Absent from this story is any analysis of why bin Laden would lend his support to these uprisings, something a government official earlier found "puzzling." It is perplexing if one follows the more or less conventional expectation that the "Arab Spring" will lead forthwith to tolerant democracies and open societies that respect human rights according to Western expectations.
This expectation is rooted in the assumption -- indeed, the politically correct article of faith -- that there is nothing inherently intolerant or problematic in Islamic law that is not the disposable baggage of tribalism, local "culture," or even the prior regime.
In reality, Islamic regimes openly enforcing Sharia would be more likely to be friendly to al-Qaeda's message and agenda, and more openly hostile to the United States and Israel. Whatever rivalries may exist between al-Qaeda and movements like the Muslim Brotherhood, the fact remains that they have a common cause in the desire to impose Islamic law, which is the fundamental aim of jihad in all its forms. "Bin Laden Praises Middle East Uprisings in Posthumous Message," from VOA News, May 19:
Al-Qaida has released an audio recording in which its slain leader, Osama bin Laden, praises the protest movements that have swept across the Middle East.
In the 12-minute message posted on Islamist websites, bin Laden purportedly singles out the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, predicting the "winds of change" will spread across the entire Muslim world.
He makes no specific reference to Libya, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen, where pro-democracy supporters have had less success in toppling the government.
In the audio recording Wednesday, bin Laden urges protesters to seize the opportunity to bring down "tyrants." He accuses Arab rulers of making themselves into idols and using the media to maintain power.
The al-Qaida offers advice in spreading the revolutions, urging Muslim youth to consult the more experienced to achieve their goal....