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Monday, November 01, 2004

Bin Laden's Message

Washington Post editorial:

Start with his defensiveness: The "emir" who once issued medieval declarations of war against "Jews and crusaders" and who bankrolled the Taliban's despotism in Afghanistan now feels obliged to protest that he does not "hate freedom." To justify his murder of thousands of Americans on Sept. 11, 2001 -- a crime for which he now openly takes responsibility -- he cites not his erstwhile platform for Islamic dictatorship in the Middle East but -- improbably -- Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon. Something is clearly troubling Osama bin Laden: Could it be the millions of Afghans who eagerly turned out to vote in the country's first democratic elections this month and who overwhelmingly supported the moderate, pro-Western Hamid Karzai for president? Or the growing support for democratic government in Iraq, especially from senior members of the Islamic clergy? Al Qaeda suddenly finds itself on the wrong side of a swelling debate about freedom in the Middle East -- one triggered both by Osama bin Laden's bloody extremism and the powerful U.S. response to it.
Whatever may happen tomorrow, George W. Bush will be remembered by history for changing the middle east. Afghanistan has shown what the people of it's nation think of democracy with their very successful election. In January, Iraq will do the same. In a few years, I expect other nations of the region to follow suit.


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