Osama and the Media Game

It might have been an episode of TLC’s “10 Years Younger” according to the mainstream media.  Osama Bin Laden looked “fit, like he’s gained weight and dyed his hair and beard,” one reporter said. From the national television news reports to local radio all over America, reporters seemed to be raving over Bin Laden’s raven beard.  It is true, the last time we saw him he was gray and haggard looking.  Now he looks like he’s used Grecian Formula and a spray on tan. 

The intelligence community looks at this tape as a sign that we are winning the Global War on Terror.  Many believe that the Bin Laden makeover was not for western media purposes, but sources inside are convinced that the changes are for “movement” purposes, not vanity  He’s about a 50 year old man, but looks much older — kind of the way that US presidents look after leaving office, older than their years. 

His delivery is different also.  It looks like he’s had speechwriters and that he wasn’t quite sure of what he was saying.  There was one passage in translation where bin Laden says, “…even though we are in the fourth year after the events of 9/11.”  Either it was translated wrong, he doesn’t know how many years it’s been or he’s talking about four years after the invasion of Iraq.  Whichever is true, it seemed there was no fire or control in his delivery.

Also, this speech does not seem to have “triggers” for attacks in it. It does include current event references which help his supporters understand that they are to execute missions in Allah’s name.  Intelligence sources believe that another video will come out from the number two man, Zawaheri, with code for operations. The purpose of this video was to unite the Ummah (the faithful of the Haj) as we again see Osama Bin Laden’s robe of gold and a white turban to signify status of purification and the willingness to martyr for the people. 

Also, Osama asks for the conversion of the US to Islam so that we can try the traitors — the Bush Administration.  The mainstream media laps up this message of Islam but what would they think about a Christian leader urging for the total Christian conversion of the nation.  I don’t think they would be commenting on the youthfulness of the messenger’s beard.

The good news about this video is that our news outlets got wind of it and aired it before the Al Jazeera’s of the world played it.  Also, the rhetoric was different.  Bin Laden was out of the closet, so to speak, and talking to us in a semi-current way.

If this battle we are in weren’t so serious, it would be fun to watch the mainstream media in America and Britain fawning over Osama and giving credence to everything he said.  This against the backdrop of the Petraeus/Crocker report on the progress of the surge gives an interesting perspective.  Everything that Osama says, no matter how rambling is — if you listen to the media — to be taken seriously at least and revered at worst.  But a general and an ambassador — both confirmed by the US Senate — are roundly criticized before they can utter a word. 

In Saturday’s radio address the President commented on his trip to Iraq and laid out the timeline for this week leading up to an address to the nation on the way forward in Iraq.  Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid countered in the Democrat response by saying, “This week, President Bush will send General Petraeus to Congress to report on the war — but before the report arrives in Congress, it will pass through the White House spin machine, where facts are often ignored or twisted, and intelligence is cherry-picked.”

Come on Harry, you continue to give more credence to Osama Bin Laden than you do the President — the person actually elected by the voters of the US — and the general and ambassador that the US Senate confirmed.  Reid can’t really think that Osama Bin Laden is more credible than any American elected official.   

So what will this message from Osama Bin Laden bring us?  It is filled with symbols of the fight ahead.  This week, we will remember where we were on 9/11/2001 and with the report to the Congress on the surge we will remember that our enemies are foreign and domestic and that if we don’t understand the threat that is going to be with us for generations to come, then America as we know it will cease to exist.  We are fighting for our way of life.


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