BIN WORRIED: Al Qaeda Calls Obama ‘House Negro’

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obama_shep_print_final2.thumbnail.jpgNEW YORK TIMES: In a propaganda salvo by Al Qaeda aimed at undercutting the enthusiasm of Muslims worldwide about the American election, Osama bin Laden’s top deputy condemned President-elect Barack Obama as a “house Negro” who would continue a campaign against Islam that Al Qaeda’s leaders said was begun by President Bush. Appealing to the “weak and oppressed” around the world, the Qaeda deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, said in a video released Wednesday that the “new face” of America only masked a “heart full of hate.” For years, the terrorist network sought to fuel anti-Americanism with prolific audio and video recordings vilifying President Bush as the leading American “crusader” against Muslim nations. The election of Mr. Obama, a black man who spent part of his childhood in Indonesia and whose father was from a Muslim family, has muddied Al Qaeda’s message. MORE

RICHARD CLARKE: “Obama’s election has taken the wind out of al Qaeda’s sails in much of the Islamic world bushosama.gifbecause it demonstrates America’s renewed commitment to multiculturalism, human rights, and international law. It also proves to many that democracy can work and overcome ethnic, sectarian, or racial barriers. Obama’s commitment to withdraw from Iraq also takes away an al Qaeda propaganda tenet: that the U.S. seeks to occupy oil rich Arab lands. His commitment to defeat al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan also challenges their plans. Most of all, by returning to American values the world admires, Obama sets al Qaeda back enormously in the battle of ideas, the ideological struggle which determines whether al Qaeda will continue to have significant support in the Islamic world.” [via DEMOCRACY’S ARSENAL]

obama_shep_print_final2.thumbnail.jpgJOE KLEIN: “The Zawahiri letter is one of the first real indications we have of the new international state of affairs (the Ahmadinejad letter of congratulations may also have been a good sign, but was leavened by the author’s lack of real power and the fact that he’s running for reelection). The terrorists are now exposed as racists, on top of everything else. We have many miles to go in Afghanistan and the northern and western precincts of Pakistan, and more blood to shed–and innumerable ways to screw up, since no one has ever gotten Afghanistan right–but the wind seems to have shifted slightly and is now at our back.” MORE

TIME: The last relatively reliable bin Laden sighting was in late 2001. A video that he apparently appeared in last year shows him with a dyed beard. More than a few Pakistani intelligence operatives who knew bin Laden scoff at the bushosama.gifidea he would ever dye his beard. They think the tape was manipulated from old footage, and that bin Laden is in fact dead. But then again, they would have an interest in making Americans believe bin Laden is dead, since it would relieve U.S. pressure to find him by any means necessary, including going into Pakistani territory. And what about all the other audiotapes bin Laden has put out since 9/11? Experts will tell you that off-the-shelf digital-editing software could manipulate old bin Laden voice recordings to make it sound as if he were discussing current events. Finally, there’s the mystery as to why bin Laden didn’t pop up during the U.S. election. You would think a narcissistic mass murderer who believes he has a place in history would find it impossible to pass up an opportunity to give his opinion at such a momentous time, at least by dropping off a DVD at the al-Jazeera office in Islamabad. MORE

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PC Magazine Latest Big Media Property To Phase Out Print

pc_magazine.gifPC Magazine, which has documented the explosive growth of the personal computer since 1982, announced on Wednesday that it was dropping its print edition next year and going online only. PC Magazine is the latest US publication to drop its print edition and move to a Web-only format. US News & World Report, long the number three newsmagazine in the United States behind Time and Newsweek, announced earlier this month that it was abandoning print for the Web and the 100-year-old newspaper the Christian Science Monitor announced plans recently to do the same. MORE

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