The indispensable New York Sun reports today that most of the mainstream media misinterpreted a key section of Osama bin Laden’s video endorsement of John Kerry.
According to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), bin Laden is threatening individual states with retaliation should they give their Electoral College votes to President Bush.
The tape of Osama bin Laden that was aired on Al-Jazeera on Friday, October 29th included a specific threat to "each U.S. state," designed to influence the outcome of the upcoming election against George W. Bush. The U.S. media in general mistranslated the words "ay wilaya" (which means "each U.S. state") to mean a "country" or "nation" other than the U.S., while in fact the threat was directed specifically at each individual U.S. state. This suggests some knowledge by bin Laden of the U.S. electoral college system. In a section of his speech in which he harshly criticized George W. Bush, bin Laden stated: "Any U.S. state that does not toy with our security automatically guarantees its own security."My initial reaction, since I live deep in the heart of a reliably Blue state, is that I can now vote for Bush without any fear of reprisal.
But targeting individual states for terrorist attack strikes me as a not very clever strategy to swing the election. After all, most people in the Blue states have already made up their minds to appease our enemies at all costs and the Red state voters are equally adamant about foiling those who would kill us with steak knives. Undecideds are likely to decide pretty quickly that Osama is campaigning for the Democrats and that they don’t want to be on the side of murderers.
But the real problem comes from executing this threat. If Bush is reelected by a slim majority, will jihadis from the swarthier parts of the globe descend on Idaho? Will the streets of Laramie run red with infidel blood? More importantly, do these guys really want to mess with gun owning religious fanatics who live in parched desert backwaters like Texas?
Hell, bring that on too!