Today, in an audio tape played by Al Jezeera, a man claiming to be Osama bin Laden offered peace to all of Europe. Here is an excerpt from the tape:
"Therefore, in order to thwart opportunities for the merchants of war, and in response to the positive developments that were expressed in recent events and in the public opinion polls, which determined that most European peoples want peace, I urge ... the establishment of a permanent commission to nurture awareness among Europeans regarding the justness of our causes, particularly the cause of Palestine, and that use be made of the vast media resources to this end.
"I hereby offer them a peace treaty, the essence of which is our commitment to halt actions against any country that commits itself to refraining from attacking Muslims or intervening in their affairs, including the American conspiracy against the larger Islamic world.
Was Osama feeling especially kind today? Perhaps he woke up and thought, "its such a beautiful day, I think I'll make peace with Europe!"
Or maybe he is sensing that the end is near for him, and is looking for a way to take some of the heat off. Maybe bin Laden is getting a bit desperate.
Think about bin Laden as a modern Hitler, with his hateful philosophy encompassing, not just the Jews, but all of Western civilization. Just like in the late 1930s and early 1940s, Americans were reluctant to engage in a full-scale war with a foreign enemy; until we were struck directly by that enemy.
Like Hitler, bin Laden has managed to surround himself with enemies. His old haunting grounds, Afghanistan, is now free again, his Taliban allies running for their lives, and his once friendly neigbhor, Pakistan, has 60,000 troops in the field, all intent on finding him and everyone who follows him.
Osama's home nation, Saudi Arabia, is no better. Once passive in its stance to al Qaeda, it is now firmly committed to his destruction. Iraq has fallen, Sadr's militia all but crushed, Iran under international pressure to prove that it is not trying to produce nuclear weapons, and Libya has opened its borders to the UN and is actively dismantling its WMD programs.