Rather than take him seriously, bin Laden's latest video is being met with ambivalence, derision and sarcasm.
John Podhoretz links to a Family Guy episode which satirizes the sheik.
Time's Rober Baer writes that Bin Laden Fights to Stay Relevant.
Even fellow Muslims have criticized Osama:
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A doctor who treated wounded al-Qaida fighters at Tora Bora in Afghanistan has confirmed Osama bin Laden was at the mountain stronghold as U.S. and Afghan forces attacked — and said the al-Qaida chieftain seemed concerned about only his own welfare.
Victor Davis Hanson adds:
And often friends supposedly asked bin Laden why after 1988, he did not locate to the West Bank or Gaza to wage his war against the hated Israelis, whom he had identified as the real enemies. The unspoken answer, of course, is that he thought it safer to attack the U.S. in the 1990s than to strike head-on Israel from next-door, something perceived tantamount to a death sentence.
even a brief scan of Peter Bergen’s The Osama bin Laden I Know will reveal dozens of various reasons why al Qaeda (in bin Laden’s own words) chose to attack—Jewish women walking around in Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, a general Western decadence, supposed massacres of Muslims in Burma, Kashmir, Somalia, and the Philippines; the arrests and detentions of Muslim “scholars;” attacks on Muslims in Afghanistan and Pakistan; theft of petroleum; support for the Saudi and Egyptian governments. In Raymond Ibrahim’s recent The al Qaeda Reader we even learn of furor over our financing of elections, and failure to sign Kyoto.
Others suggest bin Laden's new look places him in the category of "metrosexual."
Among conservatives, bin Laden's tape is even being derisively compared to rants by "lefty bloggers" or even Keith Olbermann: "Does Osama bin Laden sound like a Democrat, or do the Democrats sound like Osama?"
Meanwhile, "progressive" blogs whine that the media "continue to equate progressives with terrorists." and complain that:
Right-wing bloggers have also joined in. At Hot Air, Allahpundit claimed bin Laden sounded like a “socialist icon,” invoking many of the same passages Brooks did. At Political Vindication, Uncle Seth the Noble went further, claiming bin Laden sounded like Daily Kos’s Markos Moulitsas. Frank J, a Pajamas Media blogger, concluded “Kos has to get this guy as a diarist before HuffPo does.”
Two things in all this discussion are clear. 1) Whether bin Laden was sending a secret message, or has picked up some new fashion tips, he has now become a failure and a laughing stock. And 2) Osama (and al Qaeda) monitors Western media and commentary, which makes it all the more critical that the United States present a united front on the war on terror, rather than give moral comfort or aid to the enemy.
Update: More from Instapundit here, and the Beltway Blogroll here.