Friday, September 25, 2009

Chutzpa epitomized: Ahmadinejad: We don't have to tell Obama of every nuclear plant we have

Engage this, Mr Obama. Ahmadinejad has no problem lying, and has no problem defending his lies. According to him, the Non-Proliferation Treaty Iran signed doesn't obligate him to report a little thing like a nuclear plant. And the most interesting thing is, Ahmadinejad will probably get away with it.
Obama's saying "I am not naive" is a bit like Nixon saying "I am not a crook." You hear it, but you say, "Yeah, but he really is, you know."
Ami Isseroff
Last update - 19:39 25/09/2009       
Ahmadinejad: We don't have to tell Obama of every nuclear plant we have
By Haaretz Service and Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz Correspondent
Tags: Israel News, Iran
Iran was not obliged to tell the Obama administration of every uranium enrichment plant it has, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Friday, turning up the heat in a dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.
"This does not mean we must inform Mr. Obama's administration of every facility that we have," he told Time magazine in an interview when asked about U.S. President Barack Obama's charge on Friday that a nuclear fuel plant Iran disclosed this week had been built secretly.
*************TIME VIDEO ******
"We have no secrecy, we work within the framework of the IAEA," Ahmadinejad told Time in a reference to the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Ahmadinejad's comments came after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the IAEA must investigate Iran's newly disclosed uranium enrichment plant and Tehran must take immediate steps to show its program is peaceful.
"This is now a clear challenge to the international community," Clinton told reporters in New York after Iran told the IAEA it had a second uranium enrichment plant under construction. The disclosure by Iran came just as six world powers and Iran prepare for rare talks on Oct. 1.
"This facility sharpens our sense of urgency and underscores Iran's absolute need to engage seriously with us on October 1 and take immediate steps to demonstrate the exclusively peaceful nature of their nuclear program," she said after a meeting with Belgium's foreign minister.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry released a statement following the revelation of the second plat, saying "In light of Iran's continuing deception, the international community must step up its demands that Iran halt its enrichment and reprocessing work."
House Republican Whip Eric Cantor today issued the following statement after it was revealed that a second uranium enrichment plant exists in Iran:
"Iran is a real-time security threat to the United States, Israel, and our allies around the world. A nuclear Iran is closer than many thought it was yesterday, and the problem is getting worse by the day, not better.
"The existence of a second uranium enrichment facility not only undercuts the Administration's policy toward Iran, but leaves little doubt that terrorist nations are not to be trusted or negotiated with diplomatically. Congress should act immediately to give the President the tools he needs to implement sanctions on Iran by passing the bipartisan Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act."
House Republican Whip Eric Cantor issued a statement Friday saying Iran "is a real-time security threat to the United States, Israel, and our allies around the world. A nuclear Iran is closer than many thought it was yesterday, and the problem is getting worse by the day, not better."
Cantor added, "The existence of a second uranium enrichment facility not only undercuts the Administration's policy toward Iran, but leaves little doubt that terrorist nations are not to be trusted or negotiated with diplomatically."
Russia: Revelation of Iranian facility disturbing
Russian news agencies are quoting President Dmitry Medvedev's spokeswoman as saying the revelation of the secret uranium-enrichment plant in Iran is disturbing.
Russia also has urged Iran to provide proof the nuclear program is peaceful by the meeting on October 1st.
Russia's statements could indicate they are willing to join Western nations in stepping up pressure on Iran.
ITAR-Tass quoted Natalya Timakova as saying Friday during the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh that Medvedev will make a statement about Iran's nuclear program.
Timakova was quoted as saying the statement would take into account new
developments that cannot but disturb us.
She said the developments included Iran's recent declaration to the UN nuclear agency, apparently referring to what officials have said was Iran's acknowledgment of a second uranium-enrichment plant it had kept secret.
China responded to news of the secret neactor by saying that they hope Iran "will cooperate with the IAEA on this matter."

US knew of secret Iranian nuke plant for years

And what else do they know that they aren't saying?
 'U.S. knew of secret Iranian nuclear plant for years'  By Yossi Melman, Haaretz Correspondent

The United States has known for years of the existence of a secret Iranian nuclear enrichment facility, a senior U.S. official stated Friday.
The official stated that the facility is well-hidden and well-defended and that Iranian officials admitted to building the facility after they discovered that its existence was known.
The U.S. source said that Iran discovered that U.S. intelligence had compiled a dossier on the facility and the Islamic Republic then sent a letter to the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) disclosing the existence of the facility.
A different U.S. official has stated that next week's meeting in Geneva will be a critical opportunity for Iran to demonstrate its willingness to cooperate with the West. The official added that in the coming weeks, the United States will lead the West in putting forth a policy of "pressure and involvement", which if it fails, will lead to more harsh measures against the Islamic Republic.
The IAEA earlier Friday demanded access to the second plant, which it was informed of by Tehran on Monday.
Two officials told the Associated Press on Friday that Iran revealed the existence of the second plant in a letter sent to International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei.
IAEA spokesman Marc Vidricaire confirmed receipt of the letter, saying the agency was informed that a new pilot fuel enrichment plant is under construction. The letter said that the plant would not enrich uranium beyond the 5 percent level suitable for civilian energy production. That would be substantially below the threshold of 90 percent or more needed for a weapon.
Iran told the agency that no nuclear material has been introduced into the facility, he said. In response, the IAEA has requested Iran to provide specific information and access to the facility as soon as possible.

Iran's only AWACS type aircraft crashes in air show

According to Defense News:
TEHRAN - Iran's sole Simorgh AWACS aircraft was lost during a military parade Sept. 22, one of two Iranian military aircraft that crashed in Tehran while participating in a display to mark the anniversary of the start of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force operated a single Simorgh, a former Iraqi Air Force Adnan. The Adnan AWACS was in turn a modification of a Soviet-built Ilyushin Il-76 transport.

The Simorgh collided with one of the Air Force's Northrop F-5E Tiger II fighters over the area of the Imam Khomeyni Shrine, southern Tehran. According to eyewitnesses, the crash occurred immediately after the parade. Apparently, no mayday call was issued.

Both aircraft crashed in flames. Initial reports indicate that seven crewmembers were killed in the crash.

In total, Iraq built three AWACS aircraft, one Baghdad, and two Baghdad-2s, the latter later renamed Adnans. One Adnan and the Baghdad were evacuated to Iran during the 1991 Gulf War, while the second Adnan was destroyed on the ground by a coalition air strike in January 1991.

The exact status of the Iranian Simorgh and its onboard systems was long uncertain. However, photographs suggest that the aircraft was equipped with a newly fitted functioning radar suite.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

US Middle East Foreign policy going nowhere?

Obama and the Middle East

by Efraim Inbar

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: US President Barack Obama has adopted an activist foreign policy, attempting to engage the Muslim world and signaling his expectation that an end the Israel-Palestinian conflict can be negotiated within two years. This ambitious agenda has so far produced meager results. Many regional players are primarily concerned about Iran's quest for nuclear weapons, and are not easily amenable to American overtures.

US President Barack Obama's summit meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas in New York this week was a good thing, but it amounted to little more than a photo opportunity. The impatient Obama demanded that the parties seriously discuss peace now. Obama appeared to be on the verge of enunciating his own peace plan in order to restart peace negotiations and to eventually end the protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict-- all within two years!

It is worth reminding the president that the many past US peace plans for the Middle East failed to bring the anticipated results. Moreover, the recent meeting in New York only reinforces the evaluation that after eight months in office, the record of Obama's policy toward the Middle East is far from impressive.

Obamaג€™s much heralded speech to the Muslim world in Cairo failed to make a dent in Middle Eastern realities and attitudes. His belief in the power of words to change people is naive when it comes to well-rooted attitudes or entrenched interests of nations. In instances where the US sided with Muslims when in conflict with non-Muslims, such as in Pakistan, Bosnia and Kosovo, there was little impact on Muslim dispositions. The anti-American rage among Muslims, primarily Arabs, is a result of a concatenation of factors: frustration originating from past grandeur, current poverty, backwardness, and a dark future; a cultural difficulty to accept responsibility; and a preference to blame others for failures to modernize and democratize. While words have great importance in Muslim culture, even the best of speeches cannot change the tide of history. Obamaג's words are unlikely to have long-term positive effects for the US, which in final analysis is seen as foreign and domineering.

The "soft power" that this administration extols has its limitations, particular in a region where the use of force is part and parcel of the rules of the game and fear is a better political currency than empathy or love.

So far the ג"engagement" policy toward Iran, which is part of the new approach to the Muslim world, has produced no results. The nuclear program of Iran continues, and its new proposal to the West did not provide any opening for negotiations on the nuclear issue.

Similarly, the engagement of radical Syria hardly changed Syrian policies. Damascus still supports Hizballah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza; allows insurgents to infiltrate Iraq in order to destabilize the current regime; refuses to enter peace negotiations with Israel without preconditions; and above all continues its alliance with Iran. Why should Assad change Syrian foreign policy if he fears no American wrath? As a matter of fact, Iran, Syria, as well as the rest of the Middle East, see "engagement" primarily as an American weakness.

Obama's Washington does not get anywhere even with its friends. The leaders in all Arab countries know that the American ג€�engagementג€� of Iran is hopeless in stopping the nuclearization of Iran. During his August trip to Washington, Mubarak of Egypt tried to inject sense into the young American president. Moreover, Mubarak rejected Obama's offer for a nuclear umbrella. So did other pro-American Arab states. American promises to defend them are simply not credible if the US is reluctant to use military force to stop the Iranian nuclear threat.

The impending American withdrawal from Iraq and the difficulties in "fixing" Afghanistan contribute to the general sense of a decline in American influence in the Middle East. Indeed, as regional politics take their toll, a Pax Americana in the Middle East is no longer seen as a viable option for providing progress and prosperity. It is not only the Palestinians that have failed to develop a capacity to govern, with institutions that respond to the needs of the people. The political malaise of the Palestinians is not unique. We see several additional failed states in the Arab world: Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, and even Iraq. Pakistan, a Muslim state, is in danger of collapsing. Even American conquests, such as in Iraq and in Afghanistan, coupled with generous international aid, are not enough to transform these countries. Neither American speeches, nor American  "soft power" are able to reform societies deep in crisis. Only a modernizing local leadership can do the trick.

Ignoring the harsh realities of Palestinian domestic politics, Obama is now trying to restart the bogged-down Israel-Palestinian peace track. Yet the Arabs have rejected American demands for gestures toward Israel in order to facilitate a settlement freeze (the latter curiously seen as a panacea for peace between Israelis and Palestinians). Moreover, Washington fails to understand that as long as the Palestinians are deeply divided and Gaza is controlled by Hamas, an Islamist organization dedicated to the destruction of the state of Israel, there is no available partner for peace talks. Nevertheless, Obama is committed to push forward on the peace process.

Unfortunately, the gap between Israelis and Palestinians is too large to bridge, while the two societies still have enormous amounts of energy to fight for what is important to them. This situation requires conflict management, rather than ambitious and misguided peace plans.

What is missing in Washington is healthy skepticism and a realistic foreign policy based upon the premises that not all problems are soluble and that foreigners have limited capacity to induce change. Finally, Obamaג€™s Washington seems unaware of the fact that the regional parties have great obstructive power. Only when they are ready there will be peace.

Efraim Inbar is professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University and director of the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies.

BESA Perspectives is published through the generosity of the Littauer Foundation.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Iran - the world is waking up?


Countries trying to convince Russia and China that long-term interests actually lie in the Gulf
    * Julian Borger in New York
    *, Wednesday 23 September 2009 19.44 BST
Gulf Arab states are to play a new role in the increasingly desperate race to stop Iran's nuclear programme by using their economic leverage to line up support for new tough sanctions, Arab and European officials said today.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will use the prospect of oil contracts, arms deals and work visas to persuade Russia and China - who have been resisting tougher UN sanctions - that their long-term strategic interests lie in the Gulf, not in Iran.
"China and Russia have so far not been presented with the right incentives. They have not been presented with a better substitute," said Sami al-Faraj, an adviser to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a regional body.
GCC representatives will meet at the UN today with diplomats from the six nations handling nuclear negotiations with Iran - the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China - to discuss what the role the Arab states can play ahead of a critical meeting with Iran next week.
A European official confirmed that the Gulf states were playing more of an active role to persuade Russia and China to support tougher economic sanctions if the 1 October meeting of the six-nation negotiating group with Iran does not bring compromise on Tehran's uranium enrichment programme.
It is hoped that economic inducements from the Gulf, combined with Barack Obama's decision last week to abandon a missile defence scheme in eastern Europe, will help win backing from Moscow and Beijing for new UN punitive measures that would go beyond the targeted financial sanctions currently operation, and strike instead at Iran's oil and gas industry.
The Moscow press reported tonight that the Russian delegation "did not rule out" further sanctions.
Foreign ministers from the six-nation group are due to meet tonight in the margins of the UN general assembly to agree a common position before the 1 October meeting. The draft joint text included a warning of further "steps" if Iran does not show signs of compromise at the meeting, but did not elaborate, on the insistence of Russia and China. A European official said Gulf help in persuading Russia and China was useful but was sceptical of the GCC's ability to remain united.
"They talk a good game in private, but when you get them all in a room and ask a difficult question, then they tend to split down the middle," the official said.
However, al-Faraj said the growing Iranian threat in the eyes of the Gulf states, combined with the failure of the six-nation negotiating group to make progress, had stiffened resolve in the region.
"There has been a change of mood in the GCC leadership," al-Faraj, a Kuwaiti strategic analyst, said. "The decision has been taken to play a role."
He listed China and Russia's interest in establishing free trade arrangements with the Gulf, Russia's desire to sell arms, and China's anxiety to seal oil exploration agreements in the region, and to win visas in the Gulf for Chinese workers as among the principal levers that can be pulled to win support for UN sanctions.
Saudi Arabia is reported to be on the verge of a deal to buy over $2bn worth of Russian arms, in the wake of a bilateral military agreement signed last year.
The Saudi monarchy is not pursuing the deal primarily for military purposes, some officials speculated today, but for diplomatic reasons - as an inducement to Russia not to sell advanced anti-aircraft missiles to Iran.
For the same reason, Kuwait is also said to have agreed to reschedule Russian debt and Bahrain has opened talks to buy Russian jet fighters. The GCC as a whole is negotiating with China to issue up to a million work visas to absorb some of the rising ranks of the Chinese unemployed.
"Everyone has something to offer," al-Faraj said. "We need to go to work as a coalition in peace like we have done in war, if we are to prevent another war."
Arab states have been alarmed by the spread of Iranian influence in Lebanon and in Gaza and are concerned that Iran might attempt to become the single dominant power in the Middle East through the development of nuclear weapons.
Iran insists its nuclear programme has an entirely peaceful purpose, for the generation of electricity. The country's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, said today Tehran supported the goal of abolishing nuclear weapons.

Not a joke - In Iran, mannequins must wear hijab

'Iranians who violate dress codes for the first time are generally cautioned, but repeat offenders can face court action and "guidance classes".' Do the mannequins go to such classes too?
Iran police 'target mannequins' 

 Iranian women are often the target of crackdowns on Western-style dress
Iranian police have warned shopkeepers not to display female mannequins without a
hijab, or showing bodily curves, Irna news agency reports.
Display of bow ties and neckties, and the sale of women's underwear by men are also banned, the police said.
The move is part of a crackdown on Western influences and enforcement of dress codes in recent years.
"Un-Islamic behaviour" has been targeted since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's first election in 2005.
"Using unusual mannequins exposing body curves and with heads without hijabs [Muslim veils] are prohibited to be used in the shops," police said in a statement carried by Irna.
Correspondents say that in the past such campaigns usually only lasted throughout the summer, but last year's crackdown, including on tight trousers for women, was still continuing in the winter.
Iranians who violate dress codes for the first time are generally cautioned, but repeat offenders can face court action and "guidance classes".

Jew conspiracy does it again - stops book burner from being culture Czar

If it wasn't for the international Jew conspiracy, Egypt's book-burning culture minister would have become head of UNESCO, culture czar of the UN. That's what Farouk Hosni contends. Other than Jews, everyone things culture czar's should advocate book burning it seems.
Farouk Hosny says "European countries and the world's Jews" wanted him to lose. Obviously, he was the ideal candidate, right?
Shame on those wicked Jewz.

Report: Vatican knew about Holocaust Denying bishop Williamson when he was reinstated

We sort of knew this already, didn't we? But it is so sad, that we didn't want to admit it.
Swedish TV: Vatican Knew About Holocaust-Denier
Swedish TV says Vatican knew about Holocaust-denying bishop when ex-communication lifted
The Associated Press

A Swedish TV program to be aired Wednesday claims that top Vatican officials knew that an ultraconservative British bishop was a Holocaust-denier when his excommunication was lifted in January.
The program, which was obtained by The Associated Press prior to broadcast, could add new fuel to the controversy over Bishop Richard Williamson.
Jews and Catholics worldwide were outraged after Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication of Williamson, along with three other ultraconservative bishops, in an attempt to bring dissidents back into the mainstream church.
The order, dated Jan. 21, came as Sweden's SVT aired an interview recorded two months earlier in which Williamson said he didn't believe any Jews were killed in gas chambers during World War II.
Vatican officials have said they didn't know about the interview at the time. Benedict later condemned Williamson's remarks and spoke out against anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.
Yet in a follow-up report, SVT says the Vatican had been informed of Williamson's Holocaust-denial shortly after the interview was recorded in November. It doesn't suggest, however, that the pope knew about the remarks.
The program singles out Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, who had been leading efforts to heal the schism with the ultraconservative Society of St. Pius X. The Vatican announced in July that Castrillon Hoyos was stepping down after reaching the customary retirement age of 80.
The SVT program says Sweden's Catholic diocese informed the apostolic nuncio — the Vatican envoy to Sweden — about Williamson's remarks and that he in turn informed Vatican officials, including Castrillon Hoyos.
"Naturally we passed all the information that we had on to the nuncio. After that I don't really know how it moved along," Stockholm Bishop Anders Arborelius told SVT.
In a statement Wednesday, the diocese reiterated that it had sent a report about the content of interview to the Vatican in November 2008.
The SVT program says the Vatican envoy, Archbishop Emil Paul Tscherrig, confirmed off-camera that he contacted several people in the Vatican, including Castrillon Hoyos, immediately after receiving the report in November.
Tscherrig did not immediately return calls seeking comment Wednesday.
In a statement commenting on the program, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said it was "absolutely without foundation to claim or even insinuate that the pope was informed in advance of Williamson's positions."
"The pope has explained the reason for the remission of the excommunication as a gesture in favor of church unity and at the same time showed the total groundlessness of the accusations that he (the pope) showed a lack of respect for the Jewish people," Lombardi said.
The statement didn't address whether other Vatican officials knew about Williamson's remarks.
Castrillon Hoyos said in a newspaper interview Jan. 29 that no one at the Vatican knew about Williamson's views until after the decree had been signed.
"We absolutely didn't know anything about this Williamson," he told the Corriere della Sera.
Castrillon Hoyos had been head of the Pontifical "Ecclesia Dei" Commission, which was charged with reconciling with the Society of St. Pius X. In announcing his retirement on July 8, the Vatican said that effort would now be headed by Cardinal William Levada, the highest-ranking U.S. churchman in the Vatican hierarchy.
Levada heads the Vatican's powerful orthodoxy watchdog, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which Benedict headed for decades before becoming pope in 2005.
"(The pope) recognized with candor the limits of internal and external Vatican communication, and gave a new status to the Ecclesia Dei Commission, just to guarantee a better and safer way in dealing with matters relating to relations with traditionalists," Lombardi said in the statement Wednesday.
"To relaunch the 'Williamson case' can only serve to continue to create confusion for no reason," he said.
In last year's Swedish interview, Williamson denied that 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis. He said about 200,000 or 300,000 were murdered and none were gassed.
Williamson later apologized for his remarks, saying he would never have made them if he had known "the full harm and hurt to which they would give rise." But he did not say his comments had been erroneous, nor that he no longer believed them.

Farcical UN circus brings Gaddafi in a tent, but US town bans it

What is needed is for a group like ISM to go to this town and stop the demolition of Gaddafi's tent. 

US officials have ordered workers to stop the construction of a tent for Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi near New York, a local attorney says.
The erection of the tent "violated several codes and laws of the town of Bedford", attorney Joel Sachs says.
It also emerged the Bedouin-style tent was being set up on property rented from real estate mogul Donald Trump.
Col Gaddafi had reportedly planned to use the tent for entertaining during the UN General Assembly in New York.
Libyan officials have so far not publicly commented on the issue.
Col Gaddafi - who arrived in New York on Tuesday - traditionally shuns official residences during his trips abroad.
Trump's statement
Bedford town attorney Joel Sachs said officials had given "a stop work" order to teams pitching Col Gaddafi's tent in the town, about 30 miles (48km) north of New York.
There is no such thing as diplomatic immunity when it comes to complying with local laws
But he said the workers did not speak English and the order was then issued to the property caretaker.
"There is no such thing as diplomatic immunity when it comes to complying with local laws and ordinances," Mr Sachs was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.
"This is a private piece of property and they have to comply with the laws of this municipality."
Mr Sachs said the authorities in Bedford had learned of Col Gaddafi's plans from the US secret service.
Col Gaddafi is due to make his first visit to the UN General Assembly
Meanwhile, Mr Trump said in a statement that part of the estate "was leased on a short-term basis to Middle Eastern partners, who may or may not have a relationship to Mr Gaddafi".
"We are looking into the matter," the statement added.
Last week, Libyan officials agreed not to pitch Col Gaddafi's tent in the grounds of a Libyan-owned property in the New Jersey town of Englewood because of opposition from local residents.
They protested against the warm welcome given in Libya to the man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, following his release from a Scottish prison on compassionate grounds.
Dozens of families in New Jersey lost loved ones when Pan Am flight 103 blew up over Scotland.

Obama, Bibi and Abbas at the Summit of the absurd

Another drama in the aimless "peace" process has been enacted...

The summit of the absurd: Middle East process without peace


Eugene Ionescu or Samuel Becket could have written a play called "The Middle East Peace Process." Yesterday, in the Yet Another Middle East Summit that took place at the UN, we witnessed another scene in that play. Vladimir, Estragon and Godot himself appeared on the stage, said the same old things, provided the usual photo op, and departed to polite applause.

Over and over we hear the same pronouncements about the urgency of peace, about the final status agreement that is within reach, about the confidence building measures, about the need to compromise and make painful sacrifices, about the willingness to take risks for peace. We see the same photos of handshakes, tableaux that are repeated without end. The play has been running so long that all the actors have changed. Vladimir is played by Benjamin Netanyahu replaced Ehud Olmert, who replaced Ariel Sharon, who replaced Ehud Barak, who replaced Benjamin Netanyahu in his first appearance, who replaced Shimon Peres, who replaced the original Yitzhak Rabin, Estragon is ably portrayed by Mahmoud Abbas in place of Yasser Arafat, and Barack Obama replaced George Bush the Second, who replaced Bill Clinton, who replaced George Bush the First. Life, after all, must go on.

The essence of this postmodernist drama is that there is really no metanarrative. There is no plot. There is no progress, because there is nothing to progress towards. It is pointless diplomatic Dadaism. It cannot progress because of the "Human Condition" or in this case, the condition of the Middle East.

Continued here:

Latest Al-Qaeda hit: Obama to be brought down by Muslim nation

Coming soon to a theater near you.

CAIRO (AP) - Al Qaeda on Tuesday released a new 106-minute long video predicting President Barack Obama's downfall at the hands of the Muslim world.
The Arabic-language video, entitled "The West and the Dark Tunnel," is part of series of messages by the organization marking the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Bin Laden released a short message of his own on Sept. 14.
Like similar long messages on previous anniversaries, it featured testimony from several leading Al Qaeda figures intercut with news footage from the past year.
As in the past, Al Qaeda attempted to conflate Obama with his predecessor, George W. Bush, who was widely disliked by Muslims for his invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Many analysts believe that Al Qaeda has been alarmed by Obama's comparative popularity in the Middle East, especially following his landmark speech to the Muslim world in Cairo in June.
"America has come in a new, hypocritical face. Smiling at us, but stabbing us with the same dagger that Bush used," said Al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri in the message. "God willing, your end will be at the hands of the Muslim nation, so that the world and history will be free of your crimes and lies," he said addressing Obama at the end of the two-part video.
The message also featured several appearances of Adam Gadahn, also known as Azzam al-Amriki, an American who grew up in southern California, converted to Islam and joined Al Qaeda. He was charged with treason in 2006 and there is a $1 million reward for information leading to his arrest or conviction.
Gadahn's remarks celebrating the defeat of Bush and ridiculing Obama suggest the video was made in late August or early September. "The important question is will Obama and his Democrats learn from his predecessor's mistakes or will they go on repeating them until they too leave office in humiliation and disgrace," said the heavily bearded American, dressed in a white robe.
"Unfortunately for the Democrats, and judging by their first seven-and-a-half months at the helm of the sinking American ship, the prognosis doesn't look good," he said. The message included a lengthy section on U.S. prisons and torture facilities and showed footage of what appeared to be an American torturing an Afghan for information by dunking his head into a bucket of water.
The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist Web sites, identified the person conducting the torture as Jonathan Keith Idema, who also appeared in last year's Al Qaeda video.
The message also discussed the progress of the various jihadi movements around the world, in particular Taliban victories against U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
The video's strident anti-American tone and detailed enumeration of what it describes as the U.S. crimes was in sharp contrast to the earlier bin Laden message, which appeared to be an appeal to the American people to sever their ties with Israel and end the war with Al Qaeda.