Irony and the New bin Laden Tape

September 14, 2009 | Last updated: July 31, 2020

Osama bin Laden just released a new diatribe, available for download here if you’re interested, and it apparently hits the notes you’d expect: endless war if the United States continues the fight in Afghanistan; President Obama is no different than George W. Bush; “neo-conservatives and the Israel Lobby” control the United States through their iniquity, etc. There’s an unexpected shot at Defense Secretary Bob Gates, as bin Laden contends that his continued tenure proves that Obama is not change that the al-Qaeda fanatic can believe in.

Here’s the funny bit. bin Laden says that Obama is “powerless” to win the Afghanistan war. Well, perhaps. But this is his 9/11 anniversary message, the one everyone expects at this time every year, and it drops days after the actual anniversary. And al-Qaeda is reportedly having difficulty convincing anyone of its relevance outside Waziristan, after snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq and showing itself unable to recruit new fanatics. Its last several major attack attempts have been foiled and it doesn’t look like it has another mastermind like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed still in its ranks.

In short, bin Laden is like the music industry. His major successes are now on the mixtape circuit, but he can’t figure out, in this new environment, how to translate that into wider success. No one’s interested in buying it anymore.

*You can follow TWI on Twitter and Facebook. *