will not be intimidated or influenced by an enemy of our country" and said "we will prevail" in the war on terror
... not influenced by an enemy ...

Posted by: b | Oct 29, 2004 7:10:20 PM | 1

Here´s the link for above quotes Bush, Kerry Vow to Destroy Bin Laden After Tape

Posted by: b | Oct 29, 2004 7:11:47 PM | 2

I dunno if this little trick will work or not because although it will obviously hit some viscerally I'd have thought those people are gonna vote for midget brain anyway. Others will be jolted into remembering that after 3 years, billions of dollars and thousands of lives Osama is still out there making TV broadcasts whenever he likes.
Dems are gonna have to play hardball and keep hitting the Bush- Bin Laden connection. George H needs to be asked what Osama's dad said when the planes flew into the WTC.
Kerry and Edwards need to keep asking "why is this man still free?" Other dems need to keep hammering away on the Bin Laden Bush family friendship.
There's no point in getting too cute and trying to tell the electorate that given that the only person who can benefit by bin laden's appearance is Bush, Bin Laden must want Bush re-elected. The sort of ppl who will be influenced by this stuff need simple messages repeated over and over.

Posted by: Debs in '04 | Oct 29, 2004 7:24:39 PM | 3

Sure OBL would like Bushie re-elected. The man is a cartoon character worldwide. OBL probably gets a kick out of Bushie the fuck-up.

So Billmon finally woke up from the long sleep just long enough to slap us with a Hitler story line and the OBL news. I wish you would have been in the trenches the whole fall!

Posted by: jdp | Oct 29, 2004 7:40:30 PM | 4

jdp - the whole fall has been nothing but "shut up, get in line and push Kerry over the finish line." Different voices were not only not welcome but attacked viciously on leftwing blogs. Maybe rightly so, because why speak when the die has already been cast. Sometimes one can only choose between silence or not speaking truthfully.

Posted by: Marie | Oct 29, 2004 7:50:07 PM | 5

focus on the future.

what's done is done this fall, this year, this quadrennial cycle.

how the hell are we going to turn a kerry victory at the polls into a victory for the peoples of the world and the notion of participatory democracy. how in the name of g*d are we going to deliver on the need for leadership on civil rights, fossil fuel, rogue states and NGOs, in a way that convinces people not to vote for ABBK in 2008?

Posted by: mm | Oct 29, 2004 8:28:03 PM | 6

Billmon is right, Americans affected by the fear of Bin Laden will not listen to reason. They are thinking with the guts and their guts are scared. Kerry needs to have a "Braveheart" type moment between now and the election to help people overcome their fear and embolden them to fight against Bush and his fearmongering.

Posted by: Kilgore | Oct 29, 2004 8:44:53 PM | 7

kilgore???

Thought you told KV that you're done.

Posted by: RossK | Oct 29, 2004 8:55:19 PM | 8

juan cole has more
``It never occurred to us that the commander-in-chief of the American armed forces would leave 50,000 of his citizens in the two towers to face these horrors alone,'' he said, referring to the number of people who worked at the World Trade Center.
``It appeared to him (Bush) that a little girl's talk about her goat and its butting was more important than the planes and their butting of the skyscrapers. That gave us three times the required time to carry out the operations, thank God,'' he said.
In planning the attacks, bin Laden said he told Mohammed Atta, one of the hijackers, that the strikes had to be carried out "within 20 minutes before Bush and his administration noticed."

Posted by: annie | Oct 29, 2004 9:00:14 PM | 9

juan cole has more
``It never occurred to us that the commander-in-chief of the American armed forces would leave 50,000 of his citizens in the two towers to face these horrors alone,'' he said, referring to the number of people who worked at the World Trade Center.
``It appeared to him (Bush) that a little girl's talk about her goat and its butting was more important than the planes and their butting of the skyscrapers. That gave us three times the required time to carry out the operations, thank God,'' he said.
In planning the attacks, bin Laden said he told Mohammed Atta, one of the hijackers, that the strikes had to be carried out "within 20 minutes before Bush and his administration noticed."

Posted by: annie | Oct 29, 2004 9:00:14 PM | 10

First, glad Billmon is back. Let's not question the absence. Second, anyone with a brain who knows how to use it can only be swayed towards/more energized for the K-E ticket after the OBL missive, because Bush-Cheney have had the opportunity to take their best shot at him and failed. Third, as Adlai Stevenson said in response to the supporter who said "every thinking person supports you"..."yes, but I need a majority!"

So get out there this weekend and proselytize for change!

Posted by: maxcrat | Oct 29, 2004 9:04:05 PM | 11

I can see it know, the sheeple drinking the OBL is a threat kool aid.

Jeebus, it just amazes me how that asshole shows up four days before the election on some tape. Talk about your October suprise.

Also, I've noticed that the Bushies minions are traveling all over saying he is ahead and going to win by 10 points. Talk about trying to sure up the base. Gotta keep the fundies happy. You can teel by Bushies travels that they are worried.

Oh yah, Kos believes the OBL thing won't have legs.

I am keeping up the faith that kerry wins. But there is no stopping after that. We need to elect someone even more progressive or a progressive congress.

Posted by: jdp | Oct 29, 2004 9:23:06 PM | 12

Billmon,

Please go back in your hidey hole.

You are like the ex-girlfriend who fucks like a porn-star on viagra, then one day, long after she left you standing in the rain, calls you up and wants to go "out for a drink."

You know that if you accept the offer, she'll blow your mind one more time, but you know that in the morning, like the whore she is, she'll be long gone.

Sincerely,
E

Posted by: Espumoso | Oct 29, 2004 9:59:10 PM | 13

I simply can't make myself believe the OBL tape is on the up and up. Billmon's right that it's better than an attack -- almost too perfect designed to stir the Bush base with the pet goat dig to stir that visceral loathing of Michael Moore; but just in case some voters perceive the message as a taunt to Bush only, a line promising Kerry is no safe haven. And, of course, the timing, making sure those clips of the disasterous Pentagon briefing about the Al Qa Qaa explosives are bumped from evening news.

Posted by: cs | Oct 29, 2004 10:31:11 PM | 14

Espumoso having a hard time getting it up lately? don't take it out on billmon. guys always call girls whores when they don't have what it takes to keep them around. maybe it's jerks like you he needed a break from.

Posted by: annie | Oct 29, 2004 10:31:15 PM | 15

``God knows that it had not occurred to our mind to attack the towers, but after our patience ran out and we saw the injustice and inflexibility of the American-Israeli alliance toward our people in Palestine and Lebanon, this came to my mind,'' he said.

this more than anything tells me what he wants out of this. who can better provide this attention. w/ arafat in the hospital and this 'withdrawl' at gaza. why are we not even engaged over there?? instead of focusing on retribution the safest course of action in terms of our own security is to pour attention into the healing process. something bush is incapable of.

Posted by: annie | Oct 29, 2004 10:45:12 PM | 16

oh, cmon annie, espumosa was pretty funny.

Posted by: slothrop | Oct 29, 2004 11:39:34 PM | 17

Steve Gilliard also has a different take.

Posted by: | Oct 30, 2004 12:17:18 AM | 18

so much stuff hitting the fan now. more shock & awe aimed at the electorate. i'm still trying to get past the notion that "al QaQa" isn't some evil pun-ster's idea of a joke. kinda like 9-1-1...

if bush supporters cannot see that their candidate's platform is only concerned w/ dividing this nation and not working to bring it together, they probably deserve whatever nightmare they put themselves through. score another one for the evil men at langley.

Posted by: b real | Oct 30, 2004 12:20:54 AM | 19

Nah, I personally don't think Espumosa was being particularly funny, any more than if he had started ranting about Billmon being as low and ornery as a n*gger or k*ke or f*ggot. Insulting someone by comparing them to a despised, inferior Other is an easy shot; but imho it always insults even more the Other being used as the invidious comparison, and therefore isn't really funny unless one shares the scorn/contempt for that Other... which in this case I (personally) don't. I don't think calling women "whores" when we don't like their behaviour is much different from calling Black folks Uppity N*ggers when we don't like their behaviour -- seem to recall Yoko had something to say along those lines a few decades ago. It says something about the US Left that misogyny is still funny, decades after overt racism became pas comme il faut.

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 30, 2004 1:54:42 AM | 20

Me thinks Espumosa, whoever the hell that may be, has a wee bit of a problemo w/abandonment in addition to hatred of women...since women hating men aren't dignified by calling them misanthropes, I don't care to use misogyny to dignify the reverse....

But onto OBL....it must be obvious now to even the dolts why they didn't kill him off in Tora Bora.

It'll be so wonderful to have an Pres. that doesn't have to have someone to hate to be able to get out of bed in the am...(see David Brock's Blinded by the Right - tho he was referring to others of the radical right persuasion)...who doesn't need a war to feel like a man...Tuesday can't come soon enough...

But do read Bev Harris' Blackboxvoting.org for a taste of things to come. ...She has new post today on missing Audit Logs from last election in her county, logs that would reveal computer tampering, during exactly the hours when the votes were being counted & tampering would occur...

Posted by: jj | Oct 30, 2004 3:03:23 AM | 21


It is so painfully clear that Osama and George belong to the same" mutual admiration society", only missing (for those old enough to remember)" my baby and me".

Heres a mothership spin opportunity for the Dems: Osama is obviously pleading for the re-election of Bush. His appeal, to the Muslim world is totally bound to the wreckless, ham- fisted, and incompetent policy machinations of the Bush administration -- to illustrate, recrute, and finance the Al-Qaeda spearhead of resistance for the whole of Islam against the crusaders.

A vote for Bush is a vote for Osama

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 30, 2004 3:32:37 AM | 22

DeA already said it, but I can say it shorter: Espumoso wasn´t funny, he was sexist. Annie was funny.

Posted by: A swedish kind of death | Oct 30, 2004 5:00:08 AM | 23

Good grief! Political Correctness runs rampant among us.

I too feel slighted in some weird way by the abrupt and totally unexpected departure of billmon. I understand how one could be reluctant to run back and embrace him after being "left standing in the rain"

You do not have to be a woman to be a whore. At the end of the day we are all whores, we just ask for varying amounts and call it something else.

Posted by: Dan of Steele | Oct 30, 2004 5:49:02 AM | 24

U.S. Opposed Bin Laden Tape Airing

The State Department on Friday urged the government of Qatar, which finances Al-Jazeera, not to broadcast a videotaped speech by Osama bin Laden, a senior State Department official said.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the State Department spoke to officials in Qatar before Al-Jazeera showed a portion of the tape. In it, the al-Qaida leader said the United States can avoid another attack if it stops threatening the security of Muslims.

The request to the Persian Gulf government, which is considered an ally in the U.S. campaign to counter terror, was passed through the U.S. embassy in Doha, Qatar's capital.

So they thought it would be bad for their campaign - yep no doubts about that.

Posted by: b | Oct 30, 2004 5:52:45 AM | 25

Sounds like Osama has been studying Fahrenheit 451.


I am surprised by you. Despite entering the fourth year after September 11, Bush is still deceiving you and hiding the truth from you and therefore the reasons are still there to repeat what happened. (...)

We had no difficulty in dealing with Bush and his administration because they resemble the regimes in our countries, half of which are ruled by the military and the other half by the sons of kings ... They have a lot of pride, arrogance, greed and thievery. (...)

It never occurred to us that the commander in chief of the American forces (Bush) would leave 50,000 citizens in the two towers to face those horrors alone at a time when they most needed him because he thought listening to a child discussing her goat and its ramming was more important than the planes and their ramming of the skyscrapers. This had given us three times the time needed to carry out the operations, thanks be to God...

That isn't what happened at all (besides Bush looking like a dazed rabbit in Booker Elementary) - look at the flight paths of the planes and the times. Haven't a clue who he is trying to convince or of what. Just making a mark I suppose. Ridiculous rubbish for the most part.

Either irrelevant or bad for Bush.

Posted by: Blackie | Oct 30, 2004 9:09:58 AM | 26

"2+2=4" Bin laden

Posted by: curioso | Oct 30, 2004 9:56:30 AM | 27

Al Qaeda pulled a nifty Mutt n' Jeff, with the young, hot-headed American jihadi appearing first to threaten us with rivers of blood, etc., followed a few days later by the calm appeal of wise old Osama. Well done, really.

Bill at indcjournal.com:

I don't have access to a TV right now - did bin Laden voice any displeasure with Bush's support of the Federal Marriage Amendment? Because if he did, I think we definitely need to check Lockhart's satellite phone records. As it is, I'm suspicious:

"In addition, the infidel George Bush is outsourcing America's future with tax cuts to the wealthy. Where are the 1.6 million jobs? The infidel Bush is the first infidel since the infidel Herbert Hoover to lose jobs! Awake from your slumber, America! The infidel John Kerry has a plan. You can do better, Insha'Allah!"

"Let me tell you, I spoke to the infidel Christopher Reeve a week ago, and if the infidel John Kerry is elected President, Insha'Allah, the infidel Christopher Reeve will walk again!"

"Are you infidels aware that the infidel John Kerry killed infidels in a war of imperialist infidel aggression in Southeast Asia?"

"The infidel Mary Cheney is a lesbian."

[If you don't think this is funny, you're probably not a Republican.]

Posted by: Pat | Oct 30, 2004 11:07:45 AM | 28

In what sense did the atrocities of 9/11 achieve the aim of anti-western terrorism? First, the events pushed to the front of popoular American consciousness the humanitarian crisis of global capitalism. Americans can only declaim the rationality of armed insurgency against Western hegemony by vainly rejecting the demands of the Other for justice. That is to say, Western hegemony, in defense of its power, must reject Modernity. Second, the attacks force an awareness of what means are availed to dispossesed persons to confront oppression. The ends for the dispossesed are always the possession of dignity. It is a fully rational project for the dispossesed to choose the option of violent opposition against a power whose history is defined in an increasing way by militarism. This option of violence is perhaps further justified by the adroitness of power to dispatch Ghandian resistances to neocolinization as mere nuisances to resource accumulation by elites.

I write this not in support of 'terrorism,' but as an expression of disgust for the regular dissimilitude that we 'good Americans' are victims, always.

Posted by: slothrop | Oct 30, 2004 12:00:07 PM | 29

Political Correctness runs rampant among us? Gee, DoS, sounds almost like a Republican -- my old Dad for example -- talking about what a nuisance it is these days, not being allowed to make fag and Polack jokes any more, being challenged if he talks about "Jewing someone down" in a business deal, or "working like a n*gger" or being "lazy as a Mexican" :-) Hey, it's just words, where's yer sense of humour mate?

Suggested reading: some research on global prostitution, the economics of the trade, the life expectancy of the workers, the material conditions of their lives, before we throw around wildly inapposite metaphors. Christa Wichterich's The Globalised Woman might be a good start. Or Robert Jensen's tough, challenging essay http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~rjensen/freelance/blowbangs.htm> Blow-Bangs and Cluster Bombs. We are no more "all" whores than we are all maquiladora workers or starving Sudanese; and "whore" is always a deeply gendered word, even when used metaphorically. Which is of course an essential part of Espumosa's diss on Billmon: when one man calls another man womanish (in any way), it is supposed to be the ultimate insult. Gee, wonder why that is?

cf http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/20343/>The Wimp Factor, a quick analysis of the ways in which accusations of femalenesss, or to put it another way accusations of insufficient maleness, are driving the BushCo propaganda machine. Dissing women and womanishness is very much In right now, from Ahnold's contempt for "girlie-men" to BushCo's thinly veiled attempts to paint Kerry as a Flaming Frenchified Faggot, to Ann Coulter's astonishing soft-porn essays after 9/11 on Making America a Man Again, to Eminem's hate-girls, hate-fags mental barfing. Espumosa ain't bucking any trend, he's well in line with the Republican-engineered backlash. imho.

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 30, 2004 12:15:03 PM | 30

So, will the people who keep reciting "they hate us for our freedoms" actually pay any attention to ObL hisself saying that he's striking because of what Americans do, not what Americans are?

And has anyone actually seen the entire video, or found a transcript of the whole thing?

Posted by: catlady | Oct 30, 2004 12:58:48 PM | 31

annie and DeAnander - Thank you.

Dan of Steele -- I always considered Billmon's posts as wonderful gifts and felt happy and fortunate everytime a new one appeared. He didn't owe you or any of us anything, but for a long time gave us much that enriched our minds. Your resentment that he pulled back, that he might need to recharge his batteries or that he had nothing further to say on a blog, suggests that you are ungrateful for good fortune and misread who Billmon is.

Posted by: Marie | Oct 30, 2004 1:23:27 PM | 32

Following is the English transcript of Usama bin Ladin's speech in a videotape aired by Aljazeera on Friday 29 October. In the interests of authenticity the transcript, which appeared as subtitles at the foot of the screen, has been left unedited.


To begin: Peace be upon he who follow the Guidance.

People of United States, this talk of mine is for you and concerns the ideal way to prevent another Manhattan and deals with the war and its causes and results.

Before I begin, I say to you that security is an indispensable pillar in human life and that free men do not forfeit their security contrary to Bush's claims that we hate freedom.

If so, then let him explain why did not strike - for example - Sweden.

And we know that freedom haters do not possess defiant spirits like those of the 19 may Allah have mercy on them.

No, we fight because we are free men who do not sleep under oppression.

We want to restore freedom to our Nation and just as you lay waste to our Nation so shall we lay waste to yours.

But I am amazed at you. Even though we are in the fourth year after the events of September 11, Bush is still engaged in distortion, deception and hiding from you the real cause and thus the reasons are still there for a repeat of what occurred.

So I shall talk to you about the story behind those events and I shall tell you truthfully about the moments in which the decision was taken for you to consider.

I say to you Allah knows that it had never occurred to us to strike towers.

But after it became unbearable and we witnessed the oppression and tyranny of the America/Israeli coalition against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, it came to my mind.

The events that affected my soul in a difficult way started in 1982 when America permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon and the American 6th fleet helped them in that.

And the whole world saw and heard but did not respond.

In those difficult moments many hard to describe ideas bubbled in my soul but in the end they produced intense feelings of rejection of tyranny and gave birth to a strong resolve to punish the oppressors.

And as I looked at those demolished towers in Lebanon it entered my mind that we should punish the oppressors in kind and that we destroy towers in America in order that they taste some of what we tasted and so that they be deterred from killing our women and children.

We have not found it difficult to deal with the Bush administration in light of the resemblance it bears to the regimes in our countries, half of which are ruled by the military and the other half of which are ruled by the sons of kings and presidents.

Our experience with them is lengthy and both types are replete with those who are characterised by pride, arrogance, greed and misappropriation of wealth.

This resemblance began after the visits of Bush Senior to the region at a time when some of our compatriots were dazzled by America and hoping that these visits would have an effect on our countries. All of a sudden he was affected by these monarchies and military regimes and became jealous of their remaining decades in their position to embezzle the public wealth of the Nation without supervision or accounting.

So he took dictatorship and suppression of freedoms to his son and they named it the Patriot Act under the pretences of fighting terrorism.

In addition, Bush sanctioned the installing of sons as state governors and did not forget to import expertise in election fraud from the regions presidents to Florida to be made use of in moments of difficulty.

All that we have mentioned has made it easy for us to provoke and bait this administration.

And for the record, we had agreed with the Commander-General Muhammad Ataa, Allah have mercy on him, that all the operations should be carried out within 20 minutes before Bush and his administration notice.

It never occurred to us that the Commander in Chief of the armed forces would abandon 50,000 of his citizens in the twin towers to face those great horrors alone at a time when they most needed him.

But because it seemed to him that occupying himself by talking to the little girl about the goat and its butting was more important than occupying himself with the planes and their butting of the skyscrapers we were given three times the period required to execute the operations. All praise is due to Allah.


Aljazeera


Posted by: beq | Oct 30, 2004 1:25:21 PM | 33

@catlady

Transcript of bin Ladin's speech


In the interests of authenticity the transcript, which appeared as subtitles at the foot of the screen, has been left unedited.
...
People of United States, this talk of mine is for you and concerns the ideal way to prevent another Manhattan and deals with the war and its causes and results.

Before I begin, I say to you that security is an indispensable pillar in human life and that free men do not forfeit their security contrary to Bush's claims that we hate freedom.
...

The rest is not that well written in my view.

Posted by: b | Oct 30, 2004 1:36:25 PM | 34

De and Marie

I was going to just shut because I am already in a hole. I will continue to dig however.

First of all I think you misread Espumoso, I don't see him dissing women rather he is trying to portray his hurt and disappointment in a way that can be understood by everyone.

I chimed in because when I discovered the Whiskey Bar it was something I never dreamed of, there was a brilliant host and many brilliant readers who posted. It was one of the places that are rare and beautiful and you don't even want to talk because you are afraid of spoiling it. I saw people discussing fascinating topics with great insight. Billmon would join in the discussions and it seemed that we all knew each other. When he went to Cairo and got sick, we all worried about him. One poster said that it was extremely weird to miss some guy he had never met.....but that is how we all felt.

I thought I had found Nirvana.....and then it all went away.

Major bummer! I don't think I am being ungrateful. I do not hate or dispise Billmon, he is a brilliant man and someone I would like to drink whiskey with.

I suppose a better metaphor would have been heroin, a great high while it lasts and then pain and suffering when it is abruptly taken away.

Thankfully Bernhardt picked up the slack and got a similar site going and does a very good job providing interesting material.

Posted by: Dan of Steele | Oct 30, 2004 1:58:34 PM | 35

Slothrop, I don't think it's Modernity that OBL is gunning for, unless Modernity is to be defined as the religious enslavement of Muslim populations.

Posted by: Pat | Oct 30, 2004 2:13:54 PM | 36

Pat:

I agree. But, notice how the rhetoric of ubl is shifting toward a kind of secular populism. He's no Eugene Debs, certainly. Yet, howeever disingenuously, the rhetoric seizes on what I think is the theoretical dilemma of dispossessed peoples everywhere: the justification of struggle against what is undeniably a historically terroristic global hegemony of white, western power. I don't know about you, Pat, but I feel shamed when I read these stray polemics offered by ubl et al. because an ariadne's thread of truth can be followed there--shame because my required rejection of this rhetoric causes me to simulteneously reject the need for so many exploited people to seek what they disparately believe to be their freedom.

Posted by: slothrop | Oct 30, 2004 2:51:46 PM | 37


I took Slothrops statement to mean that the project of US hegemony in the middle east is a rejection, of modernity in the American culture -- if modernity is to be defined in part as an awarness of justice as it may pertain to the other (in the sense of foreign policy). Further, this rejection of modernity can also be seen in the rejection of liberalism and the embrace of Calvinist religious beliefs, coupled with militarism/empire.

Oddly, The text of Osama's speech seems more like an appeal to liberalism in the sense of freedom and self-governance is being denied (to his people), but then again -- you could interpret his appeal for freedom in exactly the same sense as the (Bush) Christian right will claim religious persecution to any who would deny their own absolute authority. So Osama and Bush will both use the language of modernity to subvert modernity. And both will reject the Ghandi model in favor of violence, as the tool of reform.

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 30, 2004 3:07:31 PM | 38

slothrop, ain't no such thing as 'required rejection' of al Qaeda rhetoric. A good analyst doesn't reject it; we shouldn't either.

They're rather like the Puritans: genuine seekers of freedom from corrupt, apostate authorities, and devoted to religious tyranny.

Al Qaeda garners, understandably, wide sympathy for its bold and dramatic opposition to a hegemonic power or cluster of powers, but there is no comparable enthusiasm for its vision of a medieval Muslim world.

Posted by: Pat | Oct 30, 2004 3:45:38 PM | 39

Dan of Steel - many of us miss Billmon, and agree with your comments about how special he is. And part of that specialness comes from being more astute at reading trends and conditions than most. In respecting him as much as I do, I also respect whatever calls he makes about Whiskey Bar. I can get drinks at other places, not as tasty and satisfying, but it never felt like a drug withdrawal.

I don't see him dissing women rather he is trying to portray his hurt and disappointment in a way that can be understood by everyone. And we're telling him that first his analogy is not understood by women and second that it denigrates women. "ex-girlfriend" only value is = male fantasy of super porn star and when she leaves/withholds, she = whore.

Posted by: Marie | Oct 30, 2004 5:04:43 PM | 40

Actually, I think the analogy of the girlfriend worked until the very end.

To say she's "still a whore" resorts to the name calling that others here understandably find objectionable and puts the problem on the girlfriend, when, in fact, it is the guy who has the problem because he misses the girlfriend who fucks like a porn star.

The issue is not whether the girlfriend is a whore, because she's not a whore when he can have her.

To fuck like a porn star does not make someone a whore, unless people have a totally messed up culturally repressed view of all females that views frigidity or sexual passivity as the norm.

And on that note...

okay, not.

The guy who wrote Imperial Hubris makes the argument that America should withdraw from military intervention in ALL other world conflicts and let people sort themselves out.

My first reaction, beyond thinking that this would never happen at this time, is that it's hard to think about not being involved in conflicts in which genocide occurs. Yet the author also asks what do we Americans understand about conflicts between various factions...not just in the Middle East, but of course that is the big issue in this case.

And even if we think we do understand these factions or know which side we should be on, if the majority of people in a country like, say, Iraq, want to be an Islamic nation, how can we stop them from doing so in any way that also actually coincides with our supposed basis for this...ie. democracy?

Of course, Hitler is always the example that can make such talk seem reckless. But what about Saddam? Isn't his example, and our support for him an argument for the author of Imperial Hubris?

Posted by: fauxreal | Oct 30, 2004 5:24:56 PM | 41

Marie, I agree with you. I can't remember when I discovered the Whiskey Bar--nine, ten months ago? I never commented, but found the site the most special one I visited each day. I, too, miss Billmon. I didn't hold it against him when he quit posting, mostly I was just sad. I continued to click on the site at least once a day, only to see that it was "closed"--thinking maybe he could tell that we were still interested. It's his life; we were just the recipients of the thoughts of a wise man.

Posted by: mer | Oct 30, 2004 5:29:59 PM | 42

Jason Burke has a good analysis of OBL's speech.

He says the inspiration for the World Trade Centre attack was seeing Israeli jets bomb tower blocks in Lebanon in 1982. This is patent rubbish. We know the plan for 11 September was first presented to him - and rejected - by a senior militant called Khaled Sheikh Mohammed in 1996. It was adopted only in 1999 after a controversial decision to attack American soil.

However, the reference to the Israelis, and to 1982 in Lebanon, when the Palestinians were massacred in the Sabra and Shatila camps and Hizbollah launched its campaign to bomb the forces of the Jewish state out of the country, resonates powerfully in the Middle East. It is also another attempt explicitly to bind bin Laden to the Palestinian cause - a link he has tried to establish, and Palestinians have tried to resist, for many years.

Bin Laden, after three years of near absence from our screens, is also reminding us that he is the top of the terrorist tree. In recent months, the younger militant, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has received the most publicity. Now bin Laden is backat the top of the world's news bulletins. His expensive robes, white turban, measured delivery, lectern and plain backdrop, as well as the absence of the customary combat jacket, cave and AK47 rifle, are an attempt to establish him, in stark contrast to the thuggish Zarqawi, as more than just a man of violence, but as a statesman, scholar, prince and, though he would never admit it, a kind of prophet too.

Posted by: fauxreal | Oct 30, 2004 5:53:27 PM | 43

he said to go back in his hidy hole. rather than take the opportunity to reignite the ex who he clearly wants, he puts her down. not only by referring to her as a whore but by rejecting her advances because he fears she will reject him again. because he is the same person with the same pent up frustrations that was probably the cause of her rejecting him in the first place, unless he was just a bad ..
his rejection is so deep he cannot enjoy this person that he loves for fear it will bring to light his own inadequacies.

that said of course i miss billmon, but i have no idea why he is not sharing with us more. this is not a club that if you don't pay up on a regular basis you can't join in anytime. who is this wimp Espumoso who hasn't the guts to leave a trail? who gives him the authority to tell billmon to go anywhere? if it were not for billmon we wouldn't be a we.

Posted by: annie | Oct 30, 2004 6:02:49 PM | 44

Thanks for posting the transcript. I hadn’t read before. If it was in the Washington Post, I didn’t see it. It rubs George W Bush’s face in it but in a very subtle almost poetic manner. If posted at daily Kos, as a diary, it would hardly get a comment. But then, Tom Delay said Daily Kos is an organization that raises money for fighters against the U.S. in Iraq and more incendiary comments about Bush are posted there every second.

Posted by: Jim S | Oct 30, 2004 6:06:47 PM | 45

I wonder if we aren't all trying to read to much into what OBL/UBL/that bloke says? I don't think we should make the mistake of thinking that this child of privilege actually believes in anything other than his birthright to accumulate and use power for whatever ends suit him.
None of us really believe that GWB is a committed christian deep down do we? The same should be said of Bin Laden who is currently trying to position himself as the next ruler of Saudi Arabia. Now we all know that the people of the US would find this totally unacceptable in 2005 but how about 2010 after 5 years of expensive oil depressing the economy and making winters miserable and transportation prohibitive?
Five years of Bin Laden positioning himself as the statesman amongst insane sadistic terrorists.
2010 rolls around and President Jeb Bush sends an emissary to the peace process in a now anarchic ME where oil production has slumped because of violence and sabotage. Pres Jeb waves a piece of paper a la Neville Chamberlain and proclaims peace in our time. The new government of Trans Arabia has offered reparations to the US for the tragic events of 2001. Oil will be sold to the US at the discounted rate of $45/bbl.
So the dispossessed and downtrodden remain dispossessed and downtrodden and ironically end up paying for the actions of a bunch of over-indulged middle class Saudi twenty-somethings. The oil companies get to keep their monopolistic control of fossil fuels. And the Bin Laden and Bush families can go back to having board meetings without worrying about what others may think. That's a future that any student of events can have faith in to have just the right amount of injustice and deceit to make the scenario probable.

Posted by: Debs in '04 | Oct 30, 2004 7:06:58 PM | 46

osama is the natural child of america - he has an organic relation to the elites who maintain & wield power & privelege. when rap brown sd violence was as american as apple pie - he was being as accurate as an aphorist can be

the violence of osama is the violence fed by a culture of despair that parades as a culture of power. as others have pointed out here - something that is commmon with all failing theocracies

there is nothing 'oriental' or arab about osama at all - his extremism & the extremism of the salafists especially the salafists of northern africa has much more in common with christian fundamantalism - american evangalism. the thrre principal theological influences of the osama & the salafists are thinkers who could have come out of a pentacostal tent. they speak only of power, of submission, of control - there is no transcendentality in their thinking - none at all in their practice

the political construction of these fundamentalist was directly linked with american & british intelligence(it is hard for me to connect the last two words) effort to isolate secular, democratic or marxist groups in the middle east. it was a response to the real & honest demands of panarabism. it was the stupid & suicidal policy of assisting the 'holy' warriors in their war against the russians

when i see osama i see a very thin jackie gleason with a beard & without the humour - just the sadism

but he is not unique in his sadism - as i have ventured to suggest in many posts - that sadism is as integral part of american foreign pôlicy as is its othere expression of their interests

even his pompous language reeks of the second rate televangalists like the most revered & high the professor docter robert schuller - put the two of them in the same room & there would be enough oil to last us a thousand years. they appear slick only in a society where everything real is turned into something sordid

& that is the accomplishment after the falling of the berlin wall - the transformation of everything solid into something sordid - something that can be bought or fought - their gods are the gods of a poor pornographer hawking his wares in some down & out slum in budapest

these are men in minature - they are hardly men, at all

& their defenders? what to make of them. those who bleat about defending what it is they have. what do you have? what do you have that is worth stealing? what is it you have that is worth keeping?

on the other hand in baghdad our whole history has been taken down by some two timing double dealers who aren't worth the bile i'd like to throw up on them. they are nothings. bremer & his boys in their brooks brothers suits & their army boots dancing some death tango while the women & children & the intelligentsia of tiraq are being systematically murdered. on 'common dreams' there are a number of articles making clear that the murder of the intelligensia & the sacking of baghdad were & are being done with premeditation.

& why should i not compare these forces to thos of the werchmach in easter europe - they are exactly the same - in method & in intention. they are the destroyers of something much more valuable than themselves & that is not so speak lightly of human life but it is to understand - what is the physical construction of a living culture & the debts that must be paid to it

as i've sd elewhere i don't see any fundamental difference between what the taliban did to the bamiyan buddhas & what the american army permitted to be done to the sacred treasures of iraq & the world. the only difference is one of ampleur

the nihilism of osama is in perfect symmetry with the nihilism of a kissinger, a baker - these brutes who would make of their slaughter coffee table conversations in genteel washington - they realy do not care in the least - for the people - the people for them are a loathsome & detestable thing & will be stomped on if they move outside their specifically sited margins. the people for them are less than an abstraction - they are reduced to what they were for the thugs who directed the great war - just cannon fodder - except only in this sordid culture would there be a pornography be made from that loss through their media. the false concern, the fals weeping, the false answers, the false certainties

ô how i detest them with every fibre of my deconstructing body - i hope i live long enough to see some of them buried by their actions

but to imagine osame is 'other' is to miss the point. he is a part of the crowd & in different times & in a different moment he would have taught a course at georgetown university on ethics

no he is a natural heir to the violence of america - the violence that has been done, the violence being done - the violence to come & make no mistake about that my friends - we have just begun to see & feel the spectacle of this violence. & if it is not catastrophic it will not be for want of trying

when i hear that this country says it is defending liberty & freedom - i ask as i did as a child - liberty & freedom for whom? & what is this liberty worth? & who possesses it? do the three million people - mostly afro american incarcerated in america - have they ever known liberty? in any real sense?

the most beautiful expression of marxism was & remains compassion for the other - it spoke to the highest thing in man - it spoke to man that he might see beyond his own intersts - to understand his own interests were of little conseauence - without a community of others - not others to be subjugated, or controlled or violated but others to share

for me fuck the libertarian & their concern for themselves. & what excellence have they ever produced with their paltry minds. the ayn rands & the phillip johnsons are so far down the scale of greatness - that excellence is very far from them

what these fools cannot take from us - is that we sing better & we have better songs & we always shall - fuck their national anthems & share internationale, bella ciao, springhill mining disaster or any number of sings in our vast songbook

what has libertarian thought led to? - neurotic television producers & the beverly hillbillies i always knew as a child that 'father knows best' was a profoundly dark lacanic meditation on the family melodrama with a little too much emphasis on the melodrama. someone who had seen too much douglas sirk & had never stopped weeping. these paltry efforts of the libertarian mind & an architecture i would gladly deconstruct if i had the means in my hands. this art that cannot hide its contempt forthe people

& the art that has become osama doing bill o reilly without bill o reilly but amounting to the same thing except the screams are off screen or off stage or will appear in the afterword - whatever that will be

no osama & bush were made for each other. in hell as in heaven

still steel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 30, 2004 9:15:47 PM | 47

Keep diggin' Dan :-) It's good exercise.

I won't give you much more of a hard time, 'cos we're drinking buddies... but I'll reflect for a moment on portray his hurt and disappointment in a way that can be understood by everyone... so who's "everyone"? Not "everyone" is male; and of those who are male not "everyone" is straight; and even of those who are straight and male, not "everyone" thinks about their sex life and partners through the metaphorical lenses (i.e. in the brutal language) of porno and prostitution... and so on. Assuming that the bar is a C21 frat-boys' locker room -- in terms of the discourse most likely to convey a point of view vividly and immediately -- ain't necessarily the wisest move. I'd call Espumoso a "mean drunk", meself. If I had a daughter I would definitely advise her to steer clear of any young fella who talked about women in that tone and using those words; not a good indicator. Old fogeyism, maybe -- but experience builds conviction.

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 30, 2004 9:21:14 PM | 48

@rgiap interesting take on OBL -- OBL as the Arab neoconman? OBL as the Straussian disciple in the Arab kaftan? Spinning the same old spider-song of "creative destruction"? Heir to the madness of Edward Teller more than to the visions of Mohammed? Very interesting indeed. The Amis create a new kind of Arab in their own image?

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 30, 2004 9:25:34 PM | 49

wasn't ubl sent out to flash the 911 card right before the election? this is the third act in a deliberate campaign to tap into the fears and who knows what else of a heavily-manipulated electorate:

act I - the shit has gone missing! oh shit! who has all those 'splosives? sure hope they don't turn up in the hands of the terrorists

next, bring up act II in the form of a simple and easy-to-understand messenger w/ a direct threat to your sense of safety, promising that the streets will run red w/ blood.

and now that we have your attention, allow us to bring out, by special arrangement, our favorite bogeyman and yours, in a rare appearance guaranteed to elicit the desired reaction in a brainwashed percentage of the public to seek security under king george's shadow (b/c remember, he ain't wearing no clothes...), while creating enough distraction amongst the rest, long enough to draw adequate attention away from the real criminals as they are now busily engaged in illegal, immoral, and well-financed efforts to ignore the popular vote & steal this election too.

Posted by: b real | Oct 30, 2004 10:43:22 PM | 50

b real

IF that is how it went down, as you say in 3 acts with events that in my mind reflect very poorly on an administration that has told us it would hunt down and kill "terrist" as well as take away the materials they need to practice their trade, then this was a huge bluff on Rove's part.

Granted, the US electorate is not all that savvy but this is a tremendous play on the fear card. If scared people can not trust you will they not start looking at how to take care of themselves? Perhaps move to another tent where someone else is offering protection?

I just don't know, this smells like Rove but I don't think it could benefit Bush.....yet. Perhaps there are more acts.

@ remembereringgiap

osama & bush were made for each other Italians would say, "if it didn't already exist, it would need to be invented".

Many regretted the collapse of the Soviet Union because we lost an easily identifiable enemy. We all kind of wondered around for a while until we could find a new enemy. Our "friends" in the middle east quickly produced several suitable substitutes. They have been working quite well thank you very much and we are even friends now with our old enemy Russia.

ps
good to see you back r'giap, after your last post on Friday I was beginning to think something bad happened to you.

Posted by: Dan of Steele | Oct 31, 2004 1:32:09 AM | 51

New Billmon up....he's throwin' haymakers all over the place.

Excellent insight rgiap. thanks.

Posted by: RossK | Oct 31, 2004 2:14:03 AM | 52

I am going to comment on two threads: the Bush-planted-the-tape and the missing Billmon.

First the Bush-planted-the-tape. Considering that republicans according to Pats comment seams to think that CIA planted the tape for Kerry, I reccon nobody planted the tape but Bin Laden.

Regarding missing Billmon: I understand why there is resentment towards Billmon although I think it is rationally unfair. I think the resentment is because when most people found Billmons bar, they quickly both liked the place and Billmon. And they got the feeling that Billmon liked them and also needed them as they needed him. What is a writer that nobody reads?

By leaving the way he did, first kicking everybody out of the bar, then handing a few drinks out from a side window and then just disappearing without saying goodbye or even closing the window, he undermined their feeling of interdependence and was left feeling dependant. Then by dissing what blogs had become in that newspaper article, he showed not only that he didn´t need blogs or blogreaders but could find other reader and talk to them about the silly blogreader he used to hang with. This rejection gave strong reactions.

All this on an emotional level of course which makes it far worse for many, especially if they can´t figure out why they feel this way.

Of course Billmon doesn´t owe anybody anything but giving without showing how the gift can be repaid is a terrible sin in many cultures as it shows the giver as better than the receiver. This causes resentment, and that is what happened here.

At least that is how I figure it.

Posted by: A swedish kind of death | Oct 31, 2004 3:58:48 AM | 53

Oups, it should be, "...they were left feeling dependant." in the middle of the text. Mental note: read before posting.

Posted by: A swedish kind of death | Oct 31, 2004 4:00:39 AM | 54

When the OBL video came out, not a few people on the Right were unpleasantly surprised, having assumed for quite some time that bin Laden is dead - atomized by one or another 1,000 lb bomb that found its mark on the Afghan border. It was always a dumb assumption.

As for the speculation that people would react with fear... well, I've yet to see it. The al Qaeda threat here at home has been, if anything, steeply discounted in the public mind. We're a long way from 9-11, after all.

Posted by: Pat | Oct 31, 2004 5:31:44 AM | 55

Bin Laden's Message to America by Rahul Mahajan of Empire Notes explains the need to look at the content of OBLs message.

He is, ostensibly at least, speaking directly to the American people. The message is very clear. There is no talk about spreading Islamic theocracy. He says, as long as the United States create a security problem for Muslims, Americans will have a security problem. Clearly alluding to the notion that in a democratic country the people are responsible for policy, he says, "Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or al-Qaida. Your security is in your own hands.”
...
Perform for a minute the difficult task of imagining yourself to be an Arab living in one of these subjugated countries, and try to analyze what bin Laden is saying from that perspective. All of it sounds reasonable. If the United States and Israel attack us, we’ll attack them. If they kill large numbers of civilians during the attack, we’re allowed to do the same. They talk about freedom but support despotism here and in their own country. If they stop attacking us and trying to rule us, we’ll stop attacking them. It’s difficult to argue with any of this, from that perspective.

Posted by: b | Oct 31, 2004 5:41:56 AM | 56

Some of us lefties were surprised to see the video as well. I expected a video of some medic shining a flashlight into bin Laden's mouth.

The idea that Bush was holding him until before the election is one more conspiracy theory shot to hell.

This has been hard for the right to spin. Best they can do is blame it on Michael Moore.

Posted by: Dan of Steele | Oct 31, 2004 5:48:47 AM | 57

I realise I can say what I said shorter:

Fran is right, a breakup is a good comparision. So Espumoso (if you are still here) say this loud: "I love Billmon, why doesn´t he love me, buhuhuhu", cry a bit over the fact that he is such a bad breaker-uper, and then realise: you can still be friends. Unanswered love hurts, but you will get over it. And I know it doesn´t feel this way right now, but you will find a new love, and then your hurt feelings will heal, although you will always remember Billmon as your first true bloglove.

Posted by: A swedish kind of death | Oct 31, 2004 7:09:48 AM | 58

Bin Laden certainly can't be faulted for a failure to state his case against us, b. He does have, as Jefferson put it, "a decent respect to the Opinions of mankind." Were he a raving lunatic or simple nihilist, he wouldn't bother. He would also be far less dangerous.

If Bush wins, I gather we're in for "streets running with blood," or some such, but with so many layers of interdiction, the odds are still on our side. (Not everyone is optimistic. Asking my husband many months ago what he thinks stands between us and another 9-11, his short reply was, "Not much.")

Debka reported that bombings of the Saudi embassy in Kuwait and the Kuwaiti national bank were narrowly averted last week - sometime in the interval between the two video tapes. Bin Laden has recently changed address and Tom Ridge appeared to pointlessly reassure a nation that no longer recalls with vivid horror the sickening spectacle of office workers who escaped immolation by leaping to their deaths, or the sound of passenger jets running too low, too fast, or the appearance of smoke drifting over the Potomac.

We forget, and are not very good at imagining.

Posted by: Pat | Oct 31, 2004 7:12:48 AM | 59

If Bush wins, I gather we're in for "streets running with blood," or some such,

Bin Laden makes clear that he doesn´t care who wins. He cares about US behaviour in the world.

And for that behaviour to change maybe "streets running with blood" would be starting point. I do expect that to come, but not induced by AlQaida, but by US wingnuts.

Posted by: b | Oct 31, 2004 8:08:10 AM | 60

You're right, b. My mistake. Streets will run with blood regardless. I do, however, expect it to be al Qaeda, after the election and before the inauguration. Where did those 25 Chechens disappear to?

Both camps have their wingnuts, but they're more active on the Left than on the Right, as the former is currently the shrill and embittered opposition. Through eight years of Clinton, we had the apoplectic, deeply paranoid Right. Shoe's on the other foot. There now appears to be a good chance that it will stay there four more years.

I can almost see the impeachment movement from here.

Posted by: Pat | Oct 31, 2004 8:57:09 AM | 61

i agree w/ the comments that the ubl tape isn't good for bush and that the public might be a bit more cerebral about the scare tactics, but that might not be important. my point was, and is, that this event will take enough headlines and watercooler conversations away from the election fraud that it will make it easier to get away with it. If the headlines all focused solely on the election, more people would be calling politicians and writing letters to ask wtf happened to our democracy. Look at the volume of speculation online already. Instead of using the acts metaphor earlier, perhaps spin & rinse cycles would be more appropriate. We'll see if those stains come out after the 2nd.

Posted by: b real | Oct 31, 2004 4:12:18 PM | 62

"When you look at what happened and is happening, the killing in our countries and in yours, an important fact emerges, and that is that the oppression is forced on both us and you by your politicians who send your sons, against your will, to our country to kill and to be killed.

"Therefore, both sides have an interest in thwarting those who shed the blood of the peoples for their own narrow interests, out of vassalage to the White House gang...

"This war makes millions of dollars for big corporations, either weapons manufacturers or those working in the reconstruction [of Iraq], such as Halliburton and its sister companies...

"It is crystal clear who benefits from igniting the fire of this war and this bloodshed: They are the merchants of war, the bloodsuckers who run the policy of the world from behind the scenes.

"President Bush and his ilk, the media giants, and the U.N. ... all are a fatal danger to the world, and the Zionist lobby is their most dangerous member. Allah willing, we will persist in fighting them...

Osama Bin Laden, April 15, 2004

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0415-05.htm>Link

Posted by: Blackie | Oct 31, 2004 4:54:51 PM | 63

Bin Laden has recently changed address and Tom Ridge appeared to pointlessly reassure a nation that no longer recalls with vivid horror the sickening spectacle of office workers who escaped immolation by leaping to their deaths, or the sound of passenger jets running too low, too fast, or the appearance of smoke drifting over the Potomac.

We forget, and are not very good at imagining.

For someone who claims military heritage there seems to be a remarkable amount of fear. This is probably due to constant bombardment by rightwing press and talkradio.

Good grief, grow some 'nads! Other pissant countries have been living with bomb threats and death squads and other un-wholesome behavior. You don't see them cowering like little girls.

Revenge has been achieved, we have killed at least 10 innocent civilians for every innocent New Yorker killed on Sept 11. Let's move on.

Posted by: Dan of Steele | Oct 31, 2004 5:12:03 PM | 64

Cronkite on ubl/elections on Larry King Live


KING: OK, Walter. What do you make of this?

CRONKITE: Well, I make it out to be initially the reaction that it's a threat to us, that unless we make peace with him, in a sense, we can expect further attacks. He did not say that precisely, but it sounds like that when he says...

KING: The warning.

CRONKITE: What we just heard. So now the question is basically right now, how will this affect the election? And I have a feeling that it could tilt the election a bit. In fact, I'm a little inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, he probably set up bin Laden to this thing. The advantage to the Republican side is to get rid of, as a principal subject of the campaigns right now, get rid of the whole problem of the al Qaqaa explosive dump. Right now, that, the last couple of days, has, I think, upset the Republican campaign.

KING: Are there enough undecideds to tilt this? Or what do you think of the whole election picture?

CRONKITE: Well, I think it's one of the biggest messes we've had in a long time. I believe that we're undoubtedly not going to know the results of this election. I don't want to knock you off the air on Monday night or anything, or Tuesday night. But I suspect that we're not going to know who the next president is, whether it is Bush or the new man, until very probably sometime in the early spring. There's so much controversy that they're planting, deliberately planting at the polls, that there's almost certainly to be a suit going back to the Supreme Court eventually, going through the other courts slowly first.

Posted by: b real | Oct 31, 2004 9:39:59 PM | 65

Found Billmon's latest posts by accident when I went to the Whiskey Bar, as I do from time to time, to research something for an idea I had.

It always great to hear from him. Write whenever you can. And thank goodness for the archives.

Posted by: bcf | Nov 1, 2004 9:35:43 AM | 66

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