WASHINGTON, D.C. -- It is all getting a bit thick, is it not? I
am referring to the increasingly implausible claims issuing from Araby that
the Rev. Osama bin Laden is alive and kicking, or belly dancing, or whatever
Islamofascists do by way of dance.
"I want to reassure those impassioned with the jihad that ...
Sheikh Osama bin Laden ... (is) in good health," an Arab broadcasting
network (Middle East Broadcasting Center) reports a bin Laden associate
declaring two weeks back. The associate's name is revealing. His name is Abu
Laith Allibi, doubtless pronounced alibi.
This risible testimonial comes just after another of the Rev.
bin Laden's colleagues affirmed that the holy creep "is in good and
prosperous health." That affirmation was heard on a tape aired by
al-Jazeera, the Arab television station, not to be confused with the Arab
exercise salon, similarly named.
Well, I am not buying into this line. I side with the respected
Arabist Mark Steyn, who since March has been referring to the Rev. bin Laden
as "deceased" and "a few specks of DNA somewhere in the Hindu Kush." The Rev
could no more have survived our aerial assault and military follow-up than
could that other legendary survivor, Bill Clinton.
Steyn has it right. Bin Laden is dead and probably vaporized by
the force the infidels showered on him. That his remains are
indistinguishable from the dust of rural Afghanistan is probably the reason
that our intelligence agencies remain mum about what they almost certainly
have deduced -- to wit, the erstwhile chief blabbermouth of al Qaeda is
Without his body, our much-maligned intelligence community is
not going to stick its tender neck out and claim the old boy is a corpse.
There would be so many ways to embarrass them. Surely there must be
thousands of tall Arabs with dirty beards and scowls capable of being filmed
standing on an American flag and giggling about the slaughter of Sept. 11.
But the Islamofascists will never deliver up their fake bin Laden to be
interviewed on "Nightline" or by the perky Katie Couric. Bin Laden is dead.
Steyn, writing in the UK's Telegraph papers and in London's
Spectator, adduces three reasons for his charnel judgment. If bin Laden were
in Afghanistan, the Afghans would turn him in. Almost all hate him. If he
were in Pakistan, the venal impulses of Pakistani sophisticates would be
fetched by the $25 million bounty on his head. "In the Pakistani badlands
... he could perhaps rely on the fact that the $25 million bounty ... is too
large to have any meaning to your average Baluchistani villager, unschooled
in such matters as exchange rates. But those duplicitous ISI (Pakistani
intelligence) guys are another matter."
Supposedly bin Laden is in need of constant medical care for
kidney problems (a just consequence of his playboy past spent as a student
in Europe?). Steyn believes once bin Laden turned up in a town capable of
serving him dialysis, the ISI would go for the gold.
Finally, Steyn argues that our debonair president has made such
threats against the genius behind Sept. 11 that no nation on earth, no
matter how sozzled by the Koran, would harbor him, not even Saudi Arabia. I
would add one final piece of reasoning behind the argument that this Islamic
Hitler has been dead for months. In light of all the perceived victories
that al Qaeda has achieved since Sept. 11, it is unthinkable that such a
boastful fellow as bin Laden would remain quiet. Surely were he alive, he
would be a weekly presence on al-Jazeera, the Arab television station, not
the Arab jazz joint (pounded into dust by Hamas artillery fire sometime
What "perceived victories" do I refer to? You must understand
that the Islamofascist sees the world differently from you or me. What might
look to you as defeats appear to him as victories, a scientific breakthrough
appears as an insult to the Prophet, eternal salvation is 72 virgins whining
and scheming for toothpaste.
By an Islamofascist's calculations, the Rev. bin Laden set Araby
on a roll -- hundreds of his galoots captured and sent to Camp X-Ray,
hundreds more arrested worldwide or on the run, thousands in no better
condition than he, scabs under a rock. All their state-of-the-art caves have
been rendered uninhabitable even by bats. Most of the world, even millions
of Arabs, hates Islamic fundamentalists. The only agents of al Qaeda capable
of carrying out the boss' orders are mental defectives and street ruffians
such as Richard Reid, the "shoe bomber," and Jose Padilla, fabulist of the
That might read like a string of defeats to you. To a fantasist
such as bin Laden it is the greatest string of Arab victories since Saladin
in the 12th century. If alive, surely the Rev would be busting his buttons
If you still doubt my claim that this lunatic is long dead,
consider the transcript of President Bush's press conference a few days
back. Asked about whether we might apprehend bin Laden before the
anniversary of Sept. 11, Bush replied: "We haven't heard from him in a long
time. I don't know if the man's living or the man's dead." Twice in his
press conference the president raised the prospect that the Rev is dead.
I think the President knows.