As mentioned, there's an Osama cameo floating around. It seems to be from a video shot in 2001 or 2002. If that is correct, then I would draw two conclusions: first, that it is additional confirmation that he is dead. (If he were alive, they could do a new one, right?) And second, that this is a sign of panic, a poorly manufactured pseudo-blockbuster appearance designed to rally the troops, who must be getting fairly discouraged these days. The war is not going well for them in Iraq or Afghanistan (where the big "spring offensive" didn't happen)or Lebanon or England or over here. The best thing they've got going for them at the moment is (are) the surrender monkeys.
I think Bin Laden has been dead for some time now. If he were not, then the Islamopunks would definitely have used him for propaganda purposes and to rally the demoralized troops. Sorry to say that Dr. Zawahiri has the personality of a stone and is as about as inspiring as one. Bin Laden is not much better, but has a certain mythos surrounding his caveman existence.
I also susupect that President Bush knows that Bin Laden is dead (it is possible there is evidence floating around that confirms it). I also think it is interesting there are reports of the capture of several top Taliban aides close to Mullah Omar.
Ledeen is also absolutely correct about the surrender monkey part of the post. Al Qaeda's secret weapon; the Jihadi's "aces-in-the-hole "are none other than the pathetic leadership of the Democratic Party and their dysfunctional puppet-masters on the left, who are absolutely desperate to make sure that America officially loses; because in America's defeat and humiliation, they sense victory for their petty political agenda. They hope to finally succeed (they think) in discrediting George W. Bush, their hated enemy, for all time.
But I think Bush has several nasty (at least for them) surprises in store before the end of his term of office. Whatever you think about the President, he is a man who means what he says; and he acts on what he says. You can disagree vehemently with his agenda, but he will not be deflected by negative polls or lack of popularity.
And, thank God for that.
Forget the leaks and the speculation, President George W. Bush is not looking for a way out of the surge and the Iraq war. In a session with about ten conservative journalists Friday afternoon, a confident and determined president made it clear that he is going to see the surge through, and will rely on General David Petraeus’s advice on how to proceed come September, regardless of the political climate in Washington....
“The ideal world,” he adds, “is that there would be some bipartisan consensus at some point in time to be there for a while. Can we achieve that? I don’t know. It’s worth trying. It’s worth talking to people about it.” But referring back to his statements in support of the surge, he said, with emphasis in his voice, “It’s very important for you all to understand that that’s exactly what I mean.”....
He says he has four audiences when he broadcasts his commitment to the mission in Iraq: the American public; the American military and their families; the Iraqis (“because there are a lot of people who doubt America’s resolve”); and the enemy (“the enemy thinks that we are weak — they’re sophisticated people, and they listen to the debate”). As for that last audience, “I really think the additional forces into Iraq surprised them—a lot.”
Over and over again I have said on this blog that, particularly when it comes to the war on terror, Bush means it:
He has had a lot to deal with over the course of his presidency and, to say the least not everything has been handled with extreme competence. But we are a nation at war and I expect major mistakes will be made. Most of the emotionalism of the left and the media has focused on issues that frankly are trivial or irrelevant to me as a voter. I could care less about their rage toward Gonzales; I think Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame should go to jail for their self-aggrandizing and utterly deceitful behavior. They are just two pitiful clowns who history will erase from serious concern. I could go on about the manufactured "scandals" but you catch my drift.
No, if there is one thing I have to take issue with the President for, it is that he has chosen to "rise above it all" and not aggressively defend himself against all the deliberate falsehoods and malicious attacks that have come his way. As one of my friends has put it, "The man has a Christian martyr complex!"
I suppose he figures that history will ultimately judge him well (I think it will for all the missteps); or perhaps he feels that it is enough to help this country change course and go on the offensive against Islamofascism. Contrary to what meatheads like John Edwards think, the war on terror is quite a bit more than a bumper sticker.
At any rate, President Bush is still the man he always was: imperfect and human. You may not agree with him, but he says what he means and acts on it. WYSIWYG.
He will always be himself, honestly.
Bill Kristol has this to say:
I suppose I'll merely expose myself to harmless ridicule if I make the following assertion: George W. Bush's presidency will probably be a successful one.
Let's step back from the unnecessary mistakes and the self-inflicted wounds that have characterized the Bush administration. Let's look at the broad forest rather than the often unlovely trees. What do we see? First, no second terrorist attack on U.S. soil -- not something we could have taken for granted. Second, a strong economy -- also something that wasn't inevitable.
And third, and most important, a war in Iraq that has been very difficult, but where -- despite some confusion engendered by an almost meaningless "benchmark" report last week -- we now seem to be on course to a successful outcome.
When it comes to Iraq and the war on terror, Like Kristol, I will go out on a limb and say that this Presidency will be judged well by history for his actions--however imperfect--in the war against Islamic fascism. It is amazing what he has been able to accomplish militarily with so little loss of life (despite all the hysteria, troop fatalities are historically low in this war). And, perhaps even more significant, Bush has significantly changed the status quo in the Middle East. He has set forces in motion that had been static and perpetually stalled on the side of despotism. Some will argue that the stasis was a good thing, but I don't see it that way. If nothing else, the world has now had a good taste of what the jihadis have been plotting for the last few decades and have begun to appreciate the potential danger to freedom and Western civilization inherent in Islamic political ideology.
Thus, I will continue to support this imperfect President (and what President,pray tell, has been even close to perfect?); the troops fighting the war; and America.
UPDATE: A vote of confidence for Bush from the markets.