I’d say this week we enter the war slog. Next week, against my advice and wishes, the Free Press staff is getting a few days off, so you’ll just get a short “Thankful for This and That” post from me. Anyway, let’s get to the news.
→ Iran’s special treat: Biden is working to unfreeze $10 billion in assets for Iran as a special treat for everything they’ve been doing, a little early gesture to show who the Biden administration is thankful for this year (yes, it’s you, Ayatollah Khamenei, you rascal!). From the WSJ on the relaxed sanctions: “You’d think the Biden administration would have realized by now that enriching the Iranian regime is a dangerous mistake. You’d be wrong.”
Biden’s staff is apparently concerned about his age, and we got these suggestions from a plugged-in Politico columnist: “Put Biden in settings that play to his strengths, which may be risky but which will capture his decency rather than his infirmities: a casino stroll and sit-down conversation with the (heavily Hispanic) culinary union in Las Vegas; a town hall with Arab-Americans in Dearborn, Mich.; an HBCU football tailgate (think Georgia).” The president looked confused laying a wreath for Veterans Day. And more than 400 of his own federal employees are staging a mutiny, signing an open letter demanding their boss call for a cease-fire in Gaza. If you watch recent videos of Biden, it’s clear how impaired he is at this point, so in his defense he might literally have no idea that the staff is revolting and we’re funding Iran.
→ Osama bin Laden made some great points: It’s never fun to explain a TikTok trend. Usually, it’s people identifying as bunnies or trees or convulsing from internet-induced mental illness (can someone check on those girls who claimed to have Tourette syndrome?). But this week is an especially interesting one: leftist American kids are discovering Osama bin Laden’s manifesto, “Letter to America.” And oh boy, do they love it! Oh, how misunderstood bin Laden was. Oh, how beautiful his message is. And why, they’re now asking, have they been so thoroughly lied to about the emir of al-Qaeda? You have to watch this compilation of these people, and then you have to pour yourself a stiff drink.
An example: “This morning I read ‘Letter to America,’ which is Osama bin Laden’s letter to America explaining why he attacked Americans. And I am ashamed to say that I not only have never read this letter, but I didn’t even know this letter existed. It’s wild and everyone should read it. However, be forewarned that this has left me very disillusioned. . . . I feel a little bit just confused, like I’ve entered into another timeline.” Next woman: “I just read ‘Letter to America,’ and I will never look at life the same.”
To me this looks organized, like some twisted (but impressive!) nonprofit is seeding it, and obviously China is incentivized to keep this stuff flowing fast into our eyes. The Guardian had Osama bin Laden’s letter on its website (it was part of the historical record). But, seeing a rather alarming traffic spike from these new fans, even The Guardian took it down.
A large group of American leftists think this place is truly the worst country in the world, think Israel isn’t even a country but a racist settlement fever dream, and think Osama bin Laden was right when he wrote things like: “It is saddening to tell you that you are the worst civilization witnessed by the history of mankind.” That’s pretty standard fare at Yale right now. There are folks this week trying to explain how every American war ever fought was bad, especially the Korean War.
For context, this is the most popular progressive influencer in the country (the one who said Jewish babies are settlers too) this week:
Or here’s author Gretchen Felker-Martin: “Can pretty safely state that bin Laden and I did not, uh, agree on much, but blowing up the World Trade Center is probably the most principled and defensible thing he ever did.”
For the record, we at TFP advocate for a diversity of opinions, and against political litmus tests. If you are pro–Osama bin Laden, that is your right. And in fact, I want you to announce it loud and clear so I can ID you very quickly in all situations and find my nearest exit. You keep doing you! Allahu right back atchu! But I’ll just go to the mall across the street from this one.