What if Osama Calls Obama’s Bluff?

As is the custom of American interventionists, President Obama spoke in Cairo as if our Islamist enemies have no vote in how their conflict with the United States will henceforth proceed. The adolescent geniuses who wrote Obama’s speech apparently spent no time at all perusing what Osama bin Laden and other Islamists have said or written over the past 13 years, and especially since 2001. At repeated points in that corpus of material, for example, bin Laden has offered a truce to the United States and its allies on terms eerily similar to those Obama described in Cairo as the intentions of his administration.

  • Complete U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • No residual U.S. military bases in either Iraq or Afghanistan.
  • Self-determination for Muslim peoples now ruled by tyrants.
  • Termination of Israel’s gradual but unending thievery of Palestinian territory.
  • U.S. and Western recognition that all Muslims belong to one nation, or ummah, and that the post-World War I subdivision of the ummah into nation-states is a Western-imposed contrivance for subjugating Muslims.

Now let us be clear. Obama’s Cairo positions are not optimal for bin Laden; they leave untouched, for example, such core demands as the removal of the U.S. military and civilian presence from the Arabian Peninsula and annihilation of the state of Israel. Still, the president’s stated intentions give al-Qaeda’s leadership not just food for thought, but also perhaps an opportunity to allow ordinary Muslims to judge for themselves whether the president’s offer of a "partnership" with Islam will be matched with deeds, or whether it is just more noxious Wilsonian piety covering the standard U.S. interventionist agenda.

In the weeks ahead, then, it is possible that the White House will hear directly from Osama bin Laden and find that the al-Qaeda chief has posed a formidable problem for Obama and his band of Islam-ignorant advisers, as well as for our interventionist elite generally. If so, bin Laden’s statement might run something like the following:

In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate.

Having studied President Obama’s speech in the Mubarak-controlled prison for Muslims that is called Egypt, we retain serious doubts about the seriousness and honesty of his words. But the Prophet Muhammad, God’s peace and blessings be upon him, has not only instructed Muslims to fight against those who oppress them and attack their faith, but has told Muslims to incline toward peace if their enemies appear to be so inclined. Therefore, because Muhammad, the best of mankind, may God’s peace and blessings be upon him, requires us to give the foe the benefit of the doubt, we today offer President Obama a long truce and require from him only that which he so clearly promised in Cairo.

We first thank God that Obama sees that, with God’s help, the mujahedin – may God be pleased with them – have defeated U.S.-led Crusader forces in Afghanistan and Iraq and that their full withdrawal is essential. We also praise God for Obama’s pledge to leave behind no U.S. bases in either country, a promise verifying that America did not need to invade either in self-defense, and did so only because Bush and his Zionist advisers wanted to kill Muslims, destroy their religion, occupy their holy places, and rob their territory.

Obama likewise pledged to stop the Zionist-Crusader theft of more territory from the oppressed and persecuted Palestinian people, may God shield them. All Muslims know that Jewish settlements in the West Bank are merely a prelude to the Zionists’ goal of destroying all Palestinians and taking all their land. Muslims know too that only two things can stop this catastrophe: Obama must order Israel – a state that exists only because of U.S. power – to dismantle the settlements, or, with God’s aid, the mujahedin must wage jihad on the U.S. and Israeli murderers until all Palestine, from the river to the sea, is restored to Islam.

Also at Cairo, Obama plainly admitted what we and other believers have long argued, and what God has ordained; namely, that all the world’s Muslims belong to one Islamic nation and that the separate nation-states into which the West divided Muslims are illegitimate and governed by tyrants, against whom Muslims – like all other peoples – have the right to battle until self-determination is achieved.

Because of Obama’s words and, more important, because of our prophet’s instructions, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him, to incline toward peace if the enemy so inclines, we hereby offer a truce that will end attacks on America and its interests if Obama matches his peaceful words with peaceful deeds – as God has demanded. For this truce with the United States, we ask only that Obama fulfill the three pledges he made voluntarily in Cairo by the first day of 2010:

  • By completely withdrawing U.S. and Western forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, and dismantling and destroying all military bases and diplomatic facilities in those countries.
  • By ordering Israel to cease the construction of settlements in the West Bank; by forcing it to dismantle and destroy those already built; and by providing before-and-after videotapes and satellite photos proving the efforts were successful.
  • By ending all economic aid and military protection for the tyrant rulers who are oppressing and torturing Muslims. We do not ask Washington to remove the tyrants; the mujahedin – with God’s permission – will tend to them after the Americans are gone.

O, my fellow Muslims, in God’s name please watch closely for Obama’s response to this fair offer of ours. Abiding by our prophet’s guidance, may God’s peace and blessings be upon him, we have made it easy for the Americans to take a giant step toward peace and to end much of their war on Islam. We in the al-Qaeda organization and you around the ummah can now judge how far Obama’s promises can be trusted. He has only to do what he has pledged to do, and may God help him do so. But if Obama fails, we in al-Qaeda and all Muslims will know that he is no different than Bush, except that he uses honeyed rather than hateful worlds, and that jihad in God’s path is the only means of victory.

My closing prayer is that all praise is due to Allah, Lord of both worlds, and may His peace and prayers be upon our master Muhammad and upon his family and companions.

With such words, Osama bin Laden could provide a useful service for both Muslims and Americans by forcing Obama and his talk-softly interventionists to either fish or cut bait. Not since the ever lamentable Woodrow Wilson’s "Fourteen Points" speech has an American president provided the enemy a scorecard on which his veracity can be quantified. Once the Great War ended, of course, the hypocrite Wilson abandoned the Fourteen Points as fast as possible, and because German power had collapsed, he paid no price for lying. President Obama has no chance for such good fortune. If he fails to deliver on his Cairo promises, America will confront an undefeated and growing Islamist enemy that will have on its side tens of millions more Muslims who have decided for themselves that Obama cannot be trusted and that U.S. intervention can only be stopped by jihad.

Author: Michael Scheuer

Michael Scheuer is a 22-year veteran of the CIA and the author of Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror.