Sunday, September 9, 2007

An Analogy and A Threat

I'm a little over halfway through translating the latest bin Laden tape for myself (I don't trust the administrations translations. They've tended to be sloppy in the past), and I disagree with the "experts". This tape contains a VERY REAL threat.
First, indulge me while I use an analogy to explain the difference between "fear" and recognizing a threat. This post is not "fear-mongering", but it is recognizing a threat.
I'm a whitewater boatman. As any sensible boatman will tell you, you always want to scout a big rapid before you enter it. You need to know where the rocks, pourovers, and other assorted threats are, and plan how you will get around them. Failure to do this can lead to disaster and even death. If you avoid the threats, the thrill of a good run through a big rapid can't be beat. If you are afraid, well, you'll never be a boatman. But if you fail to recognize a threat, you fail as a boatman.
Now to the threat. In this tape, bin Laden urges America to convert to Islam and also refers to Hiroshima. This is the third time he has done so (he did so in the 2003 and 2004 tapes). Under Islamic law, you must offer your enemy three chances to convert prior to attacking them. Bin Laden did the same in 1996, 1998, and 2000 prior to the attacks of 9/11, so there is a consistent pattern. Bin Laden has said that nuclear war is a different form of war, so this third offer to convert in conjunction with mentioning nuclear warfare means that he has declared that a nuclear attack is now on the table.
Most of the "experts" are quick to dismiss bin Laden's statements as "fanatical ravings" and "propaganda", which they most certainly are. But he's been very consistent in patterning his rhetoric in a way to justify his war as being in compliance with Islamic law (at least in his mind. I'll leave to Islamic scholars to debate the truth of his justification).
I have conveyed my analysis to the FBI, and while I'm sure they think I'm a crackpot, they said they will "look into it". I'm not reassured.
I'm not saying "be afraid", but I am saying "be aware of the threat". I see a really dangerous rock down this rapid.

8 comments:

Mauigirl said...

Pygalgia, this is very chilling. Thank you for posting it and making it known. I hope it does some good - before it's too late.

FranIAm said...

Py- this is chilling as Mauigirl says. I trust your knowledge and judgement here.

Just did a cross-post. You have plenty of readers of your own, but I want to make sure people stop pooh-poohing this.

Thank you and peace.

P.S. So you know Arabic! Impressive. All I can say is this- Salaam. And wish for it and work for it. Shukran.

Mary Ellen said...

Hello! Franiam was nice enough to point me to your blog and I have to tell you, your post is amazing. I don't think too many people are doubting that Osama will be successful in another attack. Of course, living in the Chicago area makes me feel pretty worried. I know New York was the first target, but that doesn't mean that is where he will strike again.

I saw a documentary recently that showed what would happen if a dirty bomb was released in the city of Chicago. Depending on which way the wind was blowing, it was very clear that the city of Chicago would be destroyed and inhabitable for years to come.

KELSO'S NUTS said...

I respond with all due respect. I trust your translation a lot more than I trust anybody the MSM puts up there. But I'm not worrying. This seems all a little too Shakespearan for me. Edgar v Edward stuff. European history rife with this kind crap. Son of king of one country takes run at country whose leader's father has business relatons with father of the guy taking a run...Austro-Hungarian stuff and 'twas ever thus.

The math cuts my way, too. Using the Poisson Distribution (which models random discrete arrivals over time) has a parameter of LAMBDA=~0.06/attacks per year. Probability that there will be another one real soon is very small.

If that even IS OSAMA BIN LADEN in that tape, I'm saying "let the ass bray."

And if your doomsday scenario is correct, it would be a lot less bad than that which would follow an assault on Iran.

I just can't see boogie-men every time they tell me to. If it's my time, it's my time. We're all going the same place anyway.

Diane said...

this was very interesting. I wasn't even aware that there was a new threat. I'll be listening more carefully from now on.

Demeur said...

To Mary Ellen
I need to inform you that the info in the "documentary" is a bit inaccurate. A "dirty" bomb would only cause psycological damage. The actual damage would be no more than a car bomb. Without getting technical it would be like you having to vacuum every speck of dust from your home. You would have to vacuum the place fifteen times or more to do the job. That would be to get rid of the alpha particles. The gamma radiation would be contained with lead paint.
How do I know this? I'd be one of the guys doing the clean up.

JollyRoger said...

But bin Laden did, in fact, orchestrate attacks on us in 1998. It would seem to me then that the number of warnings has to take that into consideration, no?

I personally don't believe "bin Laden" made this set of videos. I believe Chimpy's minions did it by piecing together footage and past bin Laden statements. The Booman Tribune has some thoughts on this that are hard to dismiss.

pygalgia said...

Jolly Roger, it is an interesting speculation, and I've read and commented on the Booman debate. One major difference between the tape in Arabic and in English is what is said while the tape is "frozen". The current references are timed with freezes in English, but not in Arabic. Also, having listened to bin Laden since '96, if it's not him, then it is the best impersonater that I've ever seen.