Bin Laden says Bush repeating Soviet mistakes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Osama bin Laden, in a U.S. transcript of a newly released video, said President George W. Bush was repeating the mistakes of Soviet leaders by refusing to acknowledge losses in Iraq.

“How similar is your position today to their position approximately two decades ago,” the al Qaeda leader said in a reference to the former Soviet Union’s operations in Afghanistan.

“The mistakes of Brezhnev are being repeated by Bush, who -- when asked about the date of his withdrawing of force from Iraq -- said in effect that the withdrawal will not be during his reign, but rather, during the reign of the one who succeeds him. And the significance of these words is not hidden.”

Bin Laden also said U.S. Democrats had failed to stop the war in Iraq because of the power corporations wield in the United States. U.S. officials have not verified the authenticity of the tape.

“So in answer to the question about the causes of the Democrats’ failure to stop the war, I say: they are the same reasons which led to the failure of former president (John F.) Kennedy to stop the Vietnam war. Those with real power and influence are those with the most capital,” bin Laden said.

“And since the democratic system permits major corporations to back candidates, be they presidential or congressional, there shouldn’t be any cause for astonishment -- and there isn’t any -- in the Democrats’ failure to stop the war,” he says.

Bin Laden refers to French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown -- a potential signal to intelligence authorities that the video was recently made.