First, he's lying. It is an accepted part of Islamic theologies — among radical militant Islamists, at least — to call for peace treaties until you are in an advantageous position for war. That is, after all, precisely what Mohammed did when he agreed to a peace treaty — the "Truce of Hudaybiyah" — with the infidels of Mecca in 628. Two years after he signed it, he amassed his restored army and slew every male in the tribe of his partners-in-peace. It established a tradition in Islam for peace treaties with infidels: They could be temporary, but never permanent. Saladin — Osama's hero — had a similar policy toward the crusaders. So, as a matter of historical fact, did Adolf Hitler — who fashioned a reputation as a "peace-lover" in the early '30s. Now, personally, I kind of doubt that bin Laden thinks this sort of thing would work. I suspect he's merely trying a bit of pre-spin on the election. If Kerry wins, Osama can claim to have defeated Bush with his "peace offer." If the warmonger crusader wins, then he can claim he offered America the olive branch.
Monday, November 01, 2004
He's lying, of course
Jonah Goldberg on OBL's reappearance: