November 01, 2004
Lost in Translation
Osama bin Laden's video-taped message may not have it's full effect because the MSM may have mistranslated an important word. MEMRI president Yigal Carmon writes,
The tape of Osama bin Laden that was aired on Al-Jazeera(1) on Friday, October 29th included a specific threat to "each U.S. state," designed to influence the outcome of the upcoming election against George W. Bush. The U.S. media in general mistranslated the words "ay wilaya" (which means "each U.S. state")(2) to mean a "country" or "nation" other than the U.S., while in fact the threat was directed specifically at each individual U.S. state. This suggests some knowledge by bin Laden of the U.S. electoral college system. In a section of his speech in which he harshly criticized George W. Bush, bin Laden stated: "Any U.S. state that does not toy with our security automatically guarantees its own security."
If indeed bin Laden was mistranslated there's little chance his accurate message will permeate the electorate. There's only one day left until voters go to the polls. Even in our highly-compressed news cycle life, it would still take a few days for voters to digest bin Laden's threat to individual states. If bin Laden wanted to affect the election it may have been botched by someone messing up one word.