AS PAKISTAN ANNOUNCES BIN LADEN CAN GO FREE TO "LIVE IN PEACE"
By Darryl Mason
President Bush chose the wrong day to cut loose with a string of powerful quotes from Osama Bin Laden, the former "Most Wanted Man In The World."
Bush delivered one of the most comprehensive speeches of his presidency on exactly what he believed constituted the greatest threat to the US, and peace in the world.
Lots of talk of Al Qaeda and "Fascist Islam" being the new Nazism and/or Communism. He rolled out a snapshot of the rise of Lenin and Hitler to explain how Bin Laden could one day be just as powerful, influential and devastating to the lives of millions of people.
He also explained why countries like Pakistan were such important allies in fighting the threat of Islamic terrorism....Just one major problem.
Around the same time Bush's speech transcript hit the web, another major story was breaking.
This one :
Major General Shaukat Sultan Khan, press secretary to the president of Pakistan, tells ABC News that -- if found -- Osama bin Laden won't be arrested, as long as he promises to behave like a "peaceful citizen."If Pakistan is a key ally in the War On Terror, and Osama Bin Laden is a new kind of Hitler, than Pakistan's decision to grant Osama a parole-like amnesty from prosecution for his crimes would be like a key World War II ally of the West declaring "Hitler can hang out around here, as long as he stops this whole 'Let'sTake Over Europe And Kill All The Jews' business."
"If he is in Pakistan, bin Laden 'would not be taken into custody...as long as one is being like a peaceful citizen...as long as one is being like a peaceful citizen, one would not be taken into custody....One has to stay like a peaceful citizen and not allowed to participate in any kind of terrorist activity."
It truly is one of the most remarkable events in the War On Terror thus far, for all the wrong reasons. And thus far, easily one of the most unreported.
The second part of the story, which you can read about on the 'Your New Reality' blog here, details how Pakistan has negotiated a kind of truce with the Taliban forces in the region.
Below you will find the key Bush quotes from his speech earlier today, including Bin Laden information previously classified, or not disclosed.
It is indeed curious to see that Bush (as Rumsfeld and Cheney have done in the past few weeks) is now divvying up responsibility for the Al Qaeda and Militant Islamic threat between "terrorists" and "extremists".
The Islamo-Fascist tag is gone, presumably after geniune anger from the Saudis, people that Bush Co. listen to very closely. Like Father, like Son.
The prominent use of the descriptive "extremists" is part of the preparations, and the laying of ground work, for the second part of the Fourth World War, once enough terrorists have been taken care of - the War On Extremists.
By jumbling 'terrorists' and 'extremists' into the same Mega-Threat category, and tagging the two words together, as Bush did repeatedly with Iraq/Saddam and 9/11 - using Iraq and 9/11 in the space of one sentence, and one clear thought expressed - it gives the listener the impression that there is little that separates a terrorist and extremist from each other.
But exactly what constitutes extremist behaviour, or beliefs, is an extremely grey territory right now.
The legal definition of terrorism changes between the laws of the US, the UK and Australia, but killing people, or blowing things up, is pretty straightforward definition of what a terrorist is and what a terrorist does, or intends to do, for most of us.
But extremism? What exactly is extemist in these days of perpetual war?
Are Greenpeace extremists? How about bloggers who rage against Israel's civilian slaughter in Lebanon and Gaza? What about soldiers who torture prisoners?
What about people who stand up in the streets of our cities in front of protesting crowds and undermine the credibility of a sitting government, or the enforcers of law?
Are all these things the behaviour of extremists?
And if they are, do such actions really deserve to be bunkered down with terrorism?
The US, however, like Australia and the UK, now has a vast variety of new laws to cope with whatever they decide "extremist threats" may be. And most of these laws, many still to be challenged in the courts, were all introduced on the back of the threat of terrorism, or in the aftermath of terrorist attacks. Very interest.
Here's the key Bush quotes from today's speech :
"History teaches that underestimating the words of evil and ambitious men is a terrible mistake. Bin Laden and his terrorist allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them. The question is: Will we listen? Will we pay attention to what these evil men say?"
"We see a day when people across the Middle East have governments that honor their dignity, and unleash their creativity, and count their votes. We see a day when across this region citizens are allowed to express themselves freely, women have full rights, and children are educated and given the tools necessary to succeed in life. And we see a day when all the nations of the Middle East are allies in the cause of peace."
"The terrorists who attacked us on September the 11th, 2001, are men without conscience -- but they're not madmen. They kill in the name of a clear and focused ideology, a set of beliefs that are evil, but not insane. These al Qaeda terrorists and those who share their ideology are violent Sunni extremists."
"The goal of these Sunni extremists is to remake the entire Muslim world in their radical image. In pursuit of their imperial aims, these extremists say there can be no compromise or dialogue with those they call "infidels" -- a category that includes America, the world's free nations, Jews, and all Muslims who reject their extreme vision of Islam. They reject the possibility of peaceful coexistence with the free world..."
"History teaches that underestimating the words of evil and ambitious men is a terrible mistake. In the early 1900s, an exiled lawyer in Europe published a pamphlet called "What Is To Be Done?" -- in which he laid out his plan to launch a communist revolution in Russia. The world did not heed Lenin's words, and paid a terrible price. The Soviet Empire he established killed tens of millions, and brought the world to the brink of thermonuclear war."
"In the 1920s, a failed Austrian painter published a book in which he explained his intention to build an Aryan super-state in Germany and take revenge on Europe and eradicate the Jews. The world ignored Hitler's words, and paid a terrible price."
"And now, freedom is once again contending with the forces of darkness and tyranny. This time, the battle is unfolding in a new region -- the broader Middle East. This time, we're not waiting for our enemies to gather in strength."
Bush Quotes Bin Laden :
President Bush obviously wanted to use Bin Laden's own words and threats and ideology to remind Americans of the threat of Al Qaeda, but in doing so Bush gave the words Bin Laden massive exposure and a presumably unintended credibility.
"(September 11 was) an unparalleled and magnificent feat of valor, unmatched by any in humankind before them."
"Death is better than living on this Earth with the unbelievers among us."
"The most serious issue today for the whole world is this third world war that is raging in Iraq. ... The whole world is watching this war and that it will end in victory and glory or misery and humiliation."" The confrontation… calls for… the dialogue of bullets, the ideals of assassination, bombing, and destruction, and the diplomacy of the cannon and machine gun."
".,..al Qaeda spent $500,000 on (September 11)...while America… lost -- according to the lowest estimate -- $500 billion… Meaning that every dollar of al Qaeda defeated a million dollars (of the US economy)”
"America is definitely a great power, with… unbelievable military strength and a vibrant economy, but all of these have been built on a very weak and hollow foundation,,,,Therefore, it is very easy to target the flimsy base and concentrate on their weak points, and even if we're able to target one-tenth of these weak points, we will be able [to] crush and destroy them."
*(In 2002, Bin Laden planned to launch)...a media campaign… to create a wedge between the American people and their government....their government [will] bring them more losses, in finances and casualties...they are being sacrificed… to serve… the big investors, especially the Jews..."
"I now address… the whole… Islamic nation: Listen and understand… The most… serious issue today for the whole world is this Third World War… [that] is raging in [Iraq].....(this is) a war of destiny between infidelity and Islam...The whole world is watching this war...(it will end)...in victory and glory or misery and humiliation."
"The war is for you or for us to win. If we win it, it means your defeat and disgrace forever."
How is this not incredibly dangerous thing for Bush to do?
He literally disseminated Bin Laden propaganda in an attempt to Fear Up his audience. Something that has been well proven not to work at all well in previous Bush speeches.
How many angry, not-yet-militant Muslims in the US may have watched this Bush speech, already hating Bush, and thought, 'You know, Bin Laden's right. We can destroy America.'
Hopefully none. But it was downright disturbing to hear Bin Laden's words coming out of Bush's mouth like that.
It is also clear that Bush wanted to use Bin Laden quotes in a dirty attempt to drive an even larger wedge between those Americans who disagree with the War On Iraq and the methodology of fighting the War On Terror and the remaining few who support President Bush entirely.
And so, after all that from Bush, Pakistan goes and announces Bin Laden will not be hunted down (if he gives up violence) and details a truce with Taliban fighters and leaders across the border.
Not what you would call a great day for President Bush, or the War On Terror.
Go here to read the full Bush speech.