ZenPundit
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
 
COLLOUNSBURY ON BIN LADEN

Yesterday, I and a number of other commenters at Collounsbury's livejournal site requested his analysis of the recent bin Laden tape. It's worth quoting in full since Col is an Arabic speaker and MENA specialist. His caveats regarding the " vilayet/wilaya/ American state" interpretation by MEMRI are worth noting. I am inclined to agree. While MEMRI performs a useful service by translating the inter-Islamist dialogue in it's full spectrum of hatred and lunacy, a dialogue that the American Left prefers not to acknowledge or have Americans hear, MEMRI is also an agent of state influence like TASS or USIA. While the interpretation is debatable the timing is manipulative.

Collounsbury on bin Laden

"First, I have not had the opportunity to hear the whole tape, I've only seen and read excerpts. Second, it does strike me as highly unusual. Indeed it's very far out of the usual discourse by Bin Laden, who usually opts for a moderately Archaic but highly favored among the Salafis, discourse. I'll have to force myself to sit down and read the original Arabic and / or watch the tape in its entirity.

(http://www.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/D75412C5-9FB4-4A98-9CEF-ED373C2DE6EE.htm)

may add that those drooling idiots blithering on about al-Jazeerah being a terrorist mouthpiece and the like are morons; al-Jazeerah is righly reporting real news. The tape and its contents are important and its useful that the whole world rather than just the Islamist hard core get to see it. The drooling idiots who think al-Jazeerah is the prime mover of this stuff have no bloody clue, I get go to the local market and (if I have the right look and connexions) get a copy (perhaps a few weeks later, but no matter). The underground will see it regardless, what is advantageous is the rest of the world seeing Bin Laden take responsibility for the Towers.

Now the more disgusting conspiracy theories can be laid to rest - except of course for the congenitally deluded.

Third, the object seemed to be to insert himself into whatever result comes from this buggered up election. Anyone spinning Bin Laden is for or against a certain candidate is an idiot or one of those nasty spinners.

Fourth, I doubt there is a real connexion between the World Trade Center attacks and Bieruit. Convenient just so tale, bit of agitprop to recall another US intervention to the key audience.

Fifth, in re the bizarre MEMRI spin in re the question of Wilaya and spinning for Bush: well as those of you who have read me for a while, going back to 2000, I have always called MEMRI an Agitprop outfit. There it is. I agree with Abu al-Ardvaark's analysis here:

http://abuaardvark.typepad.com/abuaardvark/2004/11/memris_disgusti.html

note I know nothing about Ardvaark, but his characterization here is in accord with mineThis is what MEMRI always does: not mis-translate, but choose selectively among a wide range of sources [and meanings-collounsbury] to find those which support their agenda - and leave non-Arabic speakers with a highly distorted picture of reality. This is a classic case. Don't be fooled.

MEMRI's argument entirely on bin Laden's use of the word 'wilayet' instead of 'dawla' to refer to 'state.' While MEMRI is correct that in normal usage, wilayet would refer to a sub-unit (such as an American state), its dictionary definition is, in fact, 'sovereign power, sovereign, sovereignty, rule, government' (Hans Wehr dictionary). You decide. And Bin Laden's reference to not attacking Sweden suggests that sovereign states are his reference point, not American states.

MEMRI's claim that bin Laden offered an 'election deal' to Americans is blatantly false. Bin Laden clearly stated that America's security was not in the hands of Bush or Kerry, and that only American policies would make a difference.

Reading over the last it's pretty clear that the alliterative usage is the proximate driver for the choice of wilaya over daoula: we have maoulena and maoula at the end, with the emphasis on God being on his side, not "ours."

The al-Jazeerah translation here http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/79C6AF22-98FB-4A1C-B21F-2BC36E87F61F.htmis serviceable, and let me 'correct it' to follow the flow better and highlight the words in question.

In conclusion, I tell you, and you should believe these words, that your security is not in the hands of Kerry, nor Bush, nor al-Qaida. Your security is in your own hands. And every state [Wilaya] that doesn't play with our security has automatically guaranteed its own security. nd Allah is our Lord [Maoulena] and you have no Lord [Maoula]."

I would hazard the opinion from the syntax that if there was to be a clear statement in re the American States, the 'every state' reference would have been differently structured. The MEMRI spin is at best a stretch if not outright fabrication of meaning."

 
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