Bin Laden lauds costs of war to U.S.

In videotape, he boasts of economic damage

Osama bin Laden brags that he is succeeding beyond his dreams in destabilizing the U.S. economy and bankrupting the U.S. government, in a video broadcast by al-Jazeera on Friday.

November 2, 2004

Osama bin Laden boasted that the invasion of Iraq has bogged down the United States in a hopeless war that advances al Qaeda's recruitment goals and bin Laden's aim of bankrupting the U.S. economy, according to a translation of the full text of the terrorist leader's remarks on a videotape that surfaced last week.

Yesterday the network released the entire 18-minute tape, and U.S. officials issued a translation of bin Laden's entire message.

On the tape, the Saudi millionaire brags that he is succeeding beyond his dreams in destabilizing the U.S. economy and bankrupting the U.S. government, asserting that President Bush is easily manipulated into taking military and security steps that harm American interests.

The results of the U.S. war in Iraq, he said, "have been by the grace of Allah positive and enormous, and have by all standards exceeded all expectations."

"The policy of the White House that demands the opening of war fronts to keep busy their various corporations -- whether they be working in the field of arms or oil or reconstruction -- has helped al Qaeda to achieve these enormous results," bin Laden said. "And so it has appeared to some analysts and diplomats that the White House and we are playing as one team toward the economic goals of the United States, even if the intentions differ."

Bin Laden added, "Bush's hands are stained with the blood of all of those killed from both sides, all for the sake of oil and keeping their private companies in business," referring at one point to the Halliburton energy services company, which Vice President Cheney led before his election.

Bin Laden also suggested that the huge sums of money Washington spends on homeland security and the military serve his agenda of weakening the U.S. economy.