The devil’s details
This post was written by MJ on 12th Feb, 2003
Inattentive citizens — like, say, the 65% of Americans who think half of the 9-11 hijackers were from Iraq — might well believe that yesterday’s surprising new audiotape allegedly from al-Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden is the final proof of an unholy allilance with Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.
Certainly it’s a mistake the White House is promoting.
In today’s White House press briefing, Ari Fleischer says the tape is proof bin Laden is “linking up” with Hussein.
In key excerpts published in the UK Guardian, bin Laden says in his “message to our Muslim brothers in Iraq” to “fight the allies of the devil.” But, he stresses: “the fighting should be in the name of God only, not in the name of national ideologies nor to seek victory for the ignorant governments that rule all Arab states, including Iraq.”
Bin Laden calls for a long, drawn-out, bloody urban war in Iraq and notes “the importance of martyrdom attacks against the enemy.”
But then he makes it clear that Saddam is no ally, simply the enemy of bin Laden’s enemy: “This crusade war is primarily aimed at the people of Islam regardless of the removal or survival of the socialist government or Saddam. The Muslims as a whole, and in Iraq in particular, should pull up their sleeves and carry Jihad against this oppressive offensive and to make sure to stock up on ammunition and arms. This is a duty for them.
“It does not hurt that in the current circumstances, the interests of Muslims coincide with the interests of the socialists in the war against crusaders, taking into account our belief and declaration of the apostasy of the socialists.
“The socialists and these rulers have lost their credibility of their rule a long time ago and the socialists are infidels wherever they are – whether in Baghdad or Aden.”
When these points were brought to Mr Fleischer’s attention, he said “the world should not be in denial.”