Thursday, October 13, 2005

Identity, my controversial bit

Some writers seem to be wondering about the Zawahiri letter to Zarqawi. Is it a fake or not. Some are even suggesting Zarqawi is no more then an arrangement of letters himself. And some people seem very very keen to vet opinion about it.

Who knows, what I do know is this: constructing identity is a collaborative affair. Does Osama Bin Laden care that a clandestine international terrorist ring is attributed to him or that he is accused of what might be other independent bombings? No, he doesn't seem to mind at all. In fact, just like the IRA and it's variant branches he colludes with his "opponents" by accepting "the credit" for missions accomplished. Do Pentagon senior officials mind that Osama might be dead already? No, they seem happy to claim he is still large as life and threatening as ever. Similarly, do Pentagon senior officials mind if rumours spread that Zarqawi is dead? Apparently not, it means their president can pretend to have knocked out a "key card". And does Zarqawi mind if people think he is dead? It appears he doesn't, perhaps it gives him cover.

And so while these two apparently antagonistic forces collaborate by agreeing to oust each other, ordinary people suffer. Very ordinary people who cannot be bothered playing the pomp and ceremony game or donning an outfit or taking "a side" or even a stand.

Very ordinary people who notice very odd things. Like how this seems to be at least the second "resistance" letter that has mysteriously made it's way into Pentagon hands. Like the one last year that the cpa published. The one from Zarqawi himself, apparently. And how Jim Lobe's article about last year's letter is disguised as a go at "the neocons" but all the same proposes the letter is authentic and that it's all about the Sunnis getting the Shia's. Teeheehee. I don't think anybody buys that line anymore:

We must repeat what we mentioned previously, that the majority of Muslims don't comprehend this and possibly could not even imagine it. For that reason, many of your Muslim admirers amongst the common folk are wondering about your attacks on the Shia. The sharpness of this questioning increases when the attacks are on one of their mosques, and it increases more when the attacks are on the mausoleum of Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib, may God honor him. My opinion is that this matter won't be acceptable to the Muslim populace however much you have tried to explain it, and aversion to this will continue.

(excerpt this years letter)

Or like how Lobes article strangely mentions last years letter was on disc while another apparently knowledgeable piece published by the Jamestown Foundation Terrorism Monitor about the same letter implies the whole thing was hand written, with a pen. And hand written by an educated Sunni-Baathist no less. Ahem. All the Sunnis fault the Jamestown Foundation tries to advise. And apparently among others the fault of the omg, hilarious, "immigrant mujahideen". What a stab in the dark that was from the Jamestown Foundation, infer the migrant population.

Or other things, like how the letter from Zawahiri to Zarqawi doesn't seem to be to Zarqawi at all but to someone else who is being asked to send Zarqawi greetings.

Or how, almost halfway through on page 6 the author seems to be proposing a democratic solution:

We don't want to repeat the mistake of the Taliban, who restricted participation in governance to the students and the people of Qandahar alone. They did not have any representation for the Afghan people in their ruling regime, so the result was that the Afghan people disengaged themselves from them. Even devout ones took the stance of the spectator and, when the invasion came, the amirate collapsed in days, because the people were either passive or hostile.

My goodness, doesn't that sound like disengaged populations all over the world.

Yeah, I think it's a big fat ill-spun fake. There ya go, that's what I think of the handiwork. Still it is a very well written letter. Very florid style. I rather like it, as a fiction piece.

Update: ok, I was just kidding around with my prognosis, either way it makes little difference. War is still wrong and the constitution and referendum are still riddled with loopholes and allegations of misconduct (ie if everything else is a fraud, why should one letter lift eyebrows). I actually find it more interesting that someone was going around approaching others for "opinion" re the letter. Particularly when bloggers were probably gearing up to focus on the referendum instead. If the letters faked, well funny haha. If it's real... well heh Zawahiri sounds like an interesting and astute bloke.


#10/13/2005 10:47:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger richsanter

anyone that has done any research into islam knows about the view sunni arabs hold towards shiites. i know many, many sunni arabs that dont even consider shiites muslims. yet muslim leaders try to make it seem like shiites and sunnis are similar to protestants and catholics. suuuuuuure. if that makes them feel better at night, fine. go into a large non-arab shiite country, like iran, and see how they feel about sunni saudis or any other sunni nation. my goodness, i sound like more of a muslim than emigre. Baathists will always find a way to spin things and try to make it seem like there is a conspiracy going on. if it isnt the Mossad, its the CIA. and if it isnt either of those two, then maybe the KGB or MI5 is in on it. there ya go, thats what i think of the handIwork.

#10/14/2005 04:14:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger Bruno

?migré you mirror my thought processes substantially. There is fairly concrete evidence that Zarqawi did in fact exist. Whether he still lives is another matter entirely. Put yourself in the shoes of the neocons for a second.

If you killed Zarqawi, would you tell everybody about it? NO. Zarqawi is a mobile casus belli, one under neocon control. Wherever force is needed, Zarqawi can be there to provide a justification. He is a bogeyman to scare the Shias with, a sort of Emmanuel Goldstein for the Resistance. By pumping up his image, the sound bite media automatically focuses on whatever he is supposed to have said, and thus the image of patriotic Iraqis fighting for their country is replaced with that of the multiply wounded, wooden legged, monstrous Zarqawi. Convenient, eh? And, if things are going grimly, why, just capture one of Zarqawi’s illusory “top lieutenants” and voila’ progress is being made.

The same goes for bin Laden. Speculation is that he is dead from kidney failure. (Heard anything from him lately? No. Yet before he just couldn’t stop yapping about this, that and the other. Christ, I thought he was going to start doing the weather, he was blabbing so much.) Of course, even if he had been caught, we wouldn’t hear much, until the time was ripe to use that news. His existence as a bogey man is extremely useful to anybody who would want to go on a rampage through the middle east or Caucasus.

Now, who would that be?

(PS, I notice I managed to go through an entire post without typing 'US'. I'm getting better, see?)

#10/14/2005 10:24:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Zachariah

rich, you are such a joker. Clearly this has the mark of the eagle all over it. Everyone knows the pentagon employs a writer who sits in a little room all year and composes correspondence on demand. who knows what management get him to do between annual Zarqawi letter releases. Probably reads blogs. Cushy job I guess.

#10/14/2005 10:38:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

Whoever wrote that letter is probably not very militant. They don't talk about blowing anything up and it's all about listening to the people. What a laugh. A peace activist probably planted it. I'm with em, it's a fake but a good one.

#10/14/2005 10:49:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Miguel

Zachariah I don't think it came out of a pentagon think tank. It's too sophisticated, spiritually enlightened and well informed for their leadership.

It was written by a male, probably one in his 50's-60's. That's all I can tell. I think emigre's wrong, it's not written by a faker.

Nice that he named his daughter nowwar. I hope she grows up with the equal opportunities that her brothers will have.

#10/14/2005 11:02:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

emigre, you forgot to link to the arabic version. Your racism is showing through again.

the Arabic one.

#10/14/2005 11:12:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Hans not Blix

Well fancy that, rich in a tight spot. If rich says its for real, he's stuck with the plausibility that a mate of Zarqawi is advising an unified democratic solution with less violence. A solution independent of the occupation. But if rich says yes its a fake then he's agreeing with em, and he wouldn't want to do that now, would he.

(Congrats on ditching the U word Bru').

#10/14/2005 11:18:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous medea

Please be careful em, you're likely to p everyone o. If the neo's don't abduct you the communists will and I'm not sure which would be worse for the only thing more unbearable then both is an underage knowitall socialist with a loud hailer.

#10/15/2005 03:10:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger richsanter

hey "hans". first of all, read the post from emigre again. the letter was TO someone that has contact with zarqawi. zarqawi himself did not write the letter, so it doesnt express his views. the letter seems to show that he is being asked to consider taking a political approach, but those arent his views. yes, he exists, yes the letter is real, and no it wasnt written by him. do your homework before you try to bash my opinions. consider yourself spanked.


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