Osama asks Iraqi Sunnis to please stop killing his goons

posted at 4:14 pm on October 22, 2007 by Allahpundit

It seems it’s quite “extremist” of them to do so.

Al-Qaida leader Usama bin Laden called for Iraqi insurgents to unite and avoid “extremism” that causes divisions in a new audiotape aired Monday on Al-Jazeera television, trying to overcome splits by some Sunnis who have opposed the terror group’s branch in Iraq…

“I advise myself, Muslims in general and brothers in al-Qaida everywhere to avoid extremism among men and groups,” he said, saying leaders should not build themselves up as the sole authority, and that instead mujahideen should follow “what God and his prophet have said.”

Bin Laden used the Arabic word “ta’assub,” which in traditional Islamic thought means extremism in allegiance or adherence to a group, to a degree that excludes others — apparently advising flexibility to overcome divisions.

“Everybody can make a mistake, but the best of them are those who admit their mistakes,” he said. “Mistakes have been made during holy wars but mujahideen have to correct their mistakes.”

Al Qaeda’s problem all along in trying to consolidate the Sunni insurgency under its banner is that most insurgents are nationalists and Baathists, not Islamic fanatics. Osama wants a transnational jihadist emirate; most of the people he’s fighting alongside simply want to restore Sunni dominion over Iraq. AQ invented the “Islamic State of Iraq” and gave it a phony Iraqi frontman to try to square that circle and coopt nationalist sentiment towards its own ends. That plan went haywire when the foreign Islamist element ran amok in Anbar and inspired the backlash that became the Awakening. So now this is his feeble attempt to heal the rift, including acknowledgment of “mistakes” — although I think the mistakes he has in mind are those supposedly committed by the Sunni insurgents in not accepting shari’a, not the ones committed by his own boys in, say, detonating chlorine truck bombs outside schools in Sunni areas. What’s especially humiliating about this is that AQI killed the leader of the Awakening just last month; the fact that Bin Laden would follow that with a gesture of conciliation, however half-assed, means either that this recording was made before the assassination happened or that the assassination didn’t quite have the back-breaking, morale-crushing impact he had hoped for. Keep an eye out for details that might resolve that ambiguity.

It’s not often that you get a hopeful word out of Bush’s critics but check this out:

“It’s always good news when they are divided,” said Richard Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism adviser, now an ABC News consultant. “It’s reflective that U.S. tactics are having some success.”

Exit question: Given Bin Laden’s evident concern over developments in Iraq, what exactly is the crux of the left’s claim that Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda in Iraq are wholly separate organizations and never the twain shall meet? There are financial links, per the LA Times; there are logistical links, per the latest NIE; and there are obviously strategic links per today’s tape (and plenty of others in the past). Is there anything more to it than trying to convince the public that we don’t need to stay in Iraq to fight Al Qaeda because the “real” Al Qaeda isn’t there, no sirree?

Update: They’re really swinging away at each other now, too. Roggio reports a battle over the weekend between AQI and the nationalist insurgent group Islamic Army in Iraq (not to be confused with the Islamic State of Iraq mentioned above) in which 60 were killed.


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Headline:

Osama: “Can’t We All Just Get Along?”

MadisonConservative on October 22, 2007 at 4:20 PM

Wow, raining on Spitzers’ parade in NY and OBLs’ in Iraq! Great day for news!

countywolf on October 22, 2007 at 4:21 PM

Exit Question: It doesn’t really matter, does it? I mean, the lefties think Bush is more their enemy than bin Laden ever could be.

Tony737 on October 22, 2007 at 4:22 PM

LOOOOOOOOOL osama cryin over extremism. this is rich

ernesto on October 22, 2007 at 4:24 PM

Osama asks Iraqi Sunnis to please stop killing his goons

What’s Arabic for “Nuts!”?

ReubenJCogburn on October 22, 2007 at 4:27 PM

Exit question: Given Bin Laden’s evident concern over developments in Iraq, what exactly is the crux of the left’s claim that Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda in Iraq are wholly separate organizations and never the twain shall meet? There are financial links, per the LA Times; there are logistical links, per the latest NIE; and there are obviously strategic links per today’s tape (and plenty of others in the past). Is there anything more to it than trying to convince the public that we don’t need to stay in Iraq to fight Al Qaeda because the “real” Al Qaeda isn’t there, no sirree?

That statement seems to be going in two directions at once. There is a whole lot of daylight between being wholly separate and the same.

MB4 on October 22, 2007 at 4:31 PM

It seems it’s quite “extremist” of them to do so.

Bwahahahaha! Pot, kettle…kettle, pot.

flipflop on October 22, 2007 at 4:31 PM

Obama bin Laden knows that President Hillary is going to make deals to get Iraq off the news quickly, and so he needs to reposition the AQ brand to get a seat at the table.

His next announcement will be a plaque for the WTC memorial that says in English “We’re Sorry” and in Arabic says “Submit or Die”.

pedestrian on October 22, 2007 at 4:31 PM

I advise myself, Muslims in general and brothers in al-Qaida everywhere to avoid extremism among men and groups

Bin Hidin’s advisor isssssssssssssss … Bin Hidin’! “I keep saying to myself, Bin, you must stop this conduct. So I try to stop, but my advisor … me, tells me that my advisor, me, is wrong … what to do? What to do?”

OhEssYouCowboys on October 22, 2007 at 4:31 PM

Sounds like the actor playing Osama has recognized that slaughtering and oppressing civilians in areas they control perhaps isn’t the best way to win them over.

However, I don’t see his thugs in Iraq changing tactics anytime soon; fear is the only tool they have.

Hollowpoint on October 22, 2007 at 4:32 PM

“It’s always good news when they are divided,” said Richard Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism adviser, now an ABC News consultant. “It’s reflective that U.S. tactics are having some success.”

ABC News pays for this?

Dusty on October 22, 2007 at 4:34 PM

Exit Answer:

If the left is willing and able to deceive, inveigle, and obfuscate, and the MSM always gives them a free pass for it, why would they ever admit that it turns out that despite being “reality-based” their arguments are not at all based in reality?

They don’t have to, so they wont.

apollyonbob on October 22, 2007 at 4:41 PM

!البندق

jdpaz on October 22, 2007 at 4:44 PM

Gee a couple of tapes back he was reciting Democratic talking points and now he wants “big tent terrorism”.

What a guy.

CommentGuy on October 22, 2007 at 4:47 PM

SIgn of weakness?

Canadian Imperialist Running Dog on October 22, 2007 at 4:48 PM

SIgn of weakness?

Canadian Imperialist Running Dog on October 22, 2007 at 4:48 PM

No, OBL understands that you can accomplish more with a nice tape and an asassination than with just an asassination alone.

pedestrian on October 22, 2007 at 4:52 PM

OT: I just found out my friend got hit by an IED in Iraq. He’s enlisted Army, and had only been in theater about a few weeks. The only thing the Army has said is that he has severe lacerations. If you all could pray for him and his wife, I would greatly appreciate it.

PRCalDude on October 22, 2007 at 5:03 PM

This is supposed to be a happy occasion jihad. Let’s not bicker and argue over who killed who.

BohicaTwentyTwo on October 22, 2007 at 5:09 PM

He’s dead.

Dead man cannot release press statements.

tommylotto on October 22, 2007 at 5:12 PM

PRCalDude-

Prayers went up from Dallas on behalf of your friend.

Matticus Finch on October 22, 2007 at 5:14 PM

Al Qaeda’s problem all along in trying to consolidate the Sunni insurgency under its banner is that most insurgents are nationalists and Baathists, not Islamic fanatics.

I’m afraid you make the mistake of George W and have too nice of a view of people acting under the influence of Islam. While each faction does want power and is more than willing to kill other Islamic factions for that power, all factions are certainly open to the message of Islamic supremacy. All are delighted to be able to kill the infidel. Muslims are not taught to have guilt or shame in slaughtering other people. I fear most Christians, Jews and Western secularists just don’t understand how people could be without guilt or shame when committing murder.

thuja on October 22, 2007 at 5:24 PM

As long as the Sunnin groups don’t listen to him this is great news, as it points to the desperate situation AQ in starting to face in Iraq. Combined with the fact that our military leadership feels we’ve destroyed them enough to shift the focus towards the Shia militias hopefully means we are about to hurt them beyond repair.

If we can get AQ to decide they would be better off keeping their resources in Afghanistan it would be a huge win. We have international help in Afghanistan and the American public is still onboard. Plus the obvious bonus of AQ not blowing sh*t up around Iraqi civilians helps us bring security and stability to their lives, which is what we need before we can ever leave.

BadgerHawk on October 22, 2007 at 5:27 PM

PRCalDude on October 22, 2007 at 5:03 PM

done.

BadgerHawk on October 22, 2007 at 5:29 PM

I wish him the same luck we had.

RobCon on October 22, 2007 at 5:44 PM

Given Bin Laden’s evident concern over developments in Iraq, what exactly is the crux of the left’s claim that Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda in Iraq are wholly separate organizations and never the twain shall meet?

Probably that “AQI” didn’t exist until we invaded, so it shouldn’t be used as an excuse for staying.

Both sides have an agenda. The rights wants to talk about “al Qaeda” in Iraq because that gets people thinking about 9/11 and that gets people supporting a military blank check. The left wants to completely deny an AQI/al Qaeda link because it offers to some people some sort of post-factum justification for staying there.

Of course, on another level, talking about AQI as being linked to al Qaeda is bad for the pro-war crowd, because it calls attention to the fact that the invasion of Iraq created more terrorists (or “activated” them) than it killed. But they’re hoping the people will be stupid and will just think “al Qaeda in ____ == the people who did 9/11.” And that’s probably a good call, considering how many people were fooled into beliving that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 attacks (an astonishing 70% in late 2003, 47% in early 2005 and 41% in mid-2007).

Mark Jaquith on October 22, 2007 at 6:08 PM

PRCalDude…

Our entire family will pray for your friend….for our friend, and his family.

Limerick on October 22, 2007 at 6:10 PM

Probably that “AQI” didn’t exist until we invaded, so it shouldn’t be used as an excuse for staying.

In what way does that make sense? We should pack up and leave and let Iraqis deal with the problem in order to punish ourselves for giving AQ a battlefield? That’s downright masochistic.

Allahpundit on October 22, 2007 at 6:11 PM

Of course, on another level, talking about AQI as being linked to al Qaeda is bad for the pro-war crowd, because it calls attention to the fact that the invasion of Iraq created more terrorists (or “activated” them) than it killed.
Mark Jaquith on October 22, 2007 at 6:08 PM

I’d rather have them “activated” where our troops have a chance to dispatch them then against civilians in relatively undefended American or Israeli city. There’s no question that AQI is linked to Al Qaeda- it’s not in dispute either amongst AQI or Al Qaeda terrorists.

If they’re willing to drive a suicide car bomb into a crowd in Iraq, there’s no reason not to believe that they’d do so in Tel Aviv, Beirut, or New York City. The US didn’t so much “create” terrorists as draw them out.

Dealing death and defeat to Jihadis is a good thing; abandoning Iraq and allowing AQI/AQ to claim victory would be a very, very bad thing.

Hollowpoint on October 22, 2007 at 6:22 PM

Bin Die-in aint too happy now that his murderous ideology is coming back to bite him in the ass.

JimK on October 22, 2007 at 7:01 PM

This just in from the newsdesk: Osama provides talking points for the Democrat caucus. Details at 11:00.

Mojave Mark on October 22, 2007 at 8:00 PM

In what way does that make sense? We should pack up and leave and let Iraqis deal with the problem in order to punish ourselves for giving AQ a battlefield? That’s downright masochistic.

Allahpundit on October 22, 2007 at 6:11 PM

How is that masochistic? How would we be punishing ourselves?

MB4 on October 22, 2007 at 8:06 PM

AlQ in Iraq is to AlQ, somewhat as Blackwater is to the U.S. Army.

An ally to a degree, but not a very good or controllable one and sometimes counterproductive to the mission.

MB4 on October 22, 2007 at 8:20 PM

Dude, our prayers are with him, and that it certainly NOT Off Topic.

Tony737 on October 22, 2007 at 8:24 PM

Quote Richard Clarke:

“It’s always good news when they are divided… it’s reflective that U.S. tactics are having some success.”

This from the same crowd that cries foul whenever we point out that the Dhimmicrats are hurting our side in the war effort.

Oh… why do I bother?

DubiousD on October 22, 2007 at 9:10 PM

My prayers for your friend and his family.

I wonder what would happen if Bin Hidin was killed or captured? Would most of America/world believe the war is won and over? Do people here believe anything will change on confirmation of his death?

AQ? Who is that? The west dubbed them so, the west is afraid to say Islam. Will Islam die with Osama? Unlikely.

BL@KBIRD on October 22, 2007 at 9:32 PM

My friend’s ok! My other friend spoke to him earlier. I guess the IED blew up slightly to the side of their humvee, rolling it and knocking them unconscious. When they came to, they were under attack by Iraqis. They returned fire, the Iraqis ran away, and no one got shot. My friend just has a bump on his head. The Army was being very vague when they contacted his wife earlier.

PRCalDude on October 22, 2007 at 9:47 PM

PRCalDude on October 22, 2007 at 9:47 PM

Glad to hear he’s ok.

4shoes on October 23, 2007 at 1:01 AM

H’allaturaaafakkkk

That’s “I’m a sissypants” in Arabic.

Black Adam on October 23, 2007 at 1:38 AM

In what way does that make sense? We should pack up and leave and let Iraqis deal with the problem in order to punish ourselves for giving AQ a battlefield? That’s downright masochistic.

Well, the left was against going in there from the start, so it’d be more correct to say that the presence of al Qaeda affiliated terrorists fails to change their mind on that judgement. It’s not their reason for leaving, it’s just not a reason for staying.

I’d rather have them “activated” where our troops have a chance to dispatch them then against civilians in relatively undefended American or Israeli city.

You don’t know that they would have been otherwise “activated” without our provocation. And if you’re wrong, you’ve just set off a chain reaction that won’t end as long as we’re too proud to leave “before the job is finished.”

Mark Jaquith on October 23, 2007 at 2:09 AM

“Probably that “AQI” didn’t exist until we invaded, so it shouldn’t be used as an excuse for staying”

I’m so tired of this BS argument. They weren’t in Iraq when we invaded them? SO-FREAKING-WHAT!!

They are there now! We are fighting them there, NOW!

Iraq is where they have concentrated their strength in a self-admitted attempt to drive us out of the middle east. The path to bin Laden’s Caliphate runs through Baghdad. So says bin Laden himself. If they are unable to prevail against us, their entire movement is in jeopardy of collapse, because the inability to oust us goes directly to bin Laden’s credibility as a “strong horse.” They rolled the dice and it is coming up snake-eyes.

Iraq is the next place where we will break them.

As author, and retired Lt. Col Austin Bay wrote:

The essence of strategic art is to force an enemy to fight on your terms, not his, and ideally in a fight he cannot refuse. The U.S.-led attack on Iraq changed al Qaeda’s battlefield. Sunni-extremist al Qaeda has had to fight in a predominantly Shia country. Arab elitists in al Qaeda snubbed the Afghans and ticked them off; Kurds know the feeling.

Zarqawi’s al Qaeda clan accepted the battle….

…The continuing combat in Iraq is thus not only the result of slapdash postwar planning, but of two strategic aims that will take years to mesh: (1) engage al Qaeda on a battlefield it did not choose in order to destroy its eschatological claims, and (2) plant a modern, secular Arab state in the Middle East that will ultimately seal al Qaeda’s defeat.

[Austin Bay, “The Millennium War,” 1/3/2005, http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/005/076blgjq.asp

[BTW, Bay was on Gen Tommy Franks' operations staff for the invasion and helped plan it]

My God, this is elementary and goes as far back as Sun Tzu. We have Al Qaeda on “death ground” and we (with the Iraqis) are killing them. If they weren’t in Iraq fighting us, we’d have to find ANOTHER battle ground to engage them in the middle east.

For those who are confused: Here’s what happened: We invaded Iraq to overthrow Saddam. Of the 23 casus belli in PL 107-243 (the authorization to use military force), 16 had to do with “unfinished business” from the 1991 Gulf War, including compliance with the terms of the cease fire. Two had to do with ACTS OF WAR COMMITTED AGAINST AMERICA by Iraq (attempting to assassinate a former President, and firing on our aircraft engaged in enforcing the cease fire).

Only 3 items in PL 107-243 had to do with the suspicion of Saddam’s cooperation with Al Qaeda.

We succeeded in overthrowing Saddam, which was and had been the public policy of the USA since 1998.

“Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 – Declares that it should be the policy of the United States to seek to remove the Saddam Hussein regime from power in Iraq and to replace it with a democratic government.”

After we overthrew Saddam, Al Qaeda made the decision to engage us there in the hope of forcing us out of Iraq and ultimately the middle east. They failed.

The surge is working and working well.

It isn’t “pride” that should keep us there. It is the necessity to utterly smash first Al Qaeda, then the Sadr’s Shiite Militia. It is VERY MUCH the necessity to finish the job of turning Al Qaeda into fertilizer in Iraq.

Then, we can go after the leadership in the tribal lands of Pakistan.

georgej on October 23, 2007 at 5:24 AM

Divided terrorists eh? That’s aproblem I can grow to like.

Yakko77 on October 23, 2007 at 10:42 AM