Ramona Smith in the Philadelphia Daily News (thanks to Ted Robertson) opines that Osama didn’t actually threaten U.S. states based on their votes, as was asserted by MEMRI. Smith, in line with the way Osama’s message was reported by the mainstream media, was threatening nations, not individual American states, and was not endorsing any candidate.
However, Smith never mentions that this interpretation doesn’t come from MEMRI, but from a radical Muslim website that MEMRI quotes:
The Islamist website Al-Qal’a explained what this sentence meant: “This message was a warning to every U.S. state separately. When he [Osama Bin Laden] said, ‘Every state will be determining its own security, and will be responsible for its choice,’ it means that any U.S. state that will choose to vote for the white thug Bush as president has chosen to fight us, and we will consider it our enemy, and any state that will vote against Bush has chosen to make peace with us, and we will not characterize it as an enemy. By this characterization, Sheikh Osama wants to drive a wedge in the American body, to weaken it, and he wants to divide the American people itself between enemies of Islam and the Muslims, and those who fight for us, so that he doesn’t treat all American people as if they’re the same. This letter will have great implications inside the American society, part of which are connected to the American elections, and part of which are connected to what will come after the elections.”
What’s more, an Egyptian journalist seems to have come to the same conclusions about what Osama meant; it’s doubtful that he read the MEMRI piece about the states.
Ted also sent me another piece that asserts that MEMRI “cleverly cherry-picks the vast Arabic press, which serves 300 million people, for the most extreme and objectionable articles and editorials. It carefully does not translate the moderate articles.”
This is palpable nonsense. Here are some pieces by and about moderates, translated at MEMRI:
There are many others besides these.