Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Analysts in the Arab world are saying that the latest bin Laden tape has laid bare a feeling of apathy for his meesage.

In Iraq, the state controlled media did not run bin Laden's statement and many Iraqis had not heard his statement.

One Arab official dismissed the recording as "silly talk", saying that the once-popular militant blamed by Washington for the most devastating attacks on U.S. soil since World War Two seemed to have lost his sway over ordinary Arabs.

"He is trying to portray himself as the genius of his time. I doubt his call will find much echo in the Arab street. He doesn't have the same hold over the Arab street as he did post-September 11," the official explained.

"Arab governments are not taking his threats seriously."

"He (bin Laden) is trying to turn the U.S.-Iraqi conflict into an Islamic issue, but there is much more at stake here," said a Gulf-based Arab analyst.

"The Arab street is looking for a Gamal Abdel Nasser not an Islamist militant," he said, referring to the Egyptian revolutionary leader and staunch Arab nationalist.

It would seem to be an outgrowth of the waning in bin Laden's popularity after his grand threats of death and destruction for America in Afghanistan proved false.

< email | 2/12/2003 03:45:00 PM | link

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