May 5, 2006

Our al Qaeda video.

Making Zarqawi look like a ridiculous bumbler.
In releasing the outtakes, the American military sought to show that Mr. Zarqawi is a phony who cannot even fire a basic infantry weapon without help and who walks around the desert in comfortable Western jogging shoes.

"What you saw on the Internet was what he wanted the world to see," General Lynch said. "Look at me, I'm a capable leader of a capable organization, and we are indeed declaring war against democracy inside of Iraq, and we're going to establish an Islamic caliphate."

"What he didn't show you were the clips that I showed, wearing New Balance sneakers with his uniform, surrounded by supposedly competent subordinates who grab the hot barrel of a just-fired machine gun," he said.

"We have a warrior leader, Zarqawi, who doesn't understand how to operate his weapon system and has to rely on his subordinates to clear a weapon stoppage," the general said. "It makes you wonder."
It's all in the edit.

35 comments:

Michael Farris said...

But does this make the US military look any better that they can't catpure/decisively defeat this bungling poseur?

Bissage said...

He's no Jack Bauer, that's for sure. But if this is the best we've got on the guy then we haven't got much.

Why do we need video for our psy-ops, anyway? Why don't we just make fun of his name by calling him Chimpi-al-Zarqawi-McBushitler? Or, we could repeat over and over again that he LIED!!! us into war and that his administration is DANGEROUSLY INCOMPETENT!!!

David said...

The leadership of al qaeda and the taliban are good at getting their acolytes killed but never seem to get killed or captured themselves.

It is as hard to find concealed WMD in Iraq, if they haven't already been moved to Hezballah control in the Bekaa Valley, as it would be to find one individual, Zarqawi, in Baghdad, Los Angeles or New York. The Iraqi's already had Zarqawi in custody once but let him go because they didn't recognize him.

Zarqawi is surrounded by human cannonfodder which does not make him a leader. It does make him a deranged killer.

Ann Althouse said...

I'd like to see a "Hogan's Heroes" type sitcom with bumbling al Qaedists (or whatever you call him). Zarqawi could be the Sgt. Schultz. Is it too early for this?

bearbee said...

Zarqawi challenge

HaloJonesFan said...

Hey, it doesn't take smarts to run and hide in a hole; rats do it all the time.

I liked the one bit during the jam-clearing scene, where Zarqawi is holding the machine gun and swings around, sticking the barrel right into the face of the guy standing next to him. Real bright, Saladin.

reader_iam said...

"It makes you wonder."

It sure does!!!

Is it too early for this?

Probably--but that sure got a laugh out of me.

Michael Farris: That's a good question.

SteveR said...

They can't capture him,in part, because he spends most of his time in Syria. I don't think it can hurt to show this.

altoids1306 said...

I dunno. I don't like it. I could see the tape's value in undermining the jihadists, but for some reason it seems unbecoming of the US military to release this tape in a official capacity.

If we're going to win this thing, it will be because the average Iraqi trusts the professionalism and impartiality of US troops in maintaining order and mediating ethnic conflict.

peter hoh said...

The Office meets al Qaeda. I love it.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Iowahawk has a hilarious recurring series of guest posts by Zarqawi (or "the Zarkman"): "I hate my boss," "This job sucks."

The most recent has Zarqawi receiving an email from Zawahiri: "Please join me in Conference Hut C after noon prayers for a candid review of your Q1 performance results versus ISO 700 caliphate objectives, and to level-set for go-forward leadership growth."

Now understand, normally this clueless f*** is incapable of writing a memo less than 12 pages long, which go straight to my delete folder. A message this short? Now my Zarky-sense is pegging the bad-news-o-meter. I grabbed a pile of my project folders and headed for the conference room, and the crapstorm commenced before my ass hit the carpet.

“Abu, as you know, AQI is all about creating a scalable paradigm for enabling global caliphate,” he says. “But lately, I have been concerned that we’ve had some performance leakage in our Total Quality Jihad plan.”

Okay, maybe I don’t have a fancy-ass Master of Martyr Administration from Damascus Tech, but I saw where this s*** was going.


When can we start filming?

Jacques Cuze said...

I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It's a world of madmen and uncertainty
and potential mental losses.

Rarely is the question asked
Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the Internet become more few?
How many hands have I shaked?

They misunderestimate me.
I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.
I know that the human being and the fish can coexist.
Families is where our nation finds hope, where our wings take dream.

Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Vulcanize society!
Make the pie higher! Make the pie higher!

paulfrommpls said...

quxxo, I gotta admit: that's hilarious. I guess you're making a Point which I can Ignore and still laugh.

Jacques Cuze said...

If you're going to ignore that "point" and Laugh, you may wish to ignore this "Point" and Cry.

Bush had many chances before the war to wipe out Zarqawi but they never did so because it would take away from Bush's claimed need to go to war. NBC reported this two years ago. It was confirmed May 1st, by Michael Scheuer.

MICHAEL SCHEUER, CIA 1982-2004:
MICHAEL SCHEUER, CIA 1982-2004: And Mr Bush had Mr Zarqawi in his sights for almost every day for a year before the invasion of Iraq. And he didn't shoot because they were wining and dining the French in an effort to get them to assist us in the invasion of Iraq.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: In 2004, Mike Scheuer resigned after 22 years with the CIA. For four years he headed the agency's bin Laden Unit. Scheuer says that in 2002 there were plenty of chances to wipe out Zarqawi's camp in Kurdistan.

MICHAEL SCHEUER, CIA 1982-2004: Excellent intelligence. Almost every day we sent a package to the White House. They had had overhead imagery of the house he was staying in. You know, very detailed information. And it was a terrorist training camp. Any collateral damage there would have been terrorists. In addition, the camp was experimenting with ricin and anthrax.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: How did you know that?

MICHAEL SCHEUER, CIA 1982-2004: Through the combination of intelligence sources. You know, the traditional signals intelligence, human intelligence and overhead imagery.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Plans were drawn up to destroy the camp by July 4 2002. But that date came and went.

MICHAEL SCHEUER, CIA 1982-2004: And the reason the intelligence service got for not shooting Zarqawi was simply that the President and the National Security Council decided it was more important not to give the Europeans the impression that we were gunslingers.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Steven Simon, a former US National Security Council director, describes it as a 'policy impediment' for Washington.

STEVEN SIMON, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: Well, in the sense that if you strike a camp that you have asserted to be a reason for war and you take it out, the question then arises, well, then why go to war if you've done this?

Jennifer said...

I liked the one bit during the jam-clearing scene, where Zarqawi is holding the machine gun and swings around, sticking the barrel right into the face of the guy standing next to him.

That killed me too! Since the other guy didn't even react, I guess muzzle awareness is no biggie in Al Qaeda.

paulfrommpls said...

Not quite as funny. More of a giggle.

Do Scheuer's views on the reasoning point you to the doorway to ambiguity like they do for me?

The Drill SGT said...

A couple of points.

SCHEUER: He was the Bin Ladin hunter during the Clinton term.

SCHEUER: Note that he makes linkages from Zarqawi to Bin Ladin, and notes the camps in Kurdistan (MEANING IRAQ). Elsewhere the left makes assertions that there were no linkages from Bin Ladin to Saddam.

Zarqawi: I think the video is very useful. Arabs hate embarrassment and scorn. Zarqawi looks foolish and incompetent with weapons. That may not resonate with Blue America but it does with Iraqis I'll bet. The whole scene reminds me of the clip of the rifle range from "Heartbreak Ridge" and all too many incidents of my own when I was "The Drill SGT"

reader_iam said...

I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.

My word! I've worked with a number of people like that.

What a great sentence.

Jacques Cuze said...

Note that he makes linkages from Zarqawi to Bin Ladin

Where does he do that? Seems the report says the following:

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Azzam says Osama bin Laden sent Zarqawi seven or eight letters asking him join al-Qaeda. But Zarqawi - seen here at his sister's wedding - refused. Zarqawi wanted his own training camp. He called on some old contacts to support him.

Yes, Kurdistan is in Iraq, so when Zarqawi was in Kurdistan he was in Iraq, that part of Iraq that Hussein had no control over, and that we did. So why didn't we wipe out Zarqawi again?

paulfrommpls said...

To follow up in what the Drill Sgt is pointing out:

Several months ago I got into a back and forth on a New Republic blog called The Plank that I believe is readable by non-subscribers. It had to do with Hussein's connections to international Islamic terror: the nature of these connections and how to think about them. It was actually mostly a debate between me and TNR writer Jason Zengerle, who had snippily pooh-poohed the efforts of Stephen Hayes at the Weekly Standard to keep researching these issues. It’s a rambling thread – two of them actually – which you can get to via a rambling post at my site:

http://paulfrommpls.blogspot.com/2006/01/whats-matter-with-me.html

People who adhere to the basic line that Hussein had almost nothing to do with such terror seem usually to be unaware of some interesting facts: like (for instance) the generally-accepted fact that Hussein offer bin Laden and al Q sanctuary in Iraq in the 1998-99 period, when the Taliban were under some pressure about the al Q presence there.

Or, if they are aware of such facts, they will point to the least worrying way of interpreting them and insist that it’s ridiculous to bother oneself anymore. So in the offering sanctuary case, the fact the bin Laden turned him down is taken as proof that no cooperative relationship was possible.

Whereas for me and I suspect the Drill Sgt, the presence of a large pile of such events indicates that in an increasingly entrepreneurial terrorist world, Hussein’s Iraq represented a clear example of the “nexus of rogue regimes and international terror,” the Clinton-era concept that W decided to take seriously.

Anyway, the post and the TNR discussions are about that: the facts, and disagreement on how to think about the facts.

I got to know Stephen Hayes as a result on this, by the way. He said he couldn’t really add anything to what I was saying about his work.

paulfrommpls said...

Anyway, the point is, if you're really, really interested in that issue, I think the debate provides a pretty intro to the substance of the disagreement.

Zengerle hasn't returned to the topic since then.

Jacques Cuze said...

Hussein’s Iraq represented a clear example of the “nexus of rogue regimes and international terror,” the Clinton-era concept that W decided to take seriously.

Do you mean take seriously as in shutting it down ala Bill, or building them a laboratory, field test, and training site ala George?

Or do you mean take seriously as in refusing to wipe out Zarqawi many many times when he had the chance?

paulfrommpls said...

The "why didn't we kill him when we had the chance" debate is interesting and worth it on its own terms; but with regard to the larger topic of Hussein and terror I'm into, it's a minor chapter.

Do you mean George I on the insinuation? Things are very complex and then they change. Superpowers screw up almost automatically. (Plus I have a fair amount of confidence that the facts behind the allegations you refer to are somewhat not as you believe them to be.)

SippicanCottage said...

On the day I require pseudonyms for my pseudonyms because I think the "black hats" are out to get me, please, someone put me out of my misery.

Beat me to death with the Boston phone book, please. You'll find it laying around all over the place here.

paulfrommpls said...

Shh... you'll alarm him/her... I think I'm making some progress...

Bissage said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
XWL said...

Why stick with actual video of them being idiots to make the terrorists look stupid?

Get look-a-likes and film them doing various prohibited acts and spread it across the internet (eating pork, drinking alcohol, gay sex, et cetera).

Enlist Hollywood in the project, they used to be able to assist in tearing down the enemy, it's time they do so again.

Release the video on the internet, secretly, and without comment, but keep a steady stream of short but damaging videos of terrorists being unskilled, unmanly, and breaking religious law.

And anyone following what くそ is on about?

I suppose くそ's next post will include big block quotes from Ray McGovern.

The Drill SGT said...

XWL said...
Why stick with actual video of them being idiots to make the terrorists look stupid?

Get look-a-likes and film them doing various prohibited acts and spread it across the internet (eating pork, drinking alcohol, gay sex, et cetera).

Enlist Hollywood in the project, they used to be able to assist in tearing down the enemy, it's time they do so again.


I agree with your concept and intent, but of course it would fail these days for 2 reasons.

1. It's not clear that Hollywood doesn't want the other side to win. Look at Syriana... An interesting position given what the other side would do with them if they won. Being stood up against a wall and shot seems better than stoning, IMHO.

2. Our MSM would sell out any operation like that if it would hurt the administration.

PatCA said...

"I'd like to see a "Hogan's Heroes" type sitcom with bumbling al Qaedists (or whatever you call him)."

Like that video played ad nauseam of guys on the overhead parallel bars! Olympics material they are not. Al Sistani's "ask Al" site answering all your religious/sexual/social questions is pretty ridiculous too.


Part of the reason, IMO, the West does not take them seriously is they are their own parody.

Bissage said...

PatCa: Your remark about seriousness reminded me of a conspiracy I've been meaning to expose for years now.

Soon after 9/11, Jonah Goldberg at National Review put out a piece about al Qaeda being unworthy of respect because it was more like SMERSH or SPECTRE (from James Bond) than a real power.

That got the kibosh. Real fast.

Troy said...

Maybe we could send Ashton Kutcher over there to punk Zarqawi. I bet Osama would help Ashton set it up with some fake IEDs, etc.

Hogan's Heroes would be a great model for a terror sitcom send up.

Hajj Podge
Fiqh U
Bomb and Bomber

I'm tapped (and probably was from the beginning).

hygate said...

Bissage said:

"Soon after 9/11, Jonah Goldberg at National Review put out a piece about al Qaeda being unworthy of respect because it was more like SMERSH or SPECTRE (from James Bond) than a real power."

Reading the actual article:

http://www.nationalreview.com/goldberg/goldberg053102.asp

shows that he stated the opposite of what you claim. That non-state actors can now accumulate the wealth and gain access to weapons that in previous errors were available only to nation-states and that the fact that these actors are not nation-states increases the danger they represent because it complicates retaliation. It seemed pretty straight forward to me.

Bissage said...

Hygate: Compare the 5/29/02 piece to the 5/31/02 piece. The point of the former was that al Qaeda is ridiculous as lacking institutional legitimacy. In the latter, Goldberg answers the criticism that he is indifferent to al Qaeda's dangerousness.

Goldberg restates his position, with an analogy to SPECTRE. He says that al Qaeda is dangerous (because of modern technology) but he reiterates that al Qaeda is ridiculous, as follows: "In the James Bond books and movies, S.P.E.C.T.R.E. always seemed just a little silly: really rich people messing with Britain, America, and Russia just to get their jollies. But, that's what bin Laden is."

Having saved face, Goldberg never touched that third rail again. Not that I recall, anyway.

Hence, my humorous quip to PatCa. You know, Bissage really didn't do so badly, seeing how he was drawing on a four year old memory of one opinion piece among the thousands he's read in his young life.

hygate said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
hygate said...

Bissage said:

but he reiterates that al Qaeda is ridiculous, as follows: "In the James Bond books and movies, S.P.E.C.T.R.E. always seemed just a little silly: really rich people messing with Britain, America, and Russia just to get their jollies. But, that's what bin Laden is."

My God! You're right! He said that in books and movies S.P.E.C.T.R.E. seemed a little silly, so it follows as night does day that he thinks that Al Qaeda is also silly. Or, just maybe, he's using a rhetorical device in an attempt to demonstrate that something that seemed silly in fiction during the 60's and 70's has now become a dangerous reality. Sort of like, I don't know, someone stating that movies from before 1969 depicting moon landings are silly is not necessarily stating that the actual moon landing was silly. But hey, that's just me. Your mileage may vary.