Two things are notably strange about Osama's latest speech. I haven't heard either of them mentioned....
One: Unless the original tape is much clearer than what we're seeing on TV, the black beard looks to me like a video trick. Note that you can't see any mouth movement at all, and you can't see the larynx either. If I were going to add new audio to a previously made tape, this is exactly how I'd do it.
Two: The only available transcript is peculiarly crude. It's not a true digital text; it's not even scanned properly. If you were going to scan previously printed pages, it would be easier to place them straight than to align them at various angles. I'd guess it was done by photographing the printed pages with a digital camera. The printing is in a typically British font, not often used in the US.
So the transcript must have been done in some low-tech situation ... OR ... it was actually scanned, and the various angles form some kind of steganography.
The text itself is obviously the work of Pearlman/Gadahn or some similar Western Leninist converted to Mohammed. It's rather well done, but not as smooth and persuasive as Ahmadinejad's propaganda. It's an interesting mix of Marx and Mohammed, with an essentially valid critique of modern China-über-Alles global capitalism, which has in fact declined to a dangerously corrupt condition.
Most of the persuasion is aimed at the Leninist choir, with one interesting and up-to-date
exception: "And the reeling of many of you under the burden of interest-related debts, insane taxes and real estate mortgages..."
Fortunately, Pearlman/Gadahn is a birthright Commie who grew up in a tight leftist community, so he doesn't quite understand the feelings of non-Communist westerners. I say fortunately, because a less restricted mind would have seen a more promising crack for his propagandistic wedge in our sense of utter and total corruption. A writer who was raised
in a Christian environment, even if he converted to Marx and then to Mohammed, would have made great use of Wide-Stance Craig and similar incidents. The question would be easy to ask and hard to answer: Is Western democracy doing anything for you?
In short, we are in a critical position, similar to the 1930's in the failure of both democracy and capitalism. Democracy is failing in the same way as before: Hoover was seen as paralyzed and helpless, Bush is seen as paralyzed and helpless. Capitalism is failing in a different direction now, but still failing for all except the billionaires.
We are ripe for a replacement.
Polistra has been asking: Would Sharia really
be all that much worse? She hasn't started trying on burqas yet, but that point is not far off.
FDR understood the danger perfectly, and took dramatic steps to co-opt and counter
the appeals of both Soviet Communism and German Fascism.
Needless to say, Bush wouldn't even know how to sense the danger, let alone how to counter it.
So we are comparatively lucky so far, in that our modern Leftists have abandoned the economic side of Marxism, and thus abandoned their previous appeal to the poor. And we are comparatively lucky that Osama's main ambassador to the West has such a narrow understanding of Western problems and Western thinking. We can't count on the enemies to remain incompetent, though.