CONTESSA BREWER: And so, while the President is in the Middle East trying to build friendships with the Muslim World, Osama Bin Laden says it will accomplish the opposite – that it will actually make enemies.
With me now, live on this new Osama Bin Laden tape, terrorism expert, Steve Emerson.
Steve, what do you make of the timing?
STEVEN EMERSON: I think that the President – I think that the head of Al Qaeda is obviously exploiting the fact that the President is coming to Cairo and he is using that opportunity to make his opinions felt, and they will be felt, as will the opinions of his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who made a vicious attack on the President yesterday. The fact is, Ayman al-Zawahiri's place of birth is Cairo, and the fact that they are using this opportunity to bash the administration for its "anti Muslim policies," I think, unfortunately is going to resonate.
I don't think the President really has a chance of trying to reverse that opinion given the fact that most of the opinion leaders – the media, the academia, the religious establishment in the Muslim World – consistently and continuously has voiced anti-American opinion and attacks on American policies since the new President began.
BREWER: It's interesting though, because we've seen this recent poll that shows that 8 out of 11 Arab countries show double-digit jumps in the amount of positive feelings toward the United States. Ayman al-Zawahiri released a statement about the President's trip, and now Osama bin Laden – an indication that Al Qaeda is running scared?
EMERSON: No, not an indication at all. Look, those public opinion polls are very transitory; they can be changed on a dime's notice. And the fact is, that when you specify "what do you agree with with the American policy?" then you find the numbers drop off entirely. The reality is that if you asked those that say they have a new respect for the new administration they will tell you that they expect now that Israel will be forced to withdraw to the pre-'67 borders, that the United States will withdraw from Iraq and from Afghanistan, the United States will withdraw from the Persian Gulf. That's their idea of the "new respect for the Muslim World." That's not realistic policy – that's not going to happen. The fact is, the U.S. has interest in those areas and those are going to continue.
BREWER: Steve, thank you so much for joining us. I do appreciate that.