World's smallest violin
Why are our brothers the mujaheddin denounced? Those who left their countries, their wives and children, and sacrificed their blood, all to protect your honor and expel the invaders from your land?
-- From Zurwat al-Sanam (Top of the Camel's Hump), the catchily-titled internet magazine published by Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.
(Robert F. Worth, New York Times; reg. req.)
Admittedly, I don't get out into the blogosphere as much as I used to, but it seems to me this story did not receive the play it merited. We know that Al Qaeda maintains a steady propaganda effort in cyber-space--they evidently have a self-styled "media department"--but Mr. Worth notes how plaintive and defensive the terrorists' tone has become.
In the above quote, for example, they complain about the bad press they receive for murdering Iraqi Army and police officers. Mr. Worth also notes this monstrous example of Al Qaeda's capacity for mendacity and rationalization:
One of the basic rules of our religion is not to spill a drop of Muslim blood unless it is justified, because the destruction of the world is no less an offense than that.
Thousands of bereaved Iraqis might beg to differ with the terrorist organization's description of its actions.
Not content with simply parodying the West by establishing a "media department," Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia has even lodged some familiar complaints about the international press, and how it only reports "bad news" about the group.
Where are the media correspondents in Iraq, and where is the media coverage in Mosul, Anbar, Diyalia, Samarra, Basra and southern Baghdad?.
Seems they'll have to wait for Michael Scheuer's next book.
What's going on here? Mr. Worth quotes Rita Katz, director of the SITE Institute, a nonprofit group that monitors Islamic web sites.
I think they feel they are losing the battle. They realize there will be a new government soon, and they seem very nervous about the future.
One of Al Qaeda's most potent weapons is the terror they instill in people's imaginations. As with all fascist groups, however, an element of the ridiculous co-exists with this ability to intimidate. The group is still lethal, and will no doubt wreak further havoc in Iraq, and elsewhere. But the absurdity that lays at the core of Islamofascism--the overblown rhetoric, the monotonous street demonstrations and robot-like denunciations of America and Israel, the emotionally pinched and sexually repressed leadership and their rampant narcissism--is beginning to take center stage. Al Qaeda will continue to bring death. But its doom is already being inscribed in the hearts and minds of its global audience, where, increasingly, the terrorists' actions are inspiring anger, resistance and, most devastating of all--contempt.
And this, from the feminist front:
Web pundits are calling it the "babe theory of political movements." (Didn't I read that most bloggers are male?). Apparently lifted from P.J. O'Rourke, it postulates that in a fluid moment of democratic upsurge, street demonstrations and media coverage, the side with the most attractive women wins. By that measure the Lebanese opposition is on the verge of sweeping pro-Syrian forces into the "40 years old and still living with mom" category of history.
Without putting too fine a point on matters here, the "babe theory" is actually a clever way of expressing a profound point. The edifice of Middle Eastern autocracy and its particularly virulent outgrowth--terrorism--rests upon the repression of women. Liberate female energies from political cage of tyranny and the religious prison of Islamic doctrine and the authority of the bearded mullahs and "pious" terrorists and sexually repressed holy men will crumble like the desiccated dust of the mummies they are.
We are releasing a genie into the Middle East--and the world--whose power is incalcuable.