"The only good union is a dead union!" Osama bin Laden stated in prepared remarks today.
DATELINE MUSCAT, OMAN: Another shocking revelation of anti-Union plotting and scheming today, but this time it was not CEO’s of TARP Bailout recipient banks. The attendees? Senior Al Qaeda management, including Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and over two dozen more senior managers. It marked a historic first time for so many senior managers from Al Qaeda to be in one place at the same time. Under normal circumstances and for security reasons, Al Qaeda leaders are not allowed within 50 miles of each other but desperate times call for desperate measures.
(Cross posted at The National Gadfly)
Set in the sleepy seaside town of Old Muscat, a city that has seen better days. Over the centuries, Muscat has served as a seat of government and a door way to trade between Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. The walls of the old city look out over the bay like bleached bones, preserved in the salt and dry air. The people that remain here, do so stubbornly, like the wild trees and bushes that eke out their existence along the rocky shoreline, sandwiched between ocean and desert, buffeted by wind and heat. The old market is still here, but only locals trade there. Dubai, with its glimmering towers and huge, modern port facilities has rendered Muscat into merely a side trip for the curious. The Al Qaeda leadership meeting here, would very much like to avoid becoming another Muscat.
Today’s meeting is in the Al Khoud Restaurant (not the swanky, Euro-trash dancehall, but the original one on Bab Muthaib Street, looking out over the bay onto Jalalai fortress). It is owned by a cousin of Osama bin Laden. Mr. bin Laden was the keynote speaker, addressing the crowd this morning.
The tone and the rhetoric were all too familiar. Like their GOP partners, Al Qaeda has built their brand on deregulation, lawlessness, military colonization and global market wealth transfer. Both organizations seek to squelch competition from within their revenue base by stressing religious fanaticism, a police state, poor health care and living conditions, fostering crime and drug trades. The ideal market model for both Al Qaeda and the GOP is to extract money from the population and give them nothing in return. Dissent is met with an iron fist or indentured servitude. All of which, puts Al Qaeda in the same position as the GOP when it comes to organized Labor. They are firmly against it.
"We cannot allow ourselves to become complacent. George Bush is gone and nothing we can do will bring him back."
Mr. bin Laden warned the anxious attendees.
"We cannot use the economy as an excuse. Our organization was built to create poverty and hoard wealth. We can still do that."
Mr. bin Laden touched on the familiar themes of infidels in the holy land, fighting the crusaders and reestablishment of the Caliphate. In his 50 minute address, he quoted his good friend Sam Walton and pointed out the successes of Wal-Mart in suppressing unions from trying to organize. Mr. bin Laden informed the crowd that it is their duty now to take the message home to their employees. They are expected to schedule meetings with all staff within their market by the end of February. All who attend wil be expected to swear not to join any union and to physically assault or kill any union organizers.
bin Laden painted a picture of the future for this organization that was not at all rosy. He said that they face an uphill battle. The new administration of US President Barack Obama is decidedly pro-labor and has already taken steps that do not favor Al Qaeda. President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act on one day and then invited the heads of worldwide organized labor into the White House on the next day. According to an unnamed source inside the White House, the Obama administration is combating these forces with basically the same strategy: win the hearts and minds of the rank & file through improved education, health care and rights.
In his address, Osama bin Laden highlighted how much the Bush/Cheney administration was far more helpful to Al Qaeda. He reviewed their successes in operations, bottom line profits and franchise growth, worldwide stating that it was because of their firm partnership with the GOP, that these things could happen.
Alas, since November 4, recruiting is down and support from local governments is showing signs of waning as well. There is a sense that perhaps the Al Qaeda brand is tarnished. Mr. bin Laden dismissed this outright as purely lies told by infidels.
bin Laden pointed out some changes already taking place on the ground. For example, the CIA has been forced to suspend aid for heroin harvest and distribution under the Obama administration. American weapons manufacturers have already had contracts with Al Qaeda frozen or canceled by President Obama, thus limiting the jihadists’ in their ability to run their day-to-day operations. Financial assistance from the US Government in the form of cash bribes have also dried up. There are far fewer suitcases of cash coming in now, than there were a year ago.
After laying out the grim landscape of the current jihadist marketplace bin Laden announced that he had entered into negotiations with the Chinese Government for a new 5 year exclusive licensing arrangement. Although the details are still being hammered out, he said that under this agreement Al Qaeda will become the sole representative of terror, disruption, extortion and illegal military action for Beijing. He said that by taking on the role of out-sourced military oppression, Al Qaeda can compete directly with government militaries and private military contractors like Blackwater, Inc. He believes that this diversification will attract more investors and allow the company to operate in markets where religion has not paved the way for recruiting.
He said that the way to counter this is to do get back to there core competencies and refocus on their party’s core beliefs: No education for women, killing of anyone that has a brain and blaming all misery from poverty to disease on the Americans.
Mr. bin Laden did open the conversation up for questions from the crowd, but cut it short after only a few. Probably a wise decision, as these things can deteriorate into ‘bitch sessions’ without a firm hand at the till.
Ayman al- Zawahiri spoke shortly after Mr. bin Laden. He focused on the highlights of 2008, with particular focus on the successful IPO of Somali Pirates. That idea had been in beta for about a year and the first release launched in Q3 of last year. So far, revenues from Somali pirates has doubled the company’s Sub-Saharan revenues for the last two quarters.
al-Zawahiri, COO of Al Qaeda, had only the most vile insults for President Obama and his family. Of unions, Mr. al-Zawahiri said that they would destroy the civilization as we know it. Those remarks, strangely echoing the words of CEO’s from US firms that have recently made headlin
es by making similar statements.
"EFCA is the Great Satan" Ayman al-Zawahiri tells reporters today.
Al Qaeda, Ltd. shares, traded on the Dubai Exchange under the symbol AQL have been in steady decline since the US Elections in November. The loss of George Bush has hit Al Qaeda particularly hard. The ex-President’s insistence on colonial expansion in the Middle East was the primary driver for both recruitment and fundraising for Al Qaeda over the last 8 years. Analysts expect the Q4 earnings call next by Al Qaeda to be a somber one and almost everyone believes that Al Qaeda will not only miss their projected earnings target, but will fall considerably short.
The meeting ended with a surprise visit from none other than Dick Cheney, now a civilian. Mr. Cheney spoke to the meeting as an envoy from American Defense Contractor and Financial Services industries. He congratulated Al Qaeda for their success in maintaining the global economy of bloodshed, ignorance, terror, murder and profits derived from human misery. Cheney distributed a list of new donors that are flush with cash, looking to invest in Al Qaeda. He received a standing ovation and was honored by the assembled group for his years of tireless service to military colonialism and corporate greed.
Standing in line for an autograph session with Mr. Cheney afterward, one attendee called him the grandfather of corporate excess and another stated that he was ruthless greed, personified.
Only time will tell if Al Qaeda can retool its operations to meet the changing political and economic environment. It may take several weeks to see if the stark message and stern directives of this week’s meetings will sway the rank & file jihadists to spurn union organizers. Rising health costs and decreasing wages could very well become the WMD that bring down the world’s largest exporters of jihad.
The meetings are over for today and so attendees dash into the bazaar to haggle over rugs, jewelry, electronics, hand-made furniture and lavish expenses from the gold market. Some are shopping with wives, while others are trying to find a ‘little somethin’ – somethin’ ‘ and a favorite mistresses back home.
One jihadist tells us,
"I will be in deep camel-shit if I return without something for my girlfriend, her mother, her father, her brothers…it never ends!"
Still others, run up to Dubai for some deals on abandoned Mercedes, Lexus, etc. So, it remains to be seen whether or not the Al Qaeda organization can heed the warnings of their leadership and respond quickly to changes in the marketplace. Otherwise, there may be a lot more of Muscat in their future than Mecca.