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October 13, 2006



Regrettably, you have that backwards. The complaint in the new tape is not that the Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda "adhered" to Zawahari's strictures about not attacking the Shia. The complaint is that the Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda "ignored" or "rejected" the Zawahari strictures. The complaint is not that the Iraqi organization has gone soft on the Shia, rather the opposite, and that is the meaning of his plea to Osama bin Laden: "You hold in your hand the key to fitna; it is yours to open or shut".


serves me right for blogging with insomnia at 1 in the morning... I'm not sure if your interpretation is right, though. There's the grumbling about how the al-Qaeda leadership's behavior is "very strange" and the hints that people are talking. The other tape is pretty clear in its Sunni chauvinism, and similar to Abu Usama's list of complaints about the treatment of Sunnis. You could be right, though - I want to see the tape for myself but haven't scrounged it up yet.


With all due respect, I fundamentally disagree that it is: ".... [in]America's interest to portray al-Qaeda as in disarray". In fact I think just the opposite. The stronger the Bush Admin can play up AQ the better it is for them. Domestically, that is. It is all that stands between them and being tossed out on their political ear by the American public.


jonst - maybe domestically, I just meant strictly in terms of fighting against al-qaeda and the insurgency, spreading disarray in their ranks through psyop was good strategy.

Tom Scudder

If you're feeling paranoid, note that Al Arabiya just got permission to reopen its Baghdad bureau.

magdi abdelhadi

that may put an end (for the time being) about that dubious video message



Badger is grateful for the very generous remarks. Thank you. Just for completeness: I'd say the failure of Al-Jazeera to touch it pretty much seals the case that it wasn't what it purported to be. However: What I was getting at is that no matter where it came from, getting the actual intended meaning of the message right should be the first item of business, then what it was intended to be used for. In this case: The whole idea that "people say we've ended up helping the foreign agenda" or whatever the phrase was, is essentially nationalist, if I could put it in a nutshell, while the Shura Council reply, "that's just what you'd expect to hear from agents of the white man and the Safavid" is essentially takfiiri. In the US public discourse, the nationalists practically don't exist, and it was for that reason that I found skimming over that part of the thing disturbing. Regardless of whether this was said by a party A, or by party B pretending to be party A, the question is the same: What the hell are they talking about ? I think it's a mistake to always say: O we already know that.

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