May 17, 2006


The new power behind Osama's throne (Syed Saleem Shahzad, Asia Times, 5/17/2006)

Whether he is viewed as a living legend for jihadis or as a reviled terrorist, the mere mention of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's name provokes strong reactions, and is an invaluable tool in the propaganda war between the two sides.

On the ground, though, at least in the rugged Hindu Kush mountains that span Pakistan and Afghanistan, the reality is that bin Laden, while remaining a source of inspiration in the anti-West struggle, is acknowledged as no longer being in command of al-Qaeda's operations.

Maybe because he's dead?

Posted by kevin_whited at May 17, 2006 11:18 AM

Osama's continued existance is eventually going to become one of those running jokes, like Hitler being alive and living in Argentina was back in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

Posted by: John at May 17, 2006 11:27 AM

He's not dead . . . merely resting.

Posted by: Mike Morley at May 17, 2006 12:39 PM

In other news, Generalisimo Osama bin Laden is still dead

Posted by: Bruno at May 17, 2006 12:39 PM

He's not dead . . . merely resting.

Or pinin' for the fjords...

Posted by: John at May 17, 2006 1:00 PM

He's completely dead.

Posted by: b at May 17, 2006 1:07 PM

O's takin' a break from the whole Jihad thing and hangin' with Elvis, man.

Posted by: JR at May 17, 2006 1:23 PM

If you're from Dallas JR, Have you seen bin Ladin around Lately? If so ask him who the hell is making those tapes.

Posted by: Genecis at May 17, 2006 1:42 PM

Actually he's been training with Bruce Lee to become a black belt in jihad.

Posted by: BJW at May 17, 2006 1:44 PM

His corpse doesn't even stink anymore.

Posted by: AllenS at May 17, 2006 3:33 PM

Seriously, what about the tapes?

Posted by: Pepys at May 17, 2006 4:12 PM

CIA's making them, or Karl Rove, or maybe, Mossad...buhhhawww hawwww!

Posted by: KRS at May 17, 2006 4:39 PM

Pepys: Ah, yes, the occasional audiotapes that get authenticated by the CIA the moment they are played on AJ. Remind me, are we supposed to believe that the CIA is omnipotent today, or that they are utterly incompetent?

Posted by: b at May 17, 2006 4:55 PM

I thought there were videotapes that referenced recent events?

Posted by: Pepys at May 17, 2006 6:07 PM


If I recall correctly there is a Swiss company that specializes in analyzing voices and recordings etc. and they have pronounced some of the earlier audio tapes as fake at the same time the CIA was saying they were valid. Other than that I haven't heard anything. I'm willing to accept that he is alive, but to my way of thinking he isn't doing a very good PR job.

OJ may disagree but I think he's still quite popular in the Arab world even if dead.

Posted by: h-man at May 17, 2006 7:12 PM

Pepys: The only videotape that is definitely after late 2001 was the one right before the 2004 election, in which a bearded guy stands really far away from a really grainy camera.

Posted by: b at May 17, 2006 7:17 PM

b, It was probably Joe Wilson.

Posted by: jdkelly at May 17, 2006 7:56 PM

Or his wife.

Posted by: ratbert at May 17, 2006 10:02 PM