Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 11, 2015

The Guardian Joins The "Moderate Al Qaeda" Public Relation Campaign

This long read in the Guardian is the next attempt to beautify AlQaeda as the "moderate" Islamists that deserve our support. Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal suggests to "reach out" to AlQaeda in Syria and that it should be "wooed rather than bombed.

The Guardian journalists interview the AlQaeda ideologues Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi and Abu Qatada who are both under control of the Jordanian secret service. Their job is to condemn the Islamic State while letting Al Qaeda appear as a poor but honest social movement of Islamism. The Guardian writers lap it all up.

On a sunny spring afternoon, three weeks after his release from prison, Maqdisi sat on a sofa at his friend Abu Qatada’s house, fuming about Isis: the group had lied to him and betrayed him, he said, and its members were not worthy of calling themselves mujahideen. “They are like a mafia group,” Abu Qatada added, while Maqdisi nodded his assent.

Jordan lives off money from Saudi Arabia. It supports al-Qaeda in Syria, aka Jabhat al-Nusra, as long as the dollars keep rolling in from Riyath. Israel is supporting Jabhat al-Nusra in the Golan heights. Is it by chance that a fervent Zionist, Spencer Ackerman, is one of the authors of this flattering homestory?

The two ideologues make an odd pair in the fight against Isis. Qatada is 6ft 3in tall, broad shouldered and lumbering, while Maqdisi is rake thin and full of hyperactive energy, bounding round the room and speaking at double speed; at serious moments, Maqdisi is given to making a sudden joke or bursting into giggles. Sometimes they will go for walks with each other in the Jordanian countryside. More often they travel long distances by road after being asked to attend funerals of fallen al-Qaida fighters.

See? These are really nice people ... and AlQaeda is really just a very poor movement:

Dr Munif Samara – a veteran of the jihad in Afghanistan and a close associate of Maqdisi and Qatada, who sat with both men as they were interviewed – painted an even more gloomy picture of al-Qaida’s position. A GP who runs a free clinic treating injured Syrian fighters and civilians, Samara has more experience than Maqdisi or Qatada with the day-to-day operations of jihadi organising, and has often handled the affairs of the two men during their frequent jail stints. He said that donations, which once came in waves of “hundreds of thousands”, have dried up as donors directed their money to Isis, or else refused to fund further bloodletting between the two groups. Another former al-Qaida member, Aimen Dean – who defected to become a spy for British intelligence – told the Guardian that one of his sources in Pakistan’s tribal areas said the finances of al-Qaida central in Waziristan were so desperate that it was reduced at one point last year to selling its laptops and cars to buy food and pay rent.

So we are to believe a British spy who tells us that AlQaeda can't pay its rent? What nonsense.

The whole piece is made to make it look as if AlQaeda is somewhat just a small group of engaged people on their long travel to fulfill their ever escaping dreams. And see, they even have a sad about this 9/11 thing:

In recent years, Maqdisi has even come to believe that al-Qaida’s conception of jihad – one licensed in part by his own scholarship – may have been incorrect, a jihad of “spite” rather than “empowering believers”. Even the attacks of 9/11, Maqdisi said, were part of a misguided strategy. “The actions in New York and Washington, no matter how great they appeared to be – the bottom line is they were spiteful.”

Instead AlQaeda is now destined to become the new salvation army:

Maqdisi now wants al-Qaida to begin providing social services, as Hamas has done in Gaza. “That kind of enabling jihad will establish our Islamic state. It will enable it to become a place of refuge for the weak,” he said. Al-Qaida branches in Tunisia and elsewhere have been putting this suggestion into practice – with jihadis guarding hospitals, building infrastructure, and even picking up litter.

(Nice try, by the way, to falsely link Hamas to AlQaeda.) Now compare that to the savages of the Islamic State. Isn't AlQaeda so much nicer? And poor? And overwhelmed by the savages of the Islamic State? And in demise?

These folks really only want to do good. Like yesterday, when they murdered dozens of Druze in north Syria, including children and elderly.

Who asked the Guardian to write such a dreck admiring piece of these Jihadist? Who gave them direct access to these terrorists? Under what conditions and to what purpose?

Posted by b on June 11, 2015 at 10:04 UTC | Permalink


The Guardian is part of whats wrong with the ridiculous "left" today

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 11 2015 10:07 utc | 1

Israel,that's who.

Posted by: dahoit | Jun 11 2015 12:46 utc | 2

intaaarestiiing aaarticllle

b points out ......druze murdered in syria

israeli,s have this to say.....

kurdish state.......on its way

druzish the making

alawitish state ......being fought over

jewish state ......under consideration

palestinish state .......just around corner

hezbollish state.......under duress

arab spring sprung up and out sprang a sprongish state

Posted by: mcohen | Jun 11 2015 12:47 utc | 3

The former enemy of my former enemy is my former friend...

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jun 11 2015 12:59 utc | 4

"The whole piece is made to make it look as if AlQaeda is somewhat just a small group of engaged people on their long travel to fulfill their ever escaping dreams. And see, they even have a sad about this 9/11 thing..."

This cloud does have a silver lining, imo.
If Assad was losing the fight there would be no need for all this Fantasy Land huffing and puffing. This "nice, friendly Al-CIA-duh, with its heart inthe Right Place" gambit is an insurance policy. When the SAA/ Assad grind the Foreign Supplied Army into the dust, it'll be used to "prove" how EVIL the Syrian Govt is.

The sooner Vlad Nukes the UK, US and Israel, the sooner we'll be spared all the cowardly bluster and lies of the West's gender-challenged, oh so sincere, 'leaders'.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 11 2015 13:19 utc | 5

The former enemy of my former enemy is my former friend...

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jun 11, 2015 8:59:42 AM | 5

yeah right sure

that's all it is

None of it has anything to do with the fact the AlQ and Nusra etc are all creations of Western Spook agencies


absolutely no connection whatsoever

Posted by: Insert Name here | Jun 11 2015 13:26 utc | 6

- Seems the UK is "joining the party" in Syria to depose Assad.
- One Tony Blair (former UK prime minister) is invloved in a number of natural gas deals in the Middle East. (GOOGLE the words "Tony Blair, naturals gas"). Are Blair & Cameron now "bribed" by the Quataris ?

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 11 2015 14:13 utc | 7

And just think just a few years ago Al-Qaeda was the enemy of all humanity and no expense could be spared in hunting them all down and killing / capturing them, wherever they might turn up. Whole societies were raped and destabilized in this effort.
Now there is an all-encompassing MSM jihad on behalf of TPTB to rehabilitate them. I guess this can work if ALL the propaganda organs start bleating in unison, and you bank on the fact that people have ridiculously short attention spans / memories. Maybe this wouldn't happen if nations like Israel, Turkey, US/UK, et al, would do their own dirty work and openly show themselves to be the corrupt and murderous bastards we all know they are.
Actually, just the fact that they are trying to rehabilitate a group of stateless criminals says all you need to know about the character of those who would promote such people.

Posted by: farflungstar | Jun 11 2015 14:13 utc | 8

Aren't PR and Marketing grand? Here in the US, if idiot America payed half as much attention to policy and the politicians, as they do to celebrity, this crap wouldn't play, but, alas they don't.

Posted by: ben | Jun 11 2015 14:33 utc | 9

The Sunni Islamist terrorists according to their level of extremism:

1) ISIS : Everybody hates them, all Sunnis are helping them, and few countries are seriously fighting them. The demon that fills the headlines with horror stories.

2) Al Qaeda, Al Nusra and affiliates: the old demon reconverting to moderates thanks to Qatar and Saudi Arabia's money and advices. The new media craze in Syria.

3) The Moslem Brotherhood: An old demon that has been crushed by Saudi Arabia in Egypt and the UAE and recently dumped by Qatar and Turkey in favor of a revamped Al Nusra. Now in stand by mode.

Posted by: Virgile | Jun 11 2015 14:48 utc | 10

Shi'ite militias accuse US of deliberately targeting them in Anbar province. "The Pentagon, used to resting on its laurels with the default denial that anyone but ISIS were killed in any of their airstrikes, issued what must be the least credible denial possible by insisting they don’t have any planes flying over Anbar in the first place, despite this being where all the fighting in Iraq is lately and despite the Pentagon itself issuing statements almost every single day talking about airstrikes in the Anbar Province".

Posted by: harry law | Jun 11 2015 16:32 utc | 11

re 1

The Guardian is part of whats wrong with the ridiculous "left" today
The Guardian is not a left-wing newspaper. That's something the nuts on the right can't understand. It's a liberal middle of the road journal. Which has knuckled under to the demands of the Tory government, much as the BBC has. I would think some kind of blackmail was employed, probably over the Snowden affair.

That was what was interesting about the case of the 1965 film of The War Game that I mentioned a couple of threads ago. At the time, everybody strongly denied that the government had anything to do with the withdrawal of the film, but of course today we even have the memos written by govt officials which effectively outline the pressure. (Even then, the pressure was probably greater than what was coldly outlined on paper). And it was a Labour government.

The same will come out about the Guardian in the future: they knuckled under in order to save something, rather than get closed down.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 11 2015 17:02 utc | 12

Israel: Al Qaeda are now to be the good guys, do your work.

The Gurdian: Aye aye Sir!

Posted by: Stefan | Jun 11 2015 18:31 utc | 13

wikisqueak tells me that The Guardian has about a million readers a day, most of whom, i would assume, have already made up their minds, so i wouldn't sweat it...

Posted by: john | Jun 11 2015 18:47 utc | 14

@14 Yes but among that million readers are a lot of journalists(?) and opinion makers. They take their cue from the Graun and the Beeb.

Posted by: dh | Jun 11 2015 18:55 utc | 15

So the Guardian is just catching up?

I believe that in Team USA, the M$M has been indicating that AQ is now our big old friend, and we must arm them and help and so on.

Of course, ISIS or ISL or whatever the spooks are calling them today are the new huge giant sucking enemy Of. All. Times. who must be FEARED at all costs... albeit these days here in Team USA there is less lustre on the ISIS as this terrible really bad the worst of all enemies.

Of course, I'm not a good arbiter of these things, as I have no TV and listening sparingly to National Propaganda Radio and only read a bit in the nooz papers. Duly noted, though, that there's next to nothing about AQ anymore, and when there is, it's usually in "friendly" tones.

I'm not sure how much boobus Americanus has noticed the swap out of terrible horrible just plain awful enemies. What I hear boobus saying is mostly now about ISIS. Are they aware about this swap? Hard to say. If they are, I'm sure they come up with some rationalization or other.

What a prophet W Bush was when he said he no longer spoiled his beautiful mind thinking about Osama bin Laden. Not only was ObL likely dead at that point, anyway, but dunce that W was, he likely realized that AQ was but a flash in the pan... nothing to see here folks, move along now...

Posted by: RUKidding | Jun 11 2015 19:13 utc | 16

To laguerre @14 - yes, your take (which is probably based in more direct observation than mine) tallies with what I've thought. No proof, of course, but the Guardian - never all that "liberal" really - did seem to really knuckle under after the Snowden whatever that was.... which may have been part of the *intent* of Snowden and his handlers? Something that's crossed my mind, anyway. Just saying...

Posted by: RUKidding | Jun 11 2015 19:16 utc | 17

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 11 2015 19:45 utc | 18

more of the same ole 'good terrorists verses bad terrorists' sales job... anyone who believes that rot - will believe anything..

thanks for the posts folks.. always informative..

Posted by: james | Jun 11 2015 20:02 utc | 19

Yeah, a propaganda and preparation piece by the Guardian - new-ish cowardly whores of the US Empire, propagandising to Bring Al Qaeda under the US tent. And soon to be followed up with possible new announcements to actually arm and fund Al Qaeda by the West directly?

Since ISIL is ultimately more uncontrollable, that's why Al Qaeda is being primed and used to counter ISIL's strength for the mid to long term. When ISIL gets too big, that's when a U.S. plan of divide and conquer of US proxy jihadis, will be used to break up each of their fighting strengths.
There's been more reports in Syria lately of ISIL and Al Qaeda fighting each other. This bullshit propaganda piece is following on from that fighting in order to raise support for Al Qaeda.

Of course Al Qaeda will say and do anything towards the Western powers when in the inferior position militarily, so they can increase their support of any willingly supportive patron allies, so to increase their strength.

Posted by: tom | Jun 11 2015 20:34 utc | 20

tom says:

And soon to be followed up with possible new announcements to actually arm and fund Al Qaeda by the West directly?

Tony Cartalucci keeps things in focus.

Posted by: john | Jun 11 2015 20:48 utc | 21

The whole piece is made to make it look as if AlQaeda is somewhat just a small group of engaged people on their long travel to fulfill their ever escaping dreams.

This, and some other nonsense sentence from your text make you no better than liberal-fascist's Guardian. Both of you, Westerners with its corresponding narrative and implications, want us to believe that AQ exist, i.e. it has firm command structure, an ideology, logistics, etc. When in fact they are nihilists who has been created by even greater nihilists - the western ones.

“Al Qaeda” is not really a terrorist group but a database of international mujaheddin and arms smugglers used by the CIA and Saudis to funnel guerrillas, arms, and money into Soviet-occupied Afghanistan."

Robin Cook, UK Foreign Secretary...and he died mysteriously in the Scottish mountains.

That is because Al Qaeda itself does not exist, except in the fevered imaginations of neo-cons and Likudniks, some of whom, I suspect, also know it is a myth, but find it extremely useful as a bogeyman to spook the public and the politicians to acquiesce in otherwise unacceptable policy initiatives at home and abroad. By those terms, Al Queda is cast like "the Mafia" and similar nonsense coming from police lobbies. This is a complex issue but, putting it very simply, what you have in both cases is loose networks of likeminded individuals--sometimes they pay homage to some patron figure who they may never have met and with whom they have no concrete relationship. They conduct their operations strictly by themselves, even if they may from time to time seek advice.

R.T. Naylor,

Posted by: neretva'43 | Jun 11 2015 22:33 utc | 22

After Erdogan was humbled in the Turkish election, will it still be so easy to supply ISIS and the other jihadists in Syria? I know all the other Turkish parties, left and right, were critical of Erdogan's Syrian policy.

Posted by: lysias | Jun 11 2015 22:38 utc | 23

Going back in time, I remember viewing the interview of O.B.L. by Taysir Alloudi immediately after 9-11, which came accross as a surprise to O.B.L., as in "you're kidding, who did such a thing? Wow. I don't know if the interview still exists or not-probably not-though is bears the thoughts that the present 9-11 Architects raising questions about the report the Government put out, especially on bldg # 7. IO know, conspiracy nuts, right? After all, our government wouldn't stoop that low would it, collateral damage and all that silly stuff. Wasn't it the C.I.A. that gave aid and comfort to al Qaeda, presumably to the present time? One other item-a picture that floated around a while ago-titled that guy who was waterboarded many7 times, sheikh Mohammad or something like that, the wone with the full long beard, if you look at the lips, nose, eyes, forehead,it sure looks like what O.B.L. would look like.

Posted by: Norman | Jun 12 2015 1:09 utc | 24

Yeah interesting i read the only real difference was the Isis guys yes we can declare the Caliphate now as opposed to the Al qaeda people who though it could only happen after the defeat of the Americans. "sometimes we support Al Qaeda, sometimes we don't".

Posted by: heath | Jun 12 2015 1:17 utc | 25

Timothy Garton Ash has vouched for al Qaeda so that's good enough for me.

Posted by: damien | Jun 12 2015 2:46 utc | 26

@21, great article. Logic and a good map. Tough combination to beat. "Diplomacy" as practiced in the West is synonymous with treachery.

Posted by: ruralito | Jun 12 2015 3:31 utc | 27

Norman at 24 -- Here's a transcript of the interview. Perhaps your memory is a bit off; it was a number of years ago.

These young men, whom Allah has cleared the way for, they have shifted the battle to the heart of the United States and they have destroyed its most outstanding [abraz] landmarks, their economic landmarks and their military landmarks, that being with the grace of Allah [dhalika fadlu allah]. And they have done this from what we understand, and we have incited and roused for this [harradna] before, and it is in self-defense, defense of our brothers and sons in Palestine and for freeing our holy sites. And if inciting [tahrid] for this is terrorism, and if killing the ones that kill our sons is terrorism, then let history witness that we are terrorists.

He doesn't really sound that surprised, and in fact would seem rather proud and supportive.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jun 12 2015 3:40 utc | 28

Laguerre & Anon. at 1 & 12 --

I would say that the degeneration of The Guardian is a fair indicator of the collapse of class consciousness after the destruction of the Soviet Union. I'd describe it as soft vs. hard left.

But the soft left of the 80's included a Labour Party that, under Clause IV, called for "the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service." Drafted by the Fabian, Sidney Webb, this clause was part of the party's constitution from 1918 to 1995 (see the Wiki).

See the squish the Blairites replaced it with, if you can stomach it, in the Wiki. They commit to a "common endeavour... to realise our true potential... and where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect." It's not a "New Labour" political program, it's a New Age "self-actualization."

Isn't it wonderful what we can do when we achieve consensus?

Cue Kumbaya. Is everyone holding hands and thinking good thoughts, Barflies?

Posted by: rufus magister | Jun 12 2015 4:11 utc | 29

"This, and some other nonsense sentence from your text make you no better than liberal-fascist's Guardian. Both of you, Westerners with its corresponding narrative and implications, want us to believe that AQ exist, i.e. it has firm command structure, an ideology, logistics, etc. When in fact they are nihilists who has been created by even greater nihilists - the western ones."
Posted by: neretva'43 | Jun 11, 2015 6:33:02 PM | 22

Offering evidence that alCIAduh is a US brand and propaganda tool doesn't justify accusing b of believing, and promoting as factual, the notion that it is an entity which functions independent of US influence.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 12 2015 6:09 utc | 30

Same propagadanda in Le Monde yesterday with a Salafist calling for "noble djihad"
The article is about a guy who had a website proning website, and the picture chosen has no relation with the text, except for the propaganda effect of "noble djihadists".

This sounds like a deal has been struck with Qatar on Afghanistan? After all they host a diplomatic representation of the Talibans for year now...

Posted by: Mina | Jun 12 2015 6:20 utc | 31

rufus@29 is right. The interview you recall was done by a western journalist, BBC I think, and I remember it just as you do. I searched for it on youtube - couldn't find it. Although I found the one rufus referred to.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jun 12 2015 7:36 utc | 32

Okie and Norman --

I'll be offering a refresher course in Internet searching. You'll need to pay full tuition.

P.C. Roberts wrote about it, and provides the transcript from The Daily Ummat.

Please do be more careful as you try to reconcile the conflicting versions. As a graduate seminar, Advanced Textual Analysis 905 is considerably more involved and expensive than Google Search 101.

Class dismissed, good luck with the homework.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jun 12 2015 12:02 utc | 34

I think that Guardian article is more interesting than b thinks. First, it seems quite factual, although one obviously has to discount the bias of the informant. Basically, it shows some inside perspective on the extreme jihadist groups. Interesting tidbits: in the "evolution" of splitting and merging organizations, al-Nusra is an offshoot of ISI, the leader of ISI, al-Baghdadi, dispatched from Iraq his trusted and talented commander to form it. But to is difficult to maintain the chain of command among such strong individualities, basically, daily slaughter is the only way to maintain the discipline.

In the meantime, the old-timers loyal to the good gentle Zawahiri sulk that the external funding shifted to ISI/ISIL/al-Nusra. So if you read closely, the nice chaps that chatted with Guardian reporters seem unrelated to slaughter meted by ISIL and al-Nusra, on the account on their gentler natures but from the simpler perspective, they just do not have manpower to do it. The dynamic of civil war was that warlords are being created, and those surly men do not take commands gladly, so only the most ruthless leaders can get wider following and command wider territories. In the meantime, foreign supports flocks to the winners of the internal strife of the jihadists. So the "old-timers" are sidelines and reduced to selling their laptops or cadging meals from Guardian reporters.

Observation one: the "mysterious" external support does not have any "humanitarian" principles, although it prefers al-Nusra that refrains from posting videos of their atrocities. The simple reason seems to be that al-Nusra controls the border with Jordan, Turkey and Israel. However, the reports of al-Nusra and ISIL fighters cooperating are probably not invented by Hezbollah and other witnesses, because there was a detailed narrative from the most recent takeover of Yarmuk Palestinian camp near Damascus. I guess some fights for control between al-Nusra and ISIL may be genuine, but they are mostly for show. The control of wide territory and attracting volunteers requires the brand "we are the baddest of the bad", but diplomatically, it makes it awkward to arrange transports of money, weapons etc. by the Republic of Turkey and Kingdom of Jordan etc. As the "second worst bad asses" get depleted in manpower they are supplied with detachment from "ISIL central", so it is a fair surmise that the money and weapons collected from abroad trickle in the opposite direction.

To summarise, it is a little bit like interviewing Trotskyists nostalgic for the good old days of Lenin leadership and carping about Stalinists.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 12 2015 12:47 utc | 35

rufus at # 28........ intetview page 2

"UBL: Killing innocent civilians, like Americans and other educated people say, is something very weird to be said."

something very weird ?

very body and i mean everybody

was kung fu farting


Posted by: mcohen | Jun 12 2015 14:09 utc | 36

@23 - Yes, Erdogan's loss of power in election last Sunday is huge for Syria. ISIS, Nusra and all the rest have relied on the Turkish base and support which now is going to change.

Another prominent feature of this article is the promotion of idea that ISIS is related to Baath Party in Iraq. Minimal or no mention of connections to USA, Saudi Arabia and Turkey in contrast.

Posted by: rick | Jun 12 2015 15:07 utc | 37

It is quite amazing. After 9/11, that is starting then but gathering huge steam in 2003, etc. almost each and every muslim in the W was a potential danger/ terrorist/ to be watched, the djihadist threat was going to overwhelm the world, it was the new poison, deadly evil, to be monitored, controlled, and eradicated. Al Q were the ultimate terrorists. The US cracked down on everyone to watch associations, bank accounts, arrest the maximum no. of ppl on bogus charges, and many complied.

Then ten years later, in 2014-15 these creeps actually take over huge swatches of territory, are setting up a ‘new Caliphate,’ changing the map of the world, are murdering Christians and putting women in burkas and raping them, are trading in oil, and so on. (To mention only what was touted before..)

Ho-hum nothing to see here.

Well I know I shoudn’t be surprised. Media power. Still.

I met a guy in a bar the other day, he said Sykes-Picot was BS, best be done with it, and I asked about his muslim friends (everyone here has muslim friends) and he said they were happy because they weren’t being chased any more.

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 12 2015 15:44 utc | 38

Thanks rufus BBC World Monitor

Posted by: okie farmer | Jun 12 2015 17:09 utc | 39

It would be much easier to take b's rants seriously if he didn't make nonsense claims such as 'Jordan lives off money from Saudi Arabia'

BTW Hamas and al Qaeda share the same roots, the Muslim Brotherhood and were fathered by the same person Abdullah Yusuv Azzam.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Jun 12 2015 17:47 utc | 40

Timothy Garton Ash is also a member in good standing of the keyboard brigade with regard to Ukraine. He's a pathetic blairite R2Per. That The Guardian keeps him on is an illustration of how low a once great newspaper has sunk.

I mark the precipitous decline to the deal they made with the NYT for the American edition. I've been reading The Guardian for 40 years. It's tragic really.

Posted by: chuckvw | Jun 12 2015 22:31 utc | 41


Yo, yo, AQ is so po'!

How po'?

AQ so po', they' be sellin' they' pron tapes 'n game boyz!

They be po!

Naw them raghead' jus' be stupit, sell all they' pron, that just wrong!!

Every single year in the USA DUI/TXT'ing drivers roadkill 8,000 cyclists, pedestrians, joggers, old people caught in crosswalks, and children getting off school buses, every year 8,000 more, more than all the USAIan killed on 9/11 and the two shameless wars of empire that followed, and all the poor sots that ISIS has beheaded, ... are as nothing to the road carnage done by DUI/TX Trs in a single year, every year, ... yet with GPS cells, phone manufacturers could disable phones moving on roads and highways...but they won't.

That's an unfair trade rule. Hurts the bottom line.

AQ isn't the problem, IMF/WB is.

Posted by: Chipnik | Jun 12 2015 22:34 utc | 42

Seminar Notes for Advanced Textual Analysis 905
Wossamatta U., College of Higher Knowledge. Summer, 2015

Session of 12 June, "Deconstructing OBL on the Twin Towers"

Let's begin with the basics. The Tayseer Allouni interview is of a later date (21 Oct. 2001) and greater length than that with Ummat (28 Sept.). So I would give it greater probative value.

A number of significant points are consistent in the two interviews. He is deeply hostile to the United States and Jews. He approves of jihad against the infidels and against Muslims and Muslim states that aid the United States.

In the Ummat interview, he offers a preview of coming attractions -- he hits what will be the usual suspects for "Truthers." Secret government, the Jews, folks that would incite war between Islam and America

This last bit seems a little inconsistent on his part. In the Allouni interview, he touts the The Truth About the Modern Crusader Wars and notes Bush's brief use of the term "crusade" describing the American response. He then launches into a long exegesis of Koranic and other injunctions against frienship and cooperation with Jews and Christians. And explicitly accepts the notion of the war between "the crusaders" and Islam as a clash of civilizations.

He is rather generically against the killings of the innocent in the Ummat piece, and notes there the killing of innocent Muslims. But in the Allouni interview, he cites the Koran to explicitly justify the killing of the innocent in retaliation.

Further, he denies that those killed in the attacks were innocents. The Pentagon was a legitimate military target, and "As for the World Trade Center, the ones who were attacked and who died in it were a financial power. It wasn't a children's school!... We treat others like they treat us. Those who kill our women and our innocent, we kill their women and innocent, until they stop from doing so."

He also discusses in some detail the financial impact of the attacks.

He spins a direct question in the Allouni interview about the involvement of his organization.

I say in response to what you said, and which I have stated before, that this matter isn't about any specific person [laa yakhussu al-`abd al-faqir, lit. doesnt involve the poor servant], and that it is not about the al-Qai`dah Organization. We are the children of an Islamic Nation... and we are an unseperable part of it, and from those public demonstrations which spread from the far east, from the Philippines, to Indonesia, to Malaysia, to India, to Pakistan, reaching Mauritania... and so we discuss the conscience of this nation [ummah]."

He continues by discussing terror.

"There is terrorism that is ill-advised and there is terrorism that is good feat [mahmood]. So, if we follow their words, the criminal and the thief feels that he is terrorized from the police. So, do we tell the police that they are terrorists and that they terrorized the thief?... So America and Israel practice ill-advised terrorism, and we practice terrorism that is good feat, which deters those [yarda`] from killing our children in Palestine and other places..."

He concludes by urging Pakistan to leave its alliance with the US and join his war against the crusaders.

My reading of the texts suggest to me: He may or may not have been complicit in the deed. But he certainly looks good for conspiracy and accessory before and after the fact. And probably, like Capone and now Hastert, tax & financial reporting evasion.

Before seeing what the class has made of the assigned texts, I would note a did a little browsing on some English language Pakistani websites, returned through various searches on "credibility/reliability of Daily Ummat." It is seen by many posters as a mouthpiece for Jamiat-e-Islami, a conservative Islamist group, and as such spends much time highlighting what it sees as the failings of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), a secularist party strong in the port city of Karachi. You may take it as an optional extra-credit assignment to confirm or disprove this perception.

The floor is now open, scholar-Barflies.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jun 13 2015 3:44 utc | 43

He may or may not have been complicit in the deed. But he certainly looks good for conspiracy and accessory before and after the fact.

rufus, not anymore than US Air Force, US intel agencies, or W himself who ignored the intel he was given, both from his NSA adviser as well as overseas intel agencies.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jun 13 2015 8:47 utc | 44

Okie at 44 --

You might have missed my exchange on an earlier thread where I discussed -- with my usual brevity -- OBL's role in organizing, funding, and supplying the mujaheddin who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan.

Sins of omission differ from sins of commission. Nor did anyone in the MilSec apparat praise the deed.

Neighboring Penna. has nice charge that seems appropriate for us gingering up Islamic fundamentalists -- "risking a catastrophe." I'd add "negligent operation of a foreign policy."

Posted by: rufus magister | Jun 13 2015 12:48 utc | 45

@ 43.
"Those who kill our women and our innocent, we kill their women and innocent, until they stop from doing so."

How un-original.

Every "Israeli" President and Defense Minister since 1950 has said exactly the same thing. I'll believe that "Islamic extremists" have more in common with Islam than Israel when they attack Israeli targets.
9/11 was an inside job. i.e. a highly lucrative Military-Industrial Complex pantomime and the classic "gift that keeps on giving."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 13 2015 14:18 utc | 46

@38 noirette.. media power.. yes - it is quite amazing. however acts on the ground do matter, in spite of the way they get spun.. not everyone on the planet is so easily manipulated into group think... this is why i believe world finances are much more critical to a hold on power and why we see the west trying to squeeze russia as one example.. without a continued hold on the financial power, media power will be eclipsed, or replaced with a different propaganda.. see post below

@42 chipnik quote "AQ isn't the problem, IMF/WB is." - that is getting closer to the truth from my own pov..

@40 wow.. it would be easier to take your posts seriously if i didn't get them impression you were a paid bot for usa/israel, but such is life..

Posted by: james | Jun 13 2015 17:07 utc | 47

A very very strange series of Hezbollah PR/Propaganda photos was posted at the Saker showing Hezbollah fighters saluting/looting Xtian icons. The faithful at the Saker are all warm and fuzzy about this display of reverence for their icons but when many Muslims see this display they will probably have a single word response, 'SHIRK'.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Jun 13 2015 19:41 utc | 48

@48 On the other hand many Muslims will be pleased to see some religious tolerance.

Posted by: dh | Jun 13 2015 20:17 utc | 49

jas at 48, our bhagawan at 42 --

Call me old fashioned, but I always rate physical violence a more pressing problem than economic violence.

While I strongly oppose the fundamentalists methods of resistance, OBL did make it clear that the root cause is Washington's support for Israeli "facts on the ground" in Occupied Palestine. We expatiated anti-semitism at the expense of the Palestinians. The creation of Israel cannot be undone, but it can be made to conform to boundaries originally set for it by the United Nations. We assuredly support Arab regimes that tolerate the policies of the Washington-Tel Aviv axis.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jun 14 2015 1:35 utc | 50

@50 rufus.. they are connected and can't really be viewed separately as i see it..

Posted by: james | Jun 14 2015 7:18 utc | 51

Well I predicted this so am showing zero surprise. AN's 'rehabilitation' will continue expect puff pieces along the lines 'not such bad guys after all' and serious geo-political articles arguing that they are the best alternative for a new Syrian Govt....and so on.

Of course AN & IS are working the moment. A proportion of anything sent to them will go straight to IS. I expect if the Syrian Govt does collapse then there will be a bloodbath between the two of them, or it will be revealed that they are really just one organisation anyway...not sure what scenario will come to fruition, maybe even a mix of both. Bit of 'good cop, bad cop' going on here.

The Guardian, even more so than the UK Telegraph, is the mouthpiece of the UK (and hence the US) foreign policy elite. So this article is interesting indeed. Just like in the days of the USSR a lot can be worked out by carefully parsing Pravda's (Guardian now, etc) propaganda as it reveals the areas of interest.

The Coalition of the Terminally Insane (CoTI) are becoming ever more public with their 'plans' now as they feel they are winning, so the need to hide things is diminishing.

Posted by: Lisa | Jun 14 2015 22:50 utc | 52

james at 51 --

I would certainly agree they are inter-related phenomena. But physical violence brings immediate and irreversible death and injury, while economic violence (typically enabled or secured by physical force) bring a lingering but often reversible injury and death.

You might enjoy this Canadian-on-Canadian cover -- Barenaked Ladies covers Bruce Cockburn's Lovers in a Dangerous Time. Sure they're a pop-rock band, they can be annoying. Here's a great parody of One Week.

But the Ladies have more depth than people might think, see The Old Apartment. Great rhythm electric.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jun 15 2015 2:38 utc | 53

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