Thursday, January 19, 2006

Osama bin Laden Offers Truce.

In a new tape, the first in thirteen months, Osama bin Laden explains why no attacks on American soil have been carried out since 9/11 and offers the possibility of a long-term truce (watch part of the tape here, it's worth it).

Some in the West have already suggested the al-Qaeda may in effect be ready to negotiate. A precedent of bin Laden living up to his word exists, as the Spanish withdrawal from the Coalition of the Willing after the Madrid bombing did indeed result in complete cessation of hostilities towards that country.

From the US came the same old and tired rhetoric in response to the offer:
The US quickly rejected the truce offer made on the tape.

"We do not negotiate with terrorists. We put them out of business," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

From PM Blair no doubt the same strongman's talk will also follow swiftly. As long as the PM realises that one of the greatest successes of his Government was the signing of the Good Friday agreement, was achieved after years of arduous... negotiations with terrorists... But from this hubris-filled hypocrite nothing good is to be expected. Perhaps Cameblair could see an opportunity? Don't get your hopes up...

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At 10:06 PM, Blogger J.UL1R4 said...

'"We do not negotiate with terrorists. We put them out of business," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.'

Well they put Bin Laden in business as I recall.

I'm a little suspicious of this tape..

At 10:26 PM, Anonymous Adam said...

bin Laden isn't a head of state though. The 'War on Terror' is metaphorical, not literal. bin Laden is murderer and criminal.

At 2:39 PM, Blogger Gert said...


Yes, al-Qaeda is largely an US creation, ironically. But don't tell the American people that because all you'll get is "conspiracy theorist!"


The fact that bin Laden isn't the head of a state is entirely besides the point. If we assume al-Qaeda does have some organisational traits (as is widely accepted by most agencies) and bin Laden is its leader, then negotiating with al-Qaeda is possible, just like negotiating with the IRA was possible and fruitful.

Keep sticking your head in the sand.

At 3:17 PM, Blogger Richard said...

Well, it's no more than an opinion but I don't believe Osama is still alive.

The timing, tactics, tone et all, of this latest 'scare' seems to me to have Karl Rove wriiten all over it.

This news will actually help rally Bush's failing fortunes. I think it's no more than a variation on n old theme - a case of you're either with 'us' or with 'them'.

At 3:48 PM, Blogger Gert said...


I think if he was dead they'd be parading his body through the streets of Washington, as that would be the greatest photo-op ever and the vindication for all the invading.

No, give me Occam's Rasor, it's simpler: their intelligence geeks aren't as good as they make us believe...

At 5:10 PM, Blogger markfromireland said...

I don't agree that the man is dead. Not (at this point) that it would make much difference. A point that needs to be made is that he is very good at what he does. This includes propaganda, there's a fair amount of commentary that the tape is addressed to "the west." Well, yes, rather more importantly however it's addressed to his constituency. We often forget that Islam is orthopraxic - it is a religion of law, with sometimes very intense, debates as what is licit (halal) and what is forbidden (haram).

There's a debate going on amongst what purely for shorthand purposes I'll jihadi scholars as to whether his tactics are licit. He can now say to those of supporters waivering upon this point "I offered a truce (hudna هدنة ) to the crusaders and they refused." don't underestimate the importance of that.

At 5:18 PM, Blogger Gert said...


Thanks for dropping by.

Your interpretation is one of the many possible.

Personally I prefer to stick to the most straightforward one: a rather literal interpretation of the message. There are precedents like Madrid and the "Sweden communique".

Time will tell...

At 3:51 AM, Blogger Timmer said...

Gert -

"From the US came the same old and tired rhetoric in response to the offer: The US quickly rejected the truce offer made on the tape.

"We do not negotiate with terrorists. We put them out of business," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan."

Why is that "old and tired rhetoric" if it happens to be true? Are you suggesting that we do negotiate with them? That would be disappointing.

And j.ul1r4 -

If you mean the "mujahadeen" that we helped in Afghanistan, which arguably helped to break the back of the Soviets financially, then YES...that happened. Is the U.S. to blame for Bin Laden's actions since that time?

Richard -

You are truly unhinged.

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Gert said...


Yes, I'm suggesting we negotiate, as I have in the past, as others have suggested and as Governments (like our own HMG with the IRA) have done in the past and will do in the future.

The Israelis continuously call the Palestinians terrorist and claimed also to not negotiate with them, yet have continued to... negotiate.

The idea shouldn't strike you as unreasonable at all: it's quite common in any conflict to reach a phase where talking takes over from fighting...

At 2:52 PM, Blogger J.UL1R4 said...

Hope Gert doesn't mind me posting this long sprawl...

Timmer said: "Is the U.S. to blame for Bin Laden's actions since that time?"

Well this is the point isn't it. We do know that is was up to 1996 (I think. might have been later I can't find the aritcle right now) that the French and MI6 said Bin Laden was still officially on the US payroll.

We understand Bin Laden was treated at an American hospital in Dubai on July 4th-14th 2001, as Paul Joseph Watson says in his book Order out of Chaos:

"There, on multiple occasions, he met with CIA station Chief Larry Mitchell. Bin Laden gave Mitchell 'precise information' regarding 'an imminent attack' on the U.S. This was originally reported by the respected French daily Le Figaro and later picked up by United Press International. Although the CIA denied the report Le Figaro refused to retract it and said their French Secret Service and American Hospital staff sources were reliable. "

We know Bush (and Clinton) signed W199i, as dug up by Greg Palast, saying back off al-Qaeda (thought more so as not to upset the Saudis)

We do also know that FBI's John O'Neil (the one brilliant American who was really on the case and who died in the twin towers of course) was, despite his repeated warnings to the Bush administration about an imminent attack from Bin Laden, consistently stifled by them who even took funding away from his team. In the end he quit to defend the WTC and was killed there.

A quote from Alex Jones on George Nory's show last year: "Deputy director O'Neil told the London Independent one month before he died.. he said they are going to allow an attack on the towers to have a pretext to invade Afghanistan"

This was backed up by Mike Levine, but who said it's not how O'Neil meant it. Still sounds pretty damning to me however he meant it.

This stuff was still going on last year apparently, with people being stopped for investigating al Qaeda fund raisers.

Also last year, the silent Bin Laden year, 'Buzzy' Krongard, ex no3 in the CIA said to the Times, we don't want to catch Bin Laden.

More recently, a CIA Commander said that they were stopped from using ground forces when they needed them to catch Bin Laden.

Then didn't even Bush say he doesn't know or care where Bin Laden is.

I would say it's pretty clear there is deliberate policy not to catch Bin Laden. What do you think?

Then what do you think when you look at the Patriot Act, Iraq, an official torture programme as declared by HRW, Katrina, the NSA Spying scandal etc ?

At 3:12 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Yes, I'd really like to know what Timmer has to say about all this.

Although I don't agree with everything you say, I've come across evidence supporting most of your assertions.

Crucially, the way al-Qaeda, bin Laden and the CIA were intertwined is much more intricate than most Americans (or anybody else for that matter) realise. bin Laden even sports that old neocon adage: that Afghanistan brought the Soviet Union to its knees. From bin Laden's "Sweden communique":

This is in addition to our having experience in using guerrilla warfare and the war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers, as we, alongside the Mujahideen, bled Russia for ten years, until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat.

C'mon Timbo, gizza run for our money!


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