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Al Qaeda Confirms Osama bin Laden Death

In a move sure to satisfy Deathers as much as a contemporaneous newspaper story satisfied Birthers, al Qaeda has released a statement confirming that Osama bin Laden is dead.

Reuters (“Al Qaeda confirms bin Laden death, vows revenge“):

Al Qaeda confirmed the death Osama bin Laden Friday in an Internet message that vowed revenge on the United States and its allies, including Pakistan, according to the SITE monitoring service.

Five days after President Barack Obama announced bin Laden’s death in a U.S. raid in Pakistan, al Qaeda vowed not to deviate from the path of armed struggle and said bin Laden’s blood “is more precious to us and to every Muslim than to be wasted in vain.”

“It (bin Laden’s blood) will remain, with permission from Allah the Almighty, a curse that chases the Americans and their agents, and goes after them inside and outside their countries,” the militant network said in a statement released on Islamist Internet forums and translated by SITE.

“Their happiness will turn into sorrow, and their blood will be mixed with their tears,” al Qaeda said.

“We call upon our Muslim people in Pakistan, on whose land Sheikh Osama was killed, to rise up and revolt to cleanse this shame that has been attached to them by a clique of traitors and thieves … and in general to cleanse their country from the filth of the Americans who spread corruption in it.”

This threat is hollow; if they could launch a major attack, they would have done it regardless. I am somewhat bemused that Pakistan, which gave Osama sanction for six years, is being threatened because of an American raid that we kept secret because we didn’t trust them.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    “Pakistan, which gave Osama sanction for six years”

    Wikipedia currently reports this as Pakistan’s alleged role in hiding Osama bin Laden

    FWIW, I think being in Abbottabad might have just been good tradecraft on Bin Laden’s part. That town was probably less searched than many outlying villages. And from all reports, Bin Laden isolated himself in his family very much within those walls.

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  2. James Joyner says:

    @john personna : “gave sanction” is too strong given the evidence; but it’s almost certainly the truth.

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  3. john personna says:

    “almost certainly” is an expression of probability.

    You may think it is an expression of confidence, and that those are the same thing, but in fact they are not.

    It is important to avoid confidence on probabilities which are incalculable.

    (Rumsfeld’s “unknown unknowns” lecture was actually the most honest thing he ever put forward. It’s sad that unprepared listeners reacted so badly … perhaps if they were better read on human fallibility it would have gone differently.)

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  4. I am somewhat bemused that Pakistan, which gave Osama sanction for six years, is being threatened because of an American raid that we kept secret because we didn’t trust them

    They’re not threatening “Pakistan”. They’re threatening the random Pakistani citizens who they’re going to kill in terror attacks. Most likely none of the victims will have anything to do with the elements within the Pakistani government who actually aided al Qeda. Those people will all be safely behind security cordons and bodyguards.

    Next time there’s a big suicide bombing in a public place in Pakstan, I’ll have to check back and see if you’re stil “bemused” by the carnage.

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  5. James Joyner says:

    @Stormy Dragon : “Bemused” is not the same as “amused.”

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  6. Boyd says:

    I am somewhat bemused that Pakistan… is being threatened because of an American raid that we kept secret because we didn’t trust them

    Having spent 20 years studying what one might call “the Arab mind” (or maybe, the minds of the various insane leaders (at least, by Western standards) that have plagued much of the Middle East since the end of colonization), this makes perfect sense to me. In fact, I would have been surprised had the threat not been made.

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  7. Interpretted it in the sense of “to cause to have feelings of wry or tolerant amusement”.

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  8. jose says:

    Rita Katz and S.I.T.E.: How two people can find out more than the CIA and FBI Combined.
    http://www.wakeupfromyourslumber.com/node/4056

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  9. Boyd says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    As someone else commented on the page you linked, I wonder if this is more a corruption than a definition. I checked quite a few online dictionaries, even MW’s own base page for the word, and none of them had that definition. Which makes sense, since the word’s origin is something along the lines of “confused by the Muses.”

    Also, none of the thesauruses I checked had any synonyms that stated or implied a correlation between “bemuse” and “amuse.”

    Further, any time I see “bemuse” and “amuse” at the same time, with rare exception it’s to say that English speakers frequently confuse the two, but their meanings are nothing alike.

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  10. Well, even if it is a corruption, it’s one that’s apparently become common enough that an alternate choice of word might be in order to avoid miscommunication.

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  11. Boyd says:

    I’ll respectfully disagree. I don’t believe we should leave the future of the English language to those who are ignorant of it, and don’t bother to find out what words mean. Rather than sinking to their ignorance, I would prefer to lift them to knowledge.

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  12. Boyd says:

    Just like I still cringe to hear people say they’re “floundering” in the water, when they actually mean “foundering.” Sadly, the former has taken over as the predominant term of choice.

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  13. English isn’t perscriptivist language; if most people use a word in a particular way, that’s what it means. If you look at the history of the word “bemused”, it originally carried the meaning of being confused as though drunk. I don’t think Joyner meant it in that sense. Why is some of the later evolution in the use of the word considered corruption and some not?

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  14. Boyd says:

    So you advocate limiting our vocabulary to words that are never (or at least, seldom) misunderstood by anyone, whereas I would prefer to educate people on what words were intended to mean, thus expanding our collective vocabulary. We disagree.

    Now that’s a first in the OTB comment section.

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  15. I suppose it depends on whether or not Joyner’s goal was to communicate or to provide English lessons. This word seems to have a number of different meanings, some possibly archaic, some possibly colloquial. In any case we’re left with a sentence that could have wildly different meanings to different members of the audience. If a more precise word is available, why not use it?

    “I am somewhat confused that Pakistan” or “I am somewhat puzzled that Pakistan” would have been far less likely to be misinterpretted.

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  16. john personna says:

    James is correct, but “wrong” usage is gaining so strongly, that I suspect the meaning of the word will flip. It happens. IIRC “nice” has flipped a few times, and with current “nice!” sarcasm, it’s easy to see why.

    (Actually “nice!” is fun because it borders sarcasm, and is sometimes indefinite.)

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  17. john personna says:

    Ah:

    “Then again, maybe it is. As Perlman concedes, Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary (2003) lists the disputed meaning as bemuse’s most recent sense: “to cause to have feelings of wry or tolerant amusement.”"

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  18. Actually, it’s not that different from our politics. Both the Reagan and Clinton administrations had minor scandals involving their wives consulting with mystics while in the White House.

    The only difference is that it never led to criminal charges.

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  19. Whoops, that last was meant for another thread.

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