While most of the US is focused on what we hope will be the last day of the 2004 Presidential Campaign, al-Jazeera released the full transcript of Osama bin Laden's most recent video (aired Friday 10-29-2004).
"We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy," bin Laden said adding it was "easy for us to provoke and bait this administration." As part of the "bleed-until-bankruptcy plan," each US$1 al-Qaida has spent on strikes has cost the United States US$1 million in economic fallout and military spending, including emergency funding for Iraq and Afghanistan. "Every dollar of al-Qaida defeated a million dollars, by the permission of Allah, besides the loss of a huge number of jobs," he said.
"As for the size of the economic deficit, it has reached record astronomical numbers," bin Laden said, estimating the deficit at more than US$1 trillion. In reality, spending in the war against terror and other factors have resulted in an expected US$377 billion shortfall for 2003 - the highest deficit since World War II when inflation is factored out. The total US national debt is near the US$7.4 trillion statutory limit.
Bin Laden said that he and the mujahadeen in Afghanistan "bled Russia for 10 years, until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat. So we are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy."
Bin Laden claimed al-Qaida was winning its war with the United States, and that US defense contractors linked to Bush "like Halliburton and its kind" were also benefiting, while the losers were "the American people and their economy...Over 15,000 of our [Iraqi] people have been killed and tens of thousands injured, while more than 1,000 of you have been killed and more than 10,000 injured ... all for the sake of oil and keeping their private companies in business," bin Laden said.
The al-Qaida leader also accused Bush of ignoring advice from various quarters against invading Iraq, "but the darkness of the black gold blurred his vision and insight, and he gave priority to private interests over the public interests of America."
If bin Laden's goal is to drive the US government into economic ruin, he has certainly gotten a good start to it.
He concluded, "I am Osama bin Laden, and I approved this message." (Not really, but it would have been damn funny if he had!)