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We need to look at all of bin Laden’s tape

Ted Vincent Berkeley
Monday December 31, 2001

Editor:  

 

The United States should be throwing words rather than bombs at Middle Eastern regions that seem to house terrorists. And the United States public needs to be involved in choosing the words our government throws. It is the American way that an informed public contributes to the political discourse.  

The American way is thwarted by the press censorship of terrorist arguments, in particular, the censorship of the recent 33 minute long Osama bin Laden video. We in the United States public received a only isolated sentences while many millions of TV viewers in the Arab world received the entire video. The Mexico City daily La Jornada proved to have more of the 33 minutes of bin Laden discourse than anything I could find scanning US press sources on the Internet.  

The segments provided in La Jornada show that bin Laden twists facts with fiction. If we the public can’t read his little twists, how can we help our political leaders provide cogent answers to his calls for war?  

One argument with a twist is bin Laden’s comment that — and I apologize for any errors that might come from retranslating a translation — The United States aided all those who fought against the Russians in Afghanistan, but when those Arab combatants realigned themselves into the ranks of the displaced innocent Palestinian children, then the United States turned against those combatants in Afghanistan. Bin Laden makes it look like a slew of the Arab militants that he represents are off in Palestine fighting shoulder to shoulder with their brothers in the Infatada. There is much evidence of an absence of outsiders fighting with the Palestinians. The people of the Middle East know this for they have that Qatar TV outlet that provides far more comprehensive news than does our media.  

A comprehensive knowledge of bin Laden arguments is essential for those who would build a peace movement to replace the war on terrorism with an international legal assault, or, if not that, then with a shift from the present hot war into a cold one.  

 

Ted Vincent 

Berkeley