Zawahri Video Spouts Democratic Talking Points

Al-Qaeda’s second in command put out a long commercial long commercial for the Democratic Party today.

The deputy leader of al-Qaida called President Bush a failure and a liar in the war on terror in a video statement released Friday, and he compared Pope Benedict XVI to the 11th century pontiff who launched the First Crusade.

“Can’t you be honest at least once in your life, and admit that you are a deceitful liar who intentionally deceived your nation when you drove them to war in Iraq,” Ayman al-Zawahri said in a portion of the video released by the Washington-based SITE Institute.

Al-Zawahri also criticized Bush for continuing to imprison al-Qaida leaders in prisons, including al-Qaida No. 3 Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged Sept. 11 mastermind who was captured in Pakistan in March 2003. “Bush, you deceitful charlatan, 3 1/2 years have passed since your capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, so how have you found us during this time? Losing and surrendering?” he said, according to the SITE Institute.

“What you have perpetrated against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other Muslim captives in your prisons and the prisons of your slaves in Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and elsewhere is not hidden from anyone, and we are a people who do not sleep under oppression and who do not abandon our revenge until our chests have been healed of those who have aggressed against us,” the Virginia-based IntelCenter quoted the message as saying. “And we, by the grace of Allah, are seeking to exact revenge on behalf of Islam and Muslims from you and your soldiers and allies.”

Al-Zawahri, the deputy to Osama bin Laden, accused the United States and its agents of torturing Muslim prisoners seized across the Middle East. “Your agents in the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan have captured thousands of the youth and soldiers of Islam whom you made to taste at your hands and the hands of your agents various types of punishment and torture,” al-Zawahri said, according to the IntelCenter. “But we, by Allah’s grace, are taking revenge on their behalf daily from your troops and the troops of your allies and agents in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Arabian Peninsula and all Muslim countries from Indonesia to Morocco, and moreover, on your own soil every day.”

Aside from the part about the pope, this speech could have been given by Howard Dean, Harry Reid, or Teddy Kennedy. It’s also eerily remniscient of the video released by Osama bin Laden days before the 2004 election.

UPDATE: The post was a tongue-in-cheek reaction written hastily before I departed for an evening engagement. Obviously, there are snippets of this speech–the death to America stuff–that the Democrats wouldn’t say.

Anyone who reads this site on a regular basis knows that I’m not in the “Democrats hate America” camp. Still, it is striking how much of Zawahri’s remarks are standard talking points from the opposition party: The business about Bush being a “failure” and a “liar,” the emphasis on Abu Ghraib, Iraq as a rallying cry for Muslim outrage, and so forth.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Hal says:

    Wow. You really have just shucked all pretense. Sad.

  2. Triumph says:

    Aside from the part about the pope, this speech could have been given by Howard Dean, Harry Reid, or Teddy Kennedy. It’s also eerily remniscient of the video released by Osama bin Laden days before the 2004 election.

    al-Zawahri’s utilization of the Democratic talking points is evidence that there are Democratic party operatives giving purposeful and material support to a terrorist group.

    Now that Congress has just passed legislation dealing with this issue, I hope Bush detains Dean, Reid, and Kennedy–along with any other member of the Democratic party–and waterboards them.

    It not only will enhance our national security, but it will insure that the Dems don’t take back the House in November.

  3. I assume this is not meant to sway Americans. If it is aimed at Americans it shows how out of step he is. And because he is doing a democratic talking points with a “funny accent”, it also shows how out of step the democrats are.

    The only thing better would be to have OBL peeking through Lamont’s window and then coming in to announce his support for Ned.

  4. ken says:

    James, your Rovian punk talk is disgusting. Are you no better than a conservative?

  5. Tano says:

    And if Zawahri sticks his head out of his cave and says that its raining, he would sound just like a weatherman.

    Your point?

  6. Len says:

    I’m sorry, James, but what you wrote is just plain stupid. Do you honestly really believe that we Democrats wish death to America? Do you really believe that we hate our country that much?

    Sadly, I think you might. I know some do.

    You know, all those years that you all were throwing all that hatred and vitriol at Bill Clinton, I never once thought it was because you hated America. I understood it was just because you honestly did not like the man and did not agree with his policies.

    Yet, when I say that I disagree with George W. Bush, it can only mean that I hate America and want to see her defeated. I can’t disagree with Mr. Bush or anyone in his administration because if I do then I’m “Bush bashing” or I suffer from “Bush Derangement Syndrome.”

    The same with Howard Dean, Harry Reid or Teddy Kennedy. They cannot possibly be grown, adult, intelligent human beings with many, many years experience in government because they disagree with George W. Bush. It’s just not possible that they might honestly believe that there may be a better direction for our country. No, they hate Bush and because they hate Bush they want to see their country destroyed.

    Can you not see how really stupid that is? Can you not see how un-American that is? Do you really hate half of your fellow Americans so much that you can accuse them of such a thing?

    I visit here almost daily to read what you write because I can usually learn something. I guess I was wrong. You’re just like the rest of them. Just as hateful and just as spiteful and just as wrong.

    I’m sorry. Take it for whatever it’s worth.

  7. Tano says:

    Damn, I can’t just leave it with snark. This is a truly vile post.

    Yes Mr. Joyner, our enemies will gleefully seize on all manifestations of corruption, incompetence and stupidity in our policies, and trumpet them widely. Isn’t it a shame then, that America is a country of free people living in a democracy – a system of government in which probelms of corruption, incompetence and stupidity are held in relative check because free people can openly discuss, criticize and mobilize for political action to punish the corrupt and stupid by removing them from office, through elections.

    Your implied solution, and I emphasize implied, because you will surely hide behind protestations of innocence, is that we all shut up about corruption, incompetence and stupidity, and just march in lockstep behind the Leader.

    It is really really hard sometimes for people who wish to maintain civility and a reasonable tone to witness the craven behavior of so many on the right. We urge our hot-headed brethren to cool it with the hyperbole about authoritarianism and fascism and deal with our political opponents in a respectful manner. Then we see, on supposedly sane conservative sites, this kind of nonsense – that basically makes the argument that criticism of the government is treachery.

    When it comes to this, I think it abundently clear that the right desperatly needs some quiet time in the opposition, in order to reconnect with their sense of what America is all about. I find it interesting that some conservatives have openly spoken about losing the upcoming elections, and how that might not be such a bad thing for their movement. I agree – y’all are truly losing it, badly.

  8. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    James, I am astonished. When presented with the truth, those suffering from BDS, deny, deny, deny.
    Only those that refuse to listen cannot hear democratic talking points in Zawahri’s taped speech. Maybe you true believes can deny it, but the voting public will recognize the truth for what it is. Bush and this country have two enemies. Al-Qaeda and the democrats.

  9. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Tano, those things you describe left office January 2001, taking the W’s from computer keyboards with them. I am unaware of any charges of corruption that have any validity, incomptence, notice the economy, stupid, or stupidity, not knowing what is is. Everything you have accused Bush of has proven to be a lie. That is a fact. Get over it. Just because you refuse to believe does not make it so.

  10. I find it amusing how quickly some folks decide that you aren’t even worth their unutterable loathing. The skin is very, very thin in some environs. And what’s worse, you might even be, gasp, a conservative!

  11. Anderson says:

    Still, it is striking how much of Zawahri’s remarks are standard talking points from the opposition party: The business about Bush being a “failure” and a “liar,” the emphasis on Abu Ghraib, Iraq as a rallying cry for Muslim outrage, and so forth.

    And if you asked Zawahiri to add 2 + 2, he would doubtless say “4” — just like the Democrats!

    (The Republicans would have to check with OVP first.)

  12. andrew says:

    Al-Qaeda follows our media. The major media, the exact kind that someone from far away would be able to get their hands on, is controlled by Left-wing Democrats. So, AQ reciting Democratic Party talking points is an obvious, logical and not surprising conclusion. What’s the big deal? This is nothing new.

  13. Tano says:

    Re. your update James.

    “it is striking how much of Zawahri’s remarks are standard talking points from the opposition party”

    They are, more precisely, standard understanding of reality shared by most everyone on Earth.

    You think it is still controversial that Bush is a liar, or a failure? You think Abu Ghraib was an unremarkable event? Do you doubt that Iraq has been a rallying cry for Muslim outrage? Did you read the NIE? Was that Democrats?

    For those specific points, the category is not “Democrats plus terrorists”, it is “Everyone in the world minus an ever-shrinking number of diehard Republicans”.

  14. anjin-san says:

    James…

    Any respect I had for you just left the building. Do you have a “I bend over for Bush” sticker on your car?

  15. bains says:

    And if Zawahri sticks his head out of his cave and says that its raining, he would sound just like a weatherman.

    Your point?

    As with OBL’s missive two years ago, instead of recognizing that there are similarities between Democrat talking points and Al Qaeda proclamations, those on the left channel their energies to denouncing anyone who comments on those similarities.

    Gee… something else that Dems have in common with Jihadists.

  16. bains says:

    Your implied solution, and I emphasize implied, because you will surely hide behind protestations of innocence, is that we all shut up about corruption, incompetence and stupidity, and just march in lockstep behind the Leader.

    No Tano, all that is not only legitimate – and something most of the right ‘sphere aggressively attacks – but necessary.

    It is however, the cocooning of kernels of truth into ludicrous hyperbole for the purpose of outraging the American voter (Gitmo=gulag; Abu Ghraib=state sponsored torture; warrantless wiretaps=shredding the constitution), that our real enemies use as substantiating justification for their actions.

    “See, even Presidential candidate Howard Dean calls Bush a liar.” “See, even Sen Kennedy says Bush unjustly tortured Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.” “See, even Rep. McKinney says Bush was the mastermind behind 9-11.”

    Not only does this kind of rhetoric lend propagandic aid our enemies, but it also leads many to surmise that the left is more concerned with winning political battles than defeating existential threats.

  17. Bithead says:

    The similarity between what the terrorists are coming up with, and what the Democrats have been coming up with, has been noted frequently before. James’ comparison is hardly new, nor is it inaccurate by any means.

    Equally noteworthy has been the Democratic reaction to the connection; fear and loathing of being tagged with the terrorists, come election time.

    Lest we forget, the terrorists were actually and actively campaigning for democratic candidates in the last presidential election. Let’s also remember that Hugo Chavez Venezuelan president has also claimed an affinity with both the Democrats and the Arab terrorists.

    Fact of the matter is, they are connected… inexorably so. The only people that can change that connection, is the Democrats themselves, by denouncing the positions they, along with Chavez an dthe terrorists have taken.

    Thing is, that to do so, means that they have to admit the truth…. that George W. Bush and the Republican party is been doing the job right, something they cannot bring themselves to do.

    You see, to do that, would be to admit that they’ve been working against America, all along. They are now truly boxed in. One almost feels sorry for them in the position that they’re in. But… no; it is a condition of their own making.

    Still, that connection cannot be totally dismissed by any means. Particularly at election time.

  18. Bithead says:

    And James, frankly you, like the Pope, would be better off not apologizing for delivering the truth.

  19. Michael says:

    Ok, so the Democrats say the sky is blue, and Al Qaeda says the sky is blue, so obviously Democrats are terrorists and in league with Al Qaeda.

    The only way this post would make any sense is if the ONLY people saying these things were the Democrats and Al Qaeda. As it is, the ONLY people NOT saying this same thing are die-hard Bush supporters. To the rest the world, the sky is blue.

    If everyone else in the world is seeing something different than you, it doesn’t mean they’re all conspiring against you, it just means you’re wrong. Deal with it.

  20. Michael says:

    Bithead,

    What policies do Democrats share with Chavez and Al Qaeda that you think they need to denounce in order to be considered patriotic americans?

    I’m serious, please name me the specific policies that tie Democrats to Chavez and OBL.

  21. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    My, my. Me thinks thou doth protest too much. Whats the matter you lefties, the truth strikes a little to close. Liberals losers all over the world agree with Zawahri and the Democrats. Just what is it Bush lied about anyway? Turns out the accusation of lying were lies themselves. You lefties did learn something from WWII. From the Nazi’s. If tell a lie often enough, some people (democrats) will believe it. What is sad is that you have told lies long enough that you believe them yourselves. Those of you that decide to leave this site. Bon Voyage.

  22. bains says:

    Ok, so the Democrats say the sky is blue, and Al Qaeda says the sky is blue, so obviously Democrats are terrorists and in league with Al Qaeda.

    Let’s rephrase a bit…

    So the Dems stick their head out the door and proclaim that it will rain. The Repub sticks his head out the window and sees partly cloudy skies. Al Qaeda, a continent away, guarantees that it will rain today, tomorrow and the day after.

    It’s not hard to guess where al Qaeda is getting their talking points from. I’d say it’s an obvious cause and effect, but evidently far too many lefties are a bit sensitive about this causal relationship, and hence, feel compelled to attack the observer rather than their own message.

    No Michael, just because al Qaeda/various terrorists says the same things Dems say does not mean that they are of the same league [snark] Dems dont want to cut Bush’s head off, they just fantasize about his assination, or applaud petty tyrants bismirching he and his country on the world stage [/snark], it just means you’re feeding them their lines.

    To spell it out for the reality impaired, if you don’t want to be tarred, don’t have a bucket of tar in your own hands.

  23. Bithead says:

    Michael:

    If you can’t even read the article you’re responding to, much less keep up with direct liks that have been clear to anyone with a pulse for the last 6 years, don’t waste my time.

  24. Michael says:

    Bains,
    Which democrats fantasize about Bush’s assassination? Which ones have applauded Chavez’s UN speech? Names names.

  25. Michael says:

    Bains,
    When Al Qaeda was talking about Clinton’s infidelity, where they getting their talking points from the GOP? How about when they talk about homosexuality, or feminism? Should we now draw comparisons between Al Qaeda and the GOP based on their similarities on these policies?

  26. Bithead says:

    When Al Qaeda was talking about Clinton’s infidelity,

    And when, precisely, were they doing that?

    You’re motivations here are clear; you want to duck the obvious.

  27. jpe says:

    And if you asked Zawahiri to add 2 + 2, he would doubtless say “4— — just like the Democrats!

    (The Republicans would have to check with OVP first.)

    You haven’t gotten the talking points yet. “2+2” makes use of arabic numerals. It’s actually “II + II.” We don’t want to embolden al-Qaeda’s historians of mathematics.

  28. bains says:

    Bains,
    When Al Qaeda was talking about Clinton’s infidelity, where they getting their talking points from the GOP?

    Michael, I had added a paragraph acknowledging that in the 90’s, al Qaeda was probably getting their talking points from the rabid wing of the GOP. Alas, my DSL seized and the reload lost that part. But that only emphasizes my point which is not to draw comparisons (snarks aside)between various Americans and al Qaeda, rather to point out that the more vitriolic ones hyperbole, the more likely our enemies will use it against us.

    Which democrats fantasize about Bush’s assassination? Which ones have applauded Chavez’s UN speech? Names names.

    I know of no nationally prominent elected Dem who either fantasizes or applauds either, hence that part being within a snark tag. There are plenty of Dem supporters however that do. Proof of this is the popularity in certain quarters of that recently released Canadian film (assassination fantasy) and far left websites and blogs (DU,).

  29. G.A. Phillips says:

    Michael, it is not policies that they share with the Donkey lords, it is a jealousy and admiration, because they what to destroy America and the Liberals are showing them the way. the commies love the skills in witch the mighty burros keep half of the masses in line with the crumbs they promises them and the fascist like hatred they sow, and Al Qaeda is awed by their absolute relentlessness!

  30. Anderson says:

    Michael, it is not policies that they share with the Donkey lords, it is a jealousy and admiration, because they what to destroy America and the Liberals are showing them the way. the commies love the skills in witch the mighty burros keep half of the masses in line with the crumbs they promises them and the fascist like hatred they sow, and Al Qaeda is awed by their absolute relentlessness!

    Written like a true member of the 37%.

  31. madmatt says:

    Truth is truth no matter who says it! The war is going badly for the US, torture and illegal prisons do exist, the pope is a nazi.

  32. spencer says:

    In many ways you are more correct then you realize.

    Take, Abu Ghraib for example. The democratic criticism has taken two forms. One it is not what Americans do. We all grew up being taught that only Japs, Nazis, Communist, and third world dictators did this type of thing. Many of us still believe that. Why do you no longer believe in the American way? Second, it is counterproductive because it provides the enemy propaganda and so does more harm then good.

    OK, now that the democratic criticism that torture is counterproductive proved right you simply dismiss it as a talking point. How about trying to demonstrate that the criticism was wrong. Can you do that? Failure to answer this question will be taken as evidence that you agree.

    Yes, some democrats spout left wing rubbish just like bithead spouts right wing rubbish. But the bulk of us are just disgusted that the US is losing the war on terror because of Bush’s incompetence. When are intelligent republicans like you going to finally realize what has been obvious to many of us for a long time.

  33. Bithead says:

    But the bulk of us are just disgusted that the US is losing the war on terror because of Bush’s incompetence.

    Quick: What color is the sky?