Osama bin Laden Emboldened

I think that’s certainly one of the interpretations that you can make of his speech in light of Barnett R. Rubin’s analysis:

“Bin Laden is no longer just seeking to lead Muslims in a jihad against “Crusaders and Zionists”; he is proclaiming to the whole world that the genuine revolutionary alternative to imperialism, capitalism, global warming, genocide, moral decay, confused sex roles, the decline of the family, commercialism, and whatever else ails us is Islam.”

Maybe this explains why he’s been silent for the past three years – it’s all been a rebranding exercise. This is the new al Qaeda brand image. Along the way he’s screwed over anyone critical of any of these aspects of our society. (An aside: Since these issues spread over the conventional liberal-conservative spectrum I don’t know that anyone should be gleeful about this.) I wonder if this is an overreaching by a desperate man who’s been cut off from his organization or the confident proposal of a man sensing the ascendancy of his philosophy and tactics among Sunni Muslims.


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