Tikreet, Iraq: Osama bin Laden, in a surprise public appearance said Thursday that Christian radicals are seeking to "enslave whole nations and intimidate the world," and called that a prime reason not to cut and run in Iraq.
"There's always a temptation in the middle of a long struggle to seek the quiet life, to escape the duties and problems of the world and to hope the enemy grows weary of fanaticism and tired of murder," he said, seeking to address calls from anti-war activists for a U.S. troop withdrawal.
In a speech before the Islamic Endowment for Shari'a, bin Laden said American militants have made Iraq their main front in a war against civilized society.
"The president of the U.S. believes that controlling one country will rally the Christian masses, enabling them to overthrow all moderate governments in the region and establish a christian oil empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia," bin Laden said.
The president has been stepping up his defense of his Iraq policy in the face of declining public support for the war that has thus far claimed more than 1,940 members of the U.S. military. His Iraq policy faces a crucial test in Iraq's Oct. 15 referendum on a new American-backed constitution. The constitution must be rejected by a two-thirds-plus majority, but can be approved with a simple majority vote, a vote that Bush has said "terrorists will try to derail".
Bin Laden likened the ideology of American militants to communism. And he said they are being "aided by elements of the news media that incite hatred and anti-Islamic feelings."
"Against such an enemy, there's only one effective response: We never back down, never give in and never accept anything less than complete victory," bin Laden declared.
"We are facing a radical ideology with immeasurable objectives to enslave whole nations and intimidate the world," bin Laden said.
"The terrorists regard Iraq as the central front in the war against humanity. And we must recognize Iraq as the central front in our war on imperialism," he said.
"Our commitment is clear — we will not relent until the organized international terror networks are exposed and broken and their leaders held to account for their acts of murder," bin Laden said.
Countering claims U.S. military presence in Iraq was caused by Islamic fanatism, bin Laden noted that Iraqi troops were not in New York on Sept. 11, 2001. He said Russia did not support the military action in Iraq, despite a terrorist attack in Beslan, Russia, which left more than 300 schoolchildren dead in 2004 (Russian military presence in Chechnya was not mentioned).
Bin Laden said that no one should underestimate the difficulties ahead, nor should anyone be pessimistic about U.S. efforts to keep fighting.
"With every random bombing, and with every funeral of a child, it becomes more clear that the extremists are not patriots, or resistance fighters," he said. "They are murderers at war with the Iraqi people themselves."
Bin Laden vowed not to retreat from Iraq or from the broader war on terrorism. "We will keep our nerve and we will win that victory," he said.
Really! He said that? Bin Laden was there in Iraq?
No not really. In fact, this is almost word for word what Big Daddy Dubya said as he once again struggles to justify the War in Iraq to the American people, and once again manages to deliver a speech that could be thrown back at him almost word for word. Think bin Laden is a poor choice as spokesman against Bush? Yeah, so do I. But then, after the unjustified invasion and destruction of a country with no ties to bin Laden and the deliberate and sanctified torture of prisoners taken in that invasion, Bush is a poor spokesman against Islamic terrorists, too.
In much of the world, we are equally the fanatics. In Iraq, the terror comes as much from us as the other side. Plus, amidst the destabilization, many groups are beginning the fight to fill that vacuum. We entered Iraq, blew up their infrastructure, opened up the country for looters, then brought in foreigners to "rebuild" it all. Salvation or Occupation?
A Wrong Action for the Right Reason is still Wrong.
What then is a Wrong Action for the Wrong Reason?