Latest Al Qaeda video not intimidating, just embarrassing
Posted by sanityinjection on September 23, 2009
It was only a few years ago that the release of a propaganda video from Al Qaeda would have been an event of significant concern around the world. In addition to the frenzied speculation over whether it was Osama bin Laden in the video and if he was alive and healthy, nations would increase security in the assumption that the video presaged a significant new attack was imminent.
How things have changed – and it shows the progress that has been made in the war on terror. The video released by Al Qaeda today will probably go little remarked upon and excite little distress in Western capitals. In fact, several aspects of the video may prove embarassing to the terrorists.
First of all, the video is intended to commemorate the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks – yet they couldn’t mange to get it online until today. If posting a video on the Internet (something 11 year olds are proficient at) is a challenge that requires two weeks to accomplish, that doesn’t fill one with respect for Al Qaeda’s ability to coordinate a new terrorist attack.
The video is full of the usual denunciations, but this time they have cast a wide net. Al Qaeda apparently is unhappy with George Bush, Barack Obama, the Saudi royal family, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the Fatah Palestinian faction, other Arab leaders, and Israel (of course). One wonders who is left in the Middle East that they *do* like, other than themselves.
Then there’s the terrorists’ attempt to take credit for the world financial crisis by attributing it to the results of 9/11 and the war on terror. Although the cost of the war on terror certainly was one factor among many that placed strain on the US economy, I think one would be hard pressed to find an economist (Paul Krugman does not count) who would back up this claim.
The funniest part is when they complain of torture committed by US troops in Afghanistan. Seriously?? The guys who behead journalists and blow up civilian women and children are outraged by military interrogation techniques? If their warped notion of jihad tells them they can do pretty much whatever is necessary to nonbelievers in the course of their struggle, by what possible rationale would they expect us to abide by a higher standard? (The fact that we hold ourselves to a higher standard is not the point. The firebombing of Dresden during WWII by the Allies may have been a violation of the rules of war protecting civilians, but if the person complaining was Adolf Hitler, sympathy was unlikely to be forthcoming.)
It is a truism that propaganda tends to get more shrill when the people who produce it feel they are losing. The wider Al Qaeda casts their net of condemnation and the more brazen their complaints against the US, the more it indicates that the terrorists are on the defensive. Which is good news for everybody else.