by Dale McFeatters
Scripps Howard News Service
December 20, 2004
This time, there was a twist. He called for the peaceful overthrow of the Saudi royal family for "serving as agents of infidels" - that's us. Usually he calls for the violent overthrow. Bin Laden may have pulled his punches because the tape was timed to coincide with a planned mass anti-government demonstration in Saudi Arabia, but the protest fizzled.
However, the world's most-wanted fugitive soon reverted to form, urging Muslims not to pass up "a golden and unique opportunity" to kill Americans in Iraq. He praised as martyrs the terrorists who killed five low-level, non-American employees at the U.S. consulate in Jiddah. He also urged followers to attack oil facilities in Iraq and the Gulf to dry up the oil supply.
Bin Laden believes the United States is stealing Arab oil, which makes you wonder how much he's paying for premium at the gas station closest to his cave. He believes oil - currently about $44 a barrel - should be $100 a barrel. Either he has a very shaky grasp of economics or he's in league with the enviro-extremists who want to price the internal combustion engine out of existence. Our guess is that he's just nuts.
Perhaps one day it may dawn on the members of al Qaeda that while bin Laden is urging them to martyr themselves in assorted suicidal assaults against Americans, he himself has successfully stayed safe and out of sight for over three years now.
Secretary of State Colin Powell said of bin Laden's latest communique: "He's a criminal, he's a terrorist, he's a murderer and we're going to continue to hunt for him. ... He will be brought to justice."
If bin Laden keeps talking, maybe he will be.
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