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Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Direct from His Tour of Hell...

It's Osama bin Laden!

Or so says Abdel-Bari Atwan, aka (for you Googlers out there) Abd Al-Bari Atwan, editor of a London-based Arabic newspaper, Al-Quds Al-Arabi. Now this is fascinating, because Atwan was (is) a regular on the BBC's "Dateline: London" program. This is a show where your genial host and four diverse journalists sit in a strange immense "newsroom" and agree that the United States is responsible for every evil the world has ever seen, beginning with the partitioning of Gondwanaland.

(OK, not really. Sometimes they blame Israel too.)

An appearance on this show requires a high TPI---Total Pratt Index, which means that one must have a certain immunity to logic and a great deal of natural indignation and self-righteousness, plus a loud voice. I once saw an episode where about ten minutes was spent discussing the affronting arrogance of Americans---not just the Bush administration, but all Americans. Of course, each of the journalists (except the sacrificial American) displayed a ham-handed arrogance no American journalist could possibly hope to get away with, at home or abroad.

Anyhow, in this mix, Atwan stood out as one of the more reasonable people. Possibly it behooves a fellow to be more rational than a Guardianista on the BBC when in other venues you are comparing Bush to Hitler, defending Bin Laden on Al Jazeera talk shows (third item from the bottom), and calling Americans Masters of Destruction.

Or maybe it's just that terrorist mouthpieces are less rabid than Guardianistas. (Oops, that last link was a Guardian link.)

Also, according to MEMRI, Al-Quds Al-Arabi is "known to be affiliated with Iraq".

And this isn't the first time Atwan has allegedly been in contact with Bin Laden.

You'd think this character wouldn't be able to take a leak without wetting a CIA/MI5/Mossad agent by now.