It’s interesting to compare Bin Laden’s new statement on Gaza with Zawahiri’s of last week. Of course the overarching message–jihad now!–is the same. But unlike Zawahiri, Bin Laden doesn’t mock Obama, he doesn’t echo Zawahiri’s call for demonstrations in Egypt (Bin Laden says demonstrations are useless), and he takes a slightly more conciliatory view of democracy (electing a president, yes; man-made legislation, no). Bin Laden is also more explicit about how to raise money to finance the jihad (hit up rich businessmen).
Bin Laden does echo Zawahiri in one important respect. Zawahiri said that the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq is one of the “good omens” (basha’ir) of AQ coming to fight in the Palestinian Territories. Bin Laden ends his message by saying that in this year there will be “omens” (tabashir, from the same Arabic root as basha’ir) of the receding of the Zionist-Crusader campaign. Make of it what you will.
Here’s a summary:
- Jihad is the only way to solve the problem in Palestine. Appealing to the Security Council or local rulers won’t solve it. The former want to hurt Muslims and the latter are agents of the West.
- The leaders of Islamic movements who won’t call for a jihad in Palestine unless their rulers approve it are ducking their responsibility. Jihad today is an individual duty, not dependent on the permission of rulers.
- Engaging in demonstrations without weapons is useless.
- You can win against the Zionist-Crusader alliance if you will just fight. Look at what the mujahids did in Afghanistan against the Soviets. Look at what the mujahids have done to the U.S., which is now bleeding human and financial resources. It is in the midst of a financial crisis; its enemies don’t fear it and its friends don’t respect it.
- Israel had to launch an attack on Gaza to protect itself by replacing Hamas with the Palestinian Authority. It has done so now because the power of its chief sponsor, the U.S., is rapidly waning and because its major backers, Bush and the neoconservatives, are about to leave office.
- Biden, Greenspan, and various world leaders have said the global economic system is on the verge of collapse. The American intelligence community reports that U.S. influence will wane even more in the coming years.
- Americans can’t continue to fight Muslims for several more decades. Most Americans are displeased with what Bush has done. He has bequeathed two wars to his successor, who can’t win them no matter what he does. If he withdraws, it’s a military defeat. If he continues, it deepens the economic crisis.
- The open fronts of jihad “in the region” are Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Waziristan, North Africa, and Somalia.
- Muslims should support the jihad financially. One wealthy businessman can pay for all the expenses of jihad on the open fronts. I know many Muslim businessmen want to support the jihad financially, but they are worried about being discovered by America and its agents in the region. This is not an excuse.
- You cannot secure your rights by voting; they can only be secured through force. Western countries themselves took their rights by force. Look at the French Revolution. Look at the American Revolution.
- There can be no ballot boxes in our countries while tyrants rule them.
- Muslims believe in electing presidents and offering him council. But we do not believe in electing legilatures that create man-made laws.
- We are in solidarity with you since we are fighting the same enemy.
- “God wills that this year will reveal the signs of dawn and the omens of deliverance through the receding of the Zionist-Crusader reach.”