Bin Laden Transcript Outlines Plan to Bankrupt U.S. Through War
11/01/04 (Bloomberg) -- Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin
Laden said he is trying to bankrupt the U.S. through its war on terror, a
strategy he says felled the Soviet Union two decades ago in
Afghanistan, according to a translation by al-Jazeera television of his
full, videotaped statement.
``The mujahedeen recently forced Bush to resort to
emergency funds to continue the fight in Afghanistan and Iraq, which is
evidence of the success of the bleed-until-bankruptcy plan -- with
Allah's permission,'' bin Laden said in the video that aired on the
Qatar-based satellite network, according to the translation, posted
today to al-Jazeera's Web site. The channel aired portions of the
statement on Oct. 29.
President George W. Bush's administration plans to seek an
additional $70 billion from lawmakers for Iraq and Afghanistan, the
head of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, General Paul Kern, said on Oct.
26. The U.S. Congress last year approved $87 billion for military
operations and rebuilding in the two countries.
Bin Laden's video appearance, his first since September
2003, came four days before the Nov. 2 presidential vote in which Bush's
anti-terrorism policies will play a central role. Bush's challenger,
Democratic Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, said in debates and
campaign speeches that the president should have focused on capturing
bin Laden rather than invading Iraq.
Saudi-born bin Laden, who aided the Muslim resistance
against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, boasts in his latest
message of how little the Sept. 11 attacks cost and how large a
financial impact they had on the U.S. Bin Laden accuses Bush of waging
war to benefit Halliburton Co. and other contractors, and leaving
American taxpayers with the bill. The Bush administration has rejected
The terror leader cites a speech by an unidentified
British diplomat at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, which
he says outlines the financial impact of Sept. 11 by comparing the
estimated $500,000 spent to carry out the assault with the damage
Bin Laden said ``every dollar of al-Qaeda defeated a
million dollars by the permission of Allah, besides the loss of a huge
number of jobs.''
The Bush policy of mounting a global war on terror has
made it easy for al-Qaeda to ``bait'' the U.S. government, bin Laden
``All that we have to do is to send two mujahedeen to the
furthest point East to raise a piece of cloth on which is written
al-Qaeda, in order to make the generals race there to cause America to
suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for
it anything of note other than some benefits for their private
companies,'' bin Laden said, according to the al-Jazeera
To contact the reporter on this story: Demian McLean in Washington at email@example.com.