WASHINGTON, DC—A new videotape of Osama bin Laden broadcast on the Arab satellite news channel Al-Jazeera Monday beseeched Allah to grant all Americans a "crappy Valentine's Day."
"This Feb. 14th on the Western infidels' calendar, may all Americans receive no valentines from their beloved ones," bin Laden said. "May the homemade construction-paper mailboxes taped to the desks of the American schoolchildren remain empty, as well. May whomever you ask to 'bee yours' tell you to 'buzz off.'"
Bin Laden called for "romantic humiliation for all Americans of courting and betrothal age."
"Allah willing, embarrassment and tearful rejection shall rule this day," bin Laden said. "Paper hearts shall be rent and trod upon, and dreams of love delivered stillborn. Body language shall be misinterpreted, crushes unrequited, and sincere expressions of affection mocked. Invitations to dinner will be rejected, just as Americans have rejected Allah, the one true God."
During a speech before the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association, President Bush condemned the al-Qaeda leader's remarks.
"[Bin Laden's] sinister call for romantic disappointment on Valentine's Day is yet another demonstration of the ruthless hatred this evil individual harbors for the American way of life," Bush said. "He directs rage at even our youngest and most innocent citizens, asking God to quash children's joy by making them receive, and I quote, 'only unwanted valentines bearing the laughable likenesses of out-of-favor pop-culture icons from the recent past, such as the Backstreet Boys and the creatures from Monsters, Inc.'"
"Bin Laden's depravity knows no bounds," Bush added.
According to state officials, bin Laden demonstrated an uncanny knowledge of Valentine's Day customs, in spite of the fact that the holiday is not celebrated in the Arab world. In addition to his allusions to classroom valentines, bin Laden cited heart-shaped candies, valentine personal ads in free alternative weeklies, and foot massages.
"In this infamous February, may all American hearts be crushed like a box of conversation hearts that is tossed carelessly into the bottom of a fellow student's schoolbag," bin Laden said. "We soldiers of Allah pledge with our blood and souls that all pink and red carnations shall wither and drop from their stalks before they make their way to the desks of America's secretaries. Instead of receiving hugs and kisses, they and their extended families shall be besieged with boos and hisses."
Bin Laden added: "May your special Valentine's Day dinner be spent at an overrated restaurant that impoverishes your purse and leaves your stomach churning with indigestible Western cuisine."
Bin Laden did not overlook the innocuous custom of giving stuffed animals as gifts.
"The teddy bear that holds the 'I love you' heart does not love you at all," Bin Laden said. "It is an unliving, unholy thing filled only with stuffing. Just as the Western infidel is not bestowed with the blessings of Allah, so shall he go unloved by the false bear."
The release of the bin Laden tape is consistent with the al-Qaeda leader's inclination to speak out before major American events, such as the 2004 U.S. presidential election.
"Perhaps whoever told bin Laden about Valentine's Day exaggerated its significance," departing Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said. "Or, I don't know, maybe he was just itching to release another tape."
The Department of Homeland Security did not raise the terror advisory, recommending that Americans proceed with their Valentine's Day plans. This is in spite of the final words of bin Laden's address.
"Come Monday, as you pry open your fancy, red Russell Stover box, take heed," bin Laden said. "For in the place of tasty caramels and buttercreams, you will find the flaming sword of righteous jihad!"