Monday, November 01, 2004

The Spanish Prisoner

Apparently early translations of the new Osama bin Laden missed this threat to Bush-supporting states. Perhaps Osama has become quite the Michael Moore fan, deciding Moore was right when he wrote, on September 12, "If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who did not vote for him! Boston, New York, DC, and the planes' destination of California--these were places that voted against Bush!"

Here is the meat of the article, which includes the translated text:

The tape of Osama bin Laden that was aired on Al-Jazeera [1] on Friday, October 29th included a specific threat to "each U.S. state," designed to influence the outcome of the upcoming election against George W. Bush. The U.S. media in general mistranslated the words "ay wilaya" (which means "each U.S. state") [2] to mean a "country" or "nation" other than the U.S., while in fact the threat was directed specifically at each individual U.S. state. This suggests some knowledge by bin Laden of the U.S. electoral college system. In a section of his speech in which he harshly criticized George W. Bush, bin Laden stated: "Any U.S. state that does not toy with our security automatically guarantees its own security." All here.

And it should go without saying - this shouldn't really make a difference in how you vote. Voting for Bush in order to defy Osama is just as much allowing him to influence you as it would be to vote for Kerry out of fear. The same would've been true for the Spanish voter, though I admit it's troubling that al-Qaeda and other Islamists view that election as a sort of victory for them. Still, remember the old story about the non-conformist who is every bit the slave to fashion and the opinions of others as the supposed conformist. An analogous principle applies here.

Would it be inconsistent, I wonder, for me to admit that it would bring me much joy to deny bin Laden and Moore their dream outcome?

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