OSAMA'S STEALING MY RIFFS! Apparently, in the Sheikh's latest joint, Osama bin Laden quotes from Richard Perle and David Frum's book, An End to Evil. Frum complains that he was misquoted. Let's compare.


"And among the most important items contained in Bush's speeches since the events of the 11th is that the Americans have no option but to continue the war. This tone is in fact an echoing of the words of the words of neoconservatives like Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Richard Perle, that latter having said previously that the Americans have no choice in front of them than to continue the war or face a holocaust."

Frum and Perle:

"For us, terrorism remains the great evil of our time, and the war against this evil, our generation's great cause. We do not believe that Americans are fighting this war to minimize it or to manage it. We believe they are fighting to win - to end this evil before it kills again and on a genocidal scale. There is no middle way for Americans: It is victory or holocaust. This book is a manual for victory."

Seems like a pretty accurate quote. If it were me, though, I think I might be more concerned with why my writings were being favorably woven into enemy propaganda.

Completely not getting it, Frum writes:

"Still, if any words of ours drew even one sting of shame from this fugitive killer ... I will take that as a compliment."

Not shame, David, affirmation. Encouragement. Osama bin Laden wants the "war on terror" to be understood as an existential struggle between Islam and the West, he wants it to be seen as the Great War of Our Time that the neoconservative war party seems intent on giving to him. You couldn't ask for clearer evidence that the fevered, apocalyptic alarmism of Frum and Perle is viewed positively by bin Laden than his presenting their words to his audience as proof that his strategy is working. Rather than seriously grapple with the implications of that, Frum has chosen to hide behind a claim of being "misquoted."

--Matthew Duss