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The Times explains:
The weapon in question is complicated to master, and American soldiers and marines undergo many days of training to achieve the most basic competence with it. Moreover, the weapon in Mr. Zarqawi's hands was an older variant, which makes its malfunctioning unsurprising.Until now the US has been accused of inflating the importance of al Qaeda's leader in Iraq.
The videotape of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi trying to fire a gun — and having trouble with it — is now playing out in the Arab world.And in a new development, somebody got the memo:
This was the raw tape of the Zarqawi video propaganda session in which he was to portray himself as the Arab superhero slaying the enemies of the Arab people and the enemies of Islam as well.
That's why the black jihadi outfit. That's why the Popeye forearms. That's why the gun blasting away. That's why it hurts that he doesn't know how to actually operate the weapon. The tough guy needs his helper to figure out his gun.
In the Arab world this didn't play so well, which figures.
The US military revealed parts of a planning memo attributed to Al Qaeda in Iraq yesterday that outlines plans to ignite sectarian war by targeting Shi'ites and to shift the battle toward the capital and religiously mixed parts of the country.Jalaluddin al-Saghir, Shiite Member of Parliament and Imam of Baghdad's Buratha mosque (the target of a triple suicide bomb attack last April that left 85 people dead and 160 injured) responds:
The memo, which the military said was seized during a raid last month, ordered followers to ''Make the struggle entirely between Shi'ites and the mujahideen," or holy warriors, and lambasted moderate Sunni groups. It included a call for insurgents to ''displace the Shi'ites and displace their shops and businesses from our areas. Expel those black market sellers of gas, bread, or meat or anyone that is suspected of spying against us."
A day after the release of a memo attributed to Al Qaeda in Iraq that described plans for a violent campaign to displace Shiite Muslims from many parts of the country, one of the sect's most influential religious leaders used his Friday sermon to urge the faithful to hold their ground.No reply yet from al Qaeda, The NY Times, or the AP.
"I demand first the government and second the brothers to keep their places," said Sheik Jalaluddin Saghir, leader of the capital's largest and most influential Shiite house of worship, the Bratha Mosque.
"We should not let the terrorists do that," Saghir said, referring to a strategy memo that the U.S. military said it had found at an Al Qaeda in Iraq hide-out in Yousifiya, south of Baghdad. "We should help families in finding a way to stay in their places."
Although the memo could not be independently authenticated, it echoed earlier instructions attributed to insurgent leaders, who are fighting coalition forces and trying to prevent the establishment of a stable central government.
The memo called on insurgents to "displace the Shiites and displace their shops and businesses from our areas."
The memo said Baghdad should be an area of focus for the attacks. It told insurgents to cast a broad net, urging the expulsion of "black market sellers of gas, bread or meat" and the "cleansing" of areas of "any person suspected of spying against us."
The outspoken Saghir, a member of parliament who distributes DVDs of his Friday sermons, blamed Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab Zarqawi for such extreme sentiments. He called the insurgent leader "an exceptional criminal who hurts all Iraqis."
CNN is also rushing to Zarqawi's defense. CNN's Jamie McIntyre kept defending Zarqawi's lack of weapon knowledge because it was an American made weapon with a heavy trigger that he wasn't trained on. I talk about the video segment more on my site, but who's side are these idiot reporters on?Posted by GI Korea at May 6, 2006 03:35 PM
So long as the real "target audience" understands (MidEast). Who cares if the MSM makes fools of themselves again?Posted by dj elliott at May 6, 2006 04:08 PM
The media has no clue when it comes to weapons capabilities. That has been proven repeatedly.This is apologist propaganda for the other side. The Fourth Estate has become the Fifth Column for a totalitarian enemy bent on the destruction of individual libery.Posted by SGT Ted at May 6, 2006 05:50 PM
Wow, sure glad I'm not paranoid like Sgt. Ted. Anyway, I imagine the reason Zarqawi doesn't know how to fire an automatic rifle is that he's the person who sends OTHER people into battle. Just like GW Bush, Rumsfeld, and Cheney probably couldn't fire an automatic rifle to save their lives. (We already know Cheney's not competent with an ordinary shotgun).Posted by Elizabeth at May 6, 2006 08:31 PM
I don't recall seeing any edited video of Rumsfeld, et al, being portrayed as some kind of super-terrorist. Zarqawi wants everyone to think he's this big badass, but the man doesn't measure up to the myth.Posted by winc61 at May 6, 2006 08:51 PM
"Anyway, I imagine the reason Zarqawi doesn't know how to fire an automatic rifle"
In Iraq, every 12 year old kid knows how to fire an automatic rifle. It's a macho male cultural thing.
The fact that Zarqawi needed help, makes him a "sissy" boy.Posted by Soldier's Dad at May 6, 2006 09:16 PM
Thanks Liz, As most of your fellow travellers on the left, we knew what side you are on. Thanks for the confirmation.Posted by capt joe at May 7, 2006 04:14 AM
What a pathetic display by 'our' Information Stream. Frankly I loathed the media long before it became obvious to most. Now my disdain knows very few limits.
"I talk about the video segment more on my site, but who's side are these idiot reporters on?"
Unhappily if you have to ask the question I fear you already have your answer. What a contemptable performance. No wonder we are viewed as 'weak' ,craven, and worthy of contempt. That side is all our enemies ever really see.
Day after day after day. Defeatism by a thousand cuts. I now just avoid anything that has the Time's fingerprints attached. Reuters actually prides itself on being 'value-neutral', although they in fact are value -laden. Just not OUR values. Frankly who knows what agenda any given 'story' is intended to serve. The only surety is that 'Objective Truth',and 'common-sense' are usually way down the list.
All agitprop--- all the time.
PTUI !!Posted by dougf at May 7, 2006 04:59 AM
I would have to have somebody a little more current show me how a SAW works, I left the Service in 1970. The difference between me and ol' Zarqawi is that I wouldn't turn the camera on until I figured it out. Well, there are a few other differences, too, like I don't go 'round sawing the heads off folks I don't like.Posted by Peter at May 7, 2006 06:30 AM
The Times sets new lows for journalism on a daily basis and their defense of Zarqawi makes no sense. This guy is supposed to be a guy who has been waging war and leading his "troops" for years. While it's true that there is some training needed to fire an M249 properly, (1) Zarqawi was just blowing off rounds at empty desert, so the only skill needed for that is loading the rounds and cycling the action and (2) he's SUPPOSED to be so fearsome of a warrior that he SHOULD have known how to use the weapons of his enemies.
The fact that he apparently had never seen an M249 before is EXACTLY the point of releasing the tape. It shows that he's hardly the phantom of battle that the media have made him out to be. If he really had been engaging and killing Americans, he would have had some background in using their weapons.Posted by Zhid at May 7, 2006 02:49 PM
These guys knew how to use enemy weapons:
Lt. Brian Chontosh
Cpl. Armand McCormick
Cpl. Thomas Franklin