Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 23, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

ONE BIG UNHAPPY FAMILY....Newsweek has a short piece in its current issue about squabbling at the highest ranks in al-Qaeda:

This summer [Omar] Farooqi and other Taliban sources told Newsweek that a split had emerged in Al Qaeda between the organization's powerful Egyptian faction, led by Zawahiri, and its Libyan wing over jihadist strategy. Ever since the 2001 collapse of the Taliban, Zawahiri has been plotting to kill his nemesis, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, narrowly missing twice in 2003. But the Libyans, led by Abu Yahya al-Libi, had argued that Al Qaeda's resources should be focused on supporting insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq and fomenting terrorism in the West.

The Egyptian-Libyan feud may now be history, though, thanks to Musharraf's decision in July to storm the radical Red Mosque in the heart of Islamabad, during which the mosque's radical leader Abdul Rashid Ghazi was killed. Within days, Zawahiri issued a video calling on Pakistanis to "revolt." Soon afterward, al-Libi followed suit. Even bin Laden, who had never before called on Pakistanis to rise up against Musharraf, did so in his latest audiotape.

According to this story, bin Laden finally got tired of his underlings sidelining him on the pretext that it was necessary for security reasons, and that's why he began speaking out again. I don't have anything in particular to say about this, but just thought it was interesting terrorist gossip. Make of it what you will.

Kevin Drum 12:53 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (26)

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This is why MoveOn is working to help AQ with their PR, and why all of us Hollywood Elitists (tm) spend all our free time advising AQ - because we want the terists to win, you bet.

Posted by: craigie on September 23, 2007 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

According to this story, bin Laden finally got tired of his underlings sidelining him on the pretext that it was necessary for security reasons, and that's why he began speaking out again.

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on September 23, 2007 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

According to this story, bin Laden finally got tired of his underlings sidelining him on the pretext that it was necessary for security reasons, and that's why he began speaking out again.

versus

Upon discovering that the conglomerate that owns UBS will be bought out by an even larger Saudi Arabian conglomerate, Beale launches an on-screen tirade against the two conglomerates, encouraging the audience to telegram the White House with the message, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this any more" in the hopes of stopping the merger. The chairman of the company that owns UBS then explicates his own "corporate cosmology" to the now nearly delusional Beale, ultimately persuading Beale to abandon his populist messages. However, audiences find his new views on the dehumanization of society to be depressing, and ratings begin to slide.

And although Beale's ratings plummet, the chairman will not allow executives to fire Beale as he spreads the new gospel. Obsessed as ever with UBS' ratings, Christensen arranges for Beale's on-air murder by a group of urban terrorists who now have their own UBS show, "The Mao-Tse Tung Hour," a dynamite addition to the new fall line-up.

I bet Imus could get UBL to appear on his first show back.... I'm pretty sure we could get Tucker Carlson to play the Faye Dunaway part and sleep around to ensure that UBL appears on his show.

Posted by: jerry on September 23, 2007 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

#

Posted by: kyle on September 23, 2007 at 3:40 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, yeah, like we're gonna do that...

Posted by: Kenji on September 23, 2007 at 4:06 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder if the upside is that Musharraf will at long last be motivated enough to go after AQ and Taliban groups residing within Pakistan along the Afghanistan border. Up until recently, they had something of a truce in effect. That broke down somewhat, but perhaps not enough to warrant Musharraf risking overt attacks on them, lest it provoke local uprising against his government. However, if they are openly trying to kill him, he arguably has less to lose by trying to eliminate them now.

Not that anyone should hold their breaths, but this might be worth keeping an eye on.

Posted by: Augustus on September 23, 2007 at 4:20 AM | PERMALINK

kyle: "go to my site if you waqnt to see hillary clinton exposed as a liar and a murderer!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I have to agree with Kenji. Why would we want to do that?

However, we both do care, and encourage you to ask your doctor about Xanax.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 23, 2007 at 5:27 AM | PERMALINK

I think I'll pass too, kyle. Take donald's advice. Try marijuana too, it works.

Posted by: merl.allen on September 23, 2007 at 5:37 AM | PERMALINK

I went to your videos on YouTube, Kyle. Retarded. Recycled old Clinton myths that were discredited years ago. Vince Foster - give me a break. Four separate investigations proved that was suicide. You must be young, poorly read and gullible. GET OVER IT!!!

With regard to Kevin's post - Anyone who has watched The Power of Nightmares, knows that Ayman al-Zawahiri is the one who steered Usama bin Laden to direct his minions against the West, not the other way around. I doubt the accuracy of Newsweek's story, as a result. bin Laden's goal has always been to take out the corrupt Saudi monarchy and restore Mecca and Medina to the Wahhabist way of life.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 23, 2007 at 7:12 AM | PERMALINK

"I wonder if the upside is that Musharraf will at long last be motivated enough to go after AQ and Taliban groups residing within Pakistan along the Afghanistan border."

answer: no

Posted by: supersaurus on September 23, 2007 at 8:02 AM | PERMALINK

This is clearly a disinformation campaign on the part of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. What motivation would they have in telling us the truth? Our only response should be staying the course until victory.

Posted by: Al on September 23, 2007 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

oh good, i love Al. he always brings me back to reality. Define victory.

Thanks for the inside gossip scoop, Kevin.

Posted by: Carol on September 23, 2007 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

I dunno. I think this is disinformation from Cheney's camp to make us think Al Qaeda is in disarray--so his administratio will look less like the incompetent idiots they are. I am highly suspicious of these "Taliban" sources--sounds more like CIA to me.

Posted by: Helena Montana on September 23, 2007 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

"I am highly suspicious of these "Taliban" sources--sounds more like CIA to me.
Posted by: Helena Montana on September 23, 2007 at 9:24 AM"

http://www.memri.org/bin/opener_latest.cgi?ID=SD167807

Posted by: DOV on September 23, 2007 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

Logic tells me that that GWB and the neo-cons have been a great unifying (and copycat) force for al-Qaeda and jihad-crazies everywhere. I just don't see how it could be otherwise.

They now think they can drag a superpower down by provoking disastrous invasions. They reason that it worked with Afghanistan and the Soviet Union and that it is now working with Iraq and the United States.

That kind of unifying force can overcome a lot of squabbling.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on September 23, 2007 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

I have to agree with the Yahya al-Libi fation, take the long view. Zawahiri is just looking for cheap nukes.

Posted by: Matt on September 23, 2007 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

jerry,

I believe Tucker is holding out for a remake, remake of the Thomas Crown Affair, where he can play chess with a Steve McQueen lookalike. Can hardly wait to see his lips, ala Faye.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 23, 2007 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with Helena Montana.

Posted by: pol on September 23, 2007 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

***

Posted by: mhr on September 23, 2007 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

so.... bin Laden effectively came down on the side of those who aren't interested in Iraq....?

Posted by: Jim on September 23, 2007 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Leaving aside the Cheney conspiracies for a moment, the true test of factional struggles within terrorist organizations comes down to who can most effectively deploy violence. Whichever faction can strike first and most effectively wins the organization's debate. And judging by the numerous developments in Pakistan's tribal regions these past few weeks, it seems abundantly clear that the Egyptian faction is set to win. But I wonder if the bombings in Algeria signify the Libyan factions attempts to present counterpoints to the Zawahiri faction.

Terrorist use violence to do different kinds of work. Intra-organizational communication is but one way.

Posted by: Philippe on September 23, 2007 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

DOV at 9:40 AM
Ah, yes, MEMRI. Excellent source for neo-con spin. The article is reeks of disinformation.

Posted by: Mike on September 23, 2007 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

mhr.....Well *** right back at you.

Posted by: R.L. on September 23, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

"According to this story, bin Laden finally got tired of his underlings sidelining him on the pretext that it was necessary for security reasons, and that's why he began speaking out again. "

That new video was an absolute sham. 12 minute video freeze? And that's the only time he refers to current events?

Posted by: scarshapedstar on September 23, 2007 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on September 24, 2007 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK


mhr: followed the Democrats' talking point.


Bush job approval: 29% - Reuters/Zogby 9/18/07

Approval of Bush's handling of Iraq: 33% - A.P. 9/13/07

58%....a new high, said they want to decrease the number of U.S. troops in Iraq. - Wash. Post/ABC poll 9/8/07

More than six in 10 said the Iraq war is not worth fighting. - Wash. Post/ABC poll 9/8/07

62% say the Iraq war was a mistake. - NYT poll 9/10/07

Bush's approval rating is at 30% - NYT poll 9/10/07


3 in 10 Americans “believe that the U.S. and its allies are winning the war on terrorism” - CNN poll 9/11/07

80% of Americans believe the "Iraq war has hurt the United States' standing in the international community." - UPI-Zogby poll 7/26/07

mhr haven't you heard....

bush bashing is the new black....

Posted by: mr. irony on September 24, 2007 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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