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Bin Laden and Red States: Arabic Translation Issue

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DireStrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:24 PM
Original message
Bin Laden and Red States: Arabic Translation Issue
There is ONE source reporting this. Everyone else is just mimicking them. Does that mean it's not true? Probably not, I say.

The words at the center of the question are "ay wilaya". Anybody speak arabic? Of course, for extra authenticity it would be nice to check the tape to see if OBL actually said this. Is it available anywhere?

MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute, said that:

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."

The Islamist website Al-Qal'a explained what this sentence meant: "This message was a warning to every U.S. state separately. When he said, 'Every state will be determining its own security, and will be responsible for its choice,'

...

"Wilaya" refers specifically to a U.S. state; it would never refer to an independent country. The term for such a country is "Dawla."


http://www.memri.org/bin/opener_latest.cgi?ID=SA1404#_e...


You may have noticed a tinge of bias in this article. Additionally, one of the first papers to run this story was the NY Post, Rupert Murdoch's rag. The right could have used this to promote a "See? He doesn't like Bush!" message.

Brian Whitaker of The Guardian criticized MEMRI's reporting here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/elsewhere/journalist/story/0,...
(Link contains rebuttal from MEMRI head. Ineffective, IMO.)

His conclusion: They give accurate translations, but only report things that can be used by the right. Interesting points: Israeli intel agency ties and Zionism.


So can anyone knowledgeable clarify any of this? My overall feeling is that the translation is accurate, and that I should ignore (as usual) reich wing appraisals of the situation.

*Important note: There are two major transcripts/translations of this tape. One, widely distributed in the US, is missing large chunks of what was said. I believe Al Jazeera and others have the full translation up on websites, just watch out for Fox/CNN/other MSM.
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mdhunter Donating Member (373 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. I think you have your answer
"There is ONE source reporting this." There you go. Most of the MSM, of course, didn't have this individual state translation during their initial airings of the video. I think, probably, because they were taking the translation that Al Jazeera provided.

However I also think it unlikely that niether ABCNNBCBS had a native Arabic speaker either on staff or on contract for precisely such verification purposes. If they weren't reporting it (and if it had been several states individually, they would have loved to report that!) then I suspect their in house people cleared it. That this adjusted translation came out after the fact by a borderline propagandist group signals to me that it's bunk.
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hux4000 Donating Member (17 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 01:01 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. done
kick
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hollywood926 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:49 PM
Response to Original message
2. I spent three years in the Middle East, but
my Arabic is limited. However, the word "State" generally means nation, not U.S. state - I doubt he was singling out any specific U.S. state.
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jayctravis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:12 PM
Response to Original message
3. Who chose wisely?
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rabbit2484 Donating Member (201 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Proud to be a Cheesehead
Surrounded by Gophers, Yupers, and FIBs. (No offense Jay, but couldn't think of anything else)

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KnowerOfLogic Donating Member (841 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 12:18 AM
Response to Original message
5. FWIW, i think it's not really clear what he meant. Based on the Arabic
transcript i have (which i have no way of knowing for sure is accurate), bin Laden does *not* say:

"Any U.S. state that does not toy with our security automatically guarantees its own security."

IMO he says:
Any state which does not toy with our security guarantees its own security in return.

The key difference is that he does not say "U.S. State," he simply says "state." However, the word he uses, "willaya" is normally always used used to refer to a region or a province within a a larger sovereign country, and it is the same word normally used to refer to the individual american states. I think the trouble here is not so much the translation, it is simply a matter of him not being especially clear because you can't tell from the context whether he means each american state, or just any place or region in general. I tend to think it's the latter, but it's hard to tell.

P.S. the transcript i have is allegedly the complete one, which i think aljazeera released after the first edited version, specifically to counter to this idea that bin Laden threatened individual states, but again, i think it's just unclear what he meant.
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sonicx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 12:39 AM
Response to Original message
6. FOX and NYPost were the first to report this...
tells me all i need to know.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 09:46 AM
Response to Original message
8. kick
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