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Ayman Al-Zawahiri’s Internet Press Conference

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By See-Dubya  •  April 3, 2008 03:47 PM

 [A guest post by See-Dubya]

Who are the jihadist media consultant geniuses who came up with this one? Al Qaeda’s Number Two solicited questions over the internet and filmed an interview in which he answers ninety of them, including questions from jihadist critics of Al Qaeda. Among them was a question about why Al Qaeda kills innocents. Answer: they don’t, silly!

“We haven’t killed the innocents, not in Baghdad, nor in Morocco, nor in Algeria, nor anywhere else,” al-Zawahri said, according to a 46-page English transcript that accompanied the audio message posted on Web sites linked to al-Qaida.

The irony was too much for MSNBC, who had to point out that the record differs slightly from Zawahiri’s recollections–and noted that Zawahiri corrected himself:

“If there is any innocent who was killed in the mujahedeen’s operations, then it was either an unintentional error or out of necessity,” al-Zawahri said.

He went on to accuse al-Qaida’s opponents of being the ones who kill innocent people. He also charged that “the enemy intentionally takes up positions in the midst of the Muslims for them to be human shields for him.”

Oops, um, er, yeah, well, you see… I’m not even going to dignify this with a contradictory link; I’d rather just laugh at Al Zawahiri. See, Al Qaeda first emerged as an unknown group of faceless badass mad-dog killers that hijacked planes, blew up buildings, and cut off heads. As a shadowy cult that plotted daring acts of asymmetric warfare for years at a time, they were supposed to be the “strong horse” (in Osama’s phrase) that would draw the support of the world against America’s weak horse.

zawahiri, from the Jawa Report

Yet now here they are, spinning and dodging and lying and droning on like cavebound Baghdad Bobs. Except without Bob’s flair; Divot Head there has found a way to make jihad boring. Perhaps this video will have a different effect on their intended audience, but to American eyes, this is a joke. Here are these scions of incandescent ideological purity, reduced to an internet press conference like common politicians. And…taking questions? I thought Al Qaeda just told you how it was gonna be?

If you judged Al Qaeda only by their actions, you might be inclined to overestimate their power. But if you judged them only by this rhetoric, you would underestimate them–because they are revealed as a bunch of maladjusted losers. It’s a long tradition Zawahiri has in common with his boss: back on Dec. 13, 2001, Time ran an article called “The Banality of Bin Laden” about how stultifying these video presentations are, and how Al Qaeda’s video program shows exactly how relentlessly vain, stupid and clueless they are:

All of al Qaeda’s earlier posturing — of confidence, bravery, omniscience — seems all the more phony in the light of this one. In his own words at his celebration dinner, bin Laden laid out bluntly his theory of power: “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse.” Maybe so. But when they see a supposedly strong horse later show himself to be weak, they will want all the more strongly to send it to the glue factory.

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IMAO has an early translation of some of the questions for Divot Head:

Q: We miss the Iraqi information minister. Could you please hire him as your spokesman?

A: Are you nuts? The man was a pathological liar with sub-zero credibility! It’d be like using the New York Times!

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