Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Zawahiri writes for warbloggers

Guest post by Libby Spencer

(Ed. note: I'm very pleased to present our first guest post from Libby Spencer. Libby -- a New England native who marched against Vietnam, fought for civil and women's rights in the '60s and '70s, and worked on political campaigns for George McGovern and Robert Reich, among others -- is the North Carolina-based author of two excellent blogs, The Impolitic (which addresses a broad range of political issues from a liberal perspective) and Last One Speaks (which addresses the drug war and drug policy reform from a reasonable perspective). She is also a blogger at The Detroit News (link to her bio and recent posts). This post below was originally published at The Impolitic on December 23, but it is still timely. It looks at al Qaeda #2 Ayman al-Zawahiri's recent claim that the Democratic victory in November's midterms was essentially a victory for the terrorists and the response to that claim from the warbloggers of the right. What Libby finds is that those warbloggers are very much like Zawahiri himself in their calls for violence against "perceived enemies". It's a provocative, thoughtful post, and I hope it's the first of many from Libby here at The Reaction. -- MJWS)


Zawahiri released an interminably long screed this week and our own warbloggers are jumping all over one sentence in it that claims the terrorists consider the midterm sweep by the Democratic Party as some kind of victory for themselves. I have to ask, so what? Didn't Bush also claim victory for the "forces of good" when Iraq and Afghanistan held free elections? If mere words had the power to make things so, I would be getting a hot air blimp under my Christmas tree this year.

But our warbloggers seize on Zawahiri's few words and hold it up as some kind of confused proof that validates their own call for the U.S. version of jihad against Islam and find it the culimation of their dire warnings that the terrorists would win if we elected Democrats. I don't get their logic myself when I read the same words. I think perhaps the most sense Zawahiri made was in this one paragraph:

The fourth thing I wish to talk about is a message to the American people. I say to them: you only realized the failure of the administration and toppled the Republicans' candidates after the Mujahideen slaughtered you, and you didn't listen to the voice of morality, justice, principles and intellect. And the Mujahideen's weapons continue to be raised and aimed, by the grace of Allah.

I mean, who can honestly deny that's true? The American people, in the goodness of their hearts, wanted to believe their president had their best interests at heart and so -- aided and abetted by the relentless cheerleading of the 101st Fighting Keyboardists who assured the masses that we were on the right track and only Republicans could save us from being overrun by terrorists -- bought into the fictions the White House sold and returned an incompetent president to office.

It wasn't until the ugly reality on the ground could no longer be disguised by the smokescreen of swaggering bluster that ordinary Americans finally saw the light and realized they had been sold out by greedy and arrogant neo-cons whose purpose and personal fortunes are served better by endless war than a lasting peace.

So also is Zawahiri's power founded on war and death. If we ordinary citizens of the planet could bypass the politicians and come to a peaceful accord on our own and learn to live with and accept each other in all our differences and our commonalities, who would listen to either Zawahiri or our own warmongers? But unlike our Warmonger-in-Chief, Zawahiri at least offers a defined solution:

The formula for your safety is "You shall never dream of security until we truly experience it in Palestine and all lands of Islam," and not the fallacious formula with which Bush deceives you when he says, "We strike the terrorists in their countries so that they don’t strike us in ours." On the contrary: if we are struck in our countries, we shall never stop striking you in your countries, with Allah's power and permission.

And as our commander, Shaykh Usama bin Ladin (may Allah preserve him) told you, "As you bomb, you will be bombed, and as you kill, you will be killed."

Granted it's not that useful, but heck, that last sentence could almost have come from the Old Testament of the Bible. And one has to give the Islamic extremists this much credit: They have been consistent in their rationale for jihad. They haven't changed it from week to week and month and month and year to year according to the fortunes of battle, as our own president has. They took a position and they stuck with it for decades now. But again, it's all just so many words.

In the final analysis, who is Zawahiri? He's just another warblogger calling for his followers to take up arms to acheive his aims against his perceived enemies -- not that he's likely to found on the front lines of the battle any more so than our own warbloggers in the U.S. He urges his people to make the ultimate sacrifice to fight the infidels -- and includes even the people of his own faith that would seek diplomacy over war in that category, calling them the Muslim equivalent of surrender monkeys. Frankly, I don't see much difference between this Islamic wingnut and our own 101 Fighting Keyboardists. Change a few a words and the rhetoric is exactly the same. And so is the human suffering that their policies promote.

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