Friday, May 05, 2006

The Zarqawi outtakes and propaganda: "go help the sheik"

I don't know about you, but this reminds me of a "Saturday Night Live" bit:

The videotape released last week by the terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi showed him firing long bursts from a machine gun, his forearms sprouting from beneath black fatigues, as he exuded the very picture of a strong jihadist leader.

But in clips the American military released on Thursday and described as captured outtakes from the same video, Mr. Zarqawi, head of the Council of Holy Warriors, cut a different figure.

In one scene, Mr. Zarqawi, the most wanted terrorist in Iraq, appears flummoxed by how to discharge the machine gun in fully automatic mode. Off camera, one aide is heard ordering another, "Go help the sheik." A man walks over and fiddles with the weapon so Mr. Zarqawi can fire it in bursts.


Al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorists groups use the power of video with great flair, boldness, and skill. Modern communications such as videocameras and the internet may be a primarily Western invention, but the US has lagged far behind the terrorists in the propaganda arena almost from the start.

This current campaign by the US is an interesting one. I'm not at all sure that it will matter much in terms of actually reaching any of those we're trying to persuade. But at least it represents that someone on our side is thinking a little outside the box. And it's true that in honor/shame cultures, looking ridiculous is one of the worst things that can happen to a leader such as Zarqawi, who clearly prides himself on appearing to be the meannest, baddest man around.

In another blend of old and new, the video goes on to exploit a sartorial mixed message:

Another sequence shows Mr. Zarqawi handing the weapon off to other aides and striding away, revealing white jogging shoes beneath his black guerrilla attire.

Shades of the Munich massacre terrorists in their jogging suits.

Zarqawi seems to be attended by at least one of the Three Stooges:

One insurgent later appears to grab the machine gun absent-mindedly by its scalding-hot barrel and drop it.

Of course Al Jazeera--which has no problem whatsoever being the mouthpiece for Al Qaeda propaganda--isn't jumping to show these particular videos (perhaps they're too shocking for Al Jazeera's tender sensibilities):

The selected outtakes released late Thursday were not shown on the most popular Arab channels, Al Jazeera and Arabiya, although Arabiya mentioned them in a newscast later. But they were broadcast on state-run Iraqi television.

Al Jazeera picks and chooses the propaganda it deems worthy of broadcast, and this one didn't make the cut. But Iraq has a competing network that is willing--and perhaps eager--to show it.

How did we ever come to this? One seminal event in the history of terrorist propaganda was that same Munich massacre I mentioned earlier. While doing research for this post, I came across an article featuring the Dutch-born widow of the Israeli fencing coach Andre Spitzer, one of the Israeli athletes so cruelly murdered that terrible September of 1972. She believes (and I concur) that Munich was the true start of the successful Mideastern terrorist use of propaganda through the use of worldwide media:

"The message was you could pull it off and get major exposure," [Ankie] Spitzer said.

"No one was punished, no one was held responsible. I am really convinced that if the world had reacted differently then, zero tolerance then ... everything would have looked different now..."

In the Arab world, Munich was viewed as a triumph. Weeks later, the three captured Palestinian terrorists were freed by the German government after a Lufthansa plane was hijacked in the Balkans. The men got a heroes' welcome when they arrived in Libya.

Spitzer says a new era had begun. "I call it the first shot fired for international terror. Before that, it was never on such a level."


I remember Munich well; I lived through it, or at least the media coverage of it. I remember the profound shock I felt then, my disbelief that people could invade the previously peaceful and off-limits realm of international sports to wreak such horror. At the time I didn't know the details of the mindboggling incompetence of the German authorities, and then their later capitulation in releasing the terrorists in response to a possibly faked airplane highjacking (anyone who'd like to know the particulars should read this some time).

But with repetition over the ensuing decades, such events have lost some of their power to shock. And the fact that brutality wins converts has also become apparent. So let's give ridicule a chance.

67 Comments:

At 2:18 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous Spanky said...

Should this surprise anyone? We live in a post-reality world, in which the image long ago replaced the real. It is far more important for Zarqawi to play the evil terrorist, both to his audience in Iraq and to us.

We live in a country in which a decorated war veteran and three-sport collegiate athlete is portrayed as the weak, effeminate waffler, while the college cheer leader who went to Harvard and Yale is the down-home, good old boy. Man of the people. One of us. Etc.

Reality left a long time ago. All we have is its ghost.

 
At 2:20 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

This is a big shift in the way we've been doing things, and it's a good one. Image is very important in honor societies. This is a major slap in the face to Zarqawi. How do you draw 'martyrs' to the cause if you demonstrate that you don't know what you're doing? Of course Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya aren't showing it, they'll perceive it as a kind of slap at arabs on the whole (or at least they figure many of their viewers will). I suspect in Iraq, it will play very well.

As for the lack of fighting skills of the insurgents? It doesn't matter- they're tactic is a variant of the human wave. Keep throwing people up so that it looks endless and futile, and hope to demoralize you enemy and sap his will to win, never mind the cost in 'martyrs'.

 
At 2:22 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous TalkinKamel said...

I think ridicule is a perfect wepaon to use against these guys.

 
At 2:23 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous Spanky said...

Al Jazeera is a fascinating case; Zawahiri wants it destroyed because he thinks it helps the infidels, and Western conservatives want it destroyed because they think it helps the jihadis.

Again, reality doesn't exist, only image. What could possibly be left of the "real" al Jazeera? All that's left are images of it, the simulacra of a media outlet that is both pro-jihadi and anti-jihadi at the same moment.

 
At 2:24 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

"We live in a country in which a decorated war veteran and three-sport collegiate athlete is portrayed as the weak, effeminate waffler"
Please provide one quote showing someone noteable portraying Kerry as effeminate, or physically weak.
Thanks.

 
At 2:26 PM, May 05, 2006, Blogger Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

Patterns.

What happened in Munich was a desecration of western values. In a way, that is what what the Muslim world celebrated- their triumph over the west, again.

That idea isn't new. Churches all over southern Europe were desecrated and consecrated as mosques- even in places where there were to be no Muslim presence.

It is this symbolism of dominance that to a very large degree, drives Islamic 'nationalism.'

The cartoon riots were another manifestatiom of Islamic 'dominance'- it was assumd that was the only way to register displeasure and then to dominate the discussion.

It bears noting that much of the animus towards Israel is less political that it is cultural. The Arabs were humiliated in a war they started and in a war they cannot end- because to do so, they would have to concede they lost and could not dominate. Thus, a religious call for never ending Jihad fits in with the culture.

It also bears noting that the Arab world focuses on the 'occupation' and not the wars they have started.

I could on, but you get the point.

 
At 2:26 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

"Again, reality doesn't exist, only image. What could possibly be left of the "real" al Jazeera? All that's left are images of it, the simulacra of a media outlet that is both pro-jihadi and anti-jihadi at the same moment."

It's not simulacra, it's the reality of the arab world, where people don't like terrorists, but want them to win, because when they lose it's bad for the Arab image...

 
At 2:27 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

SCA gets it perfectly.

 
At 2:33 PM, May 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

looking ridiculous is one of the worst things that can happen to a leader such as Zarqawi, who clearly prides himself on appearing to be the meannest, baddest man around.

Even the meanest and baddest man around will die screaming in agony if you shove a 1 foot wooden stake up his ass. Personally, I'd like that to happen to Z- Man, we'd have a party on world wide tv over it, if we can video tape it.

The Jihadists LOOOOVE long bursts. Not very accurate, but it feels exciting, doesn't it.

I guarantee you people, that if those 3 terroists had been staked and left for dead on national tv, Islamic Terror would not be as it is today.

Ridicule is okay with me. But I tend to think it will just piss them off. And if they headchopp more people because they got "offended", well, we're back where we started.

Again, reality doesn't exist, only image.

All propagandists understand something. They understand that reality does exist, but that the morale is to the physical as is 3 is to 1. The physical exists, but it is never as power as belief and willpower.

When you believe in your own propaganda, as Spank does. You tend to claim that reality doesn't exist, only the image that you create exists. That has some disadvantages.

 
At 2:34 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous Spanky said...

But see....you're just shadow-boxing with an image. The idea that there is any single "Muslim" or "Arab" culture, and that people have unitary identities, is false. No human being has a unitary identity, and monolithic "cultures" simply don't exist. Instead of have an "image" in your head of what these people do and think and believe. All that's there is an image, a caricature, a simulacrum.

 
At 2:39 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

Spanky, the arguement that we can't make generalizations of any kind because they have exceptions would make all comments (including yours) pointless. Let's agree that you can, in fact, must make generalizations, and that they often do hold, even if there are scaleable elements or outright exceptions.

 
At 2:41 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous Spanky said...

Oh, and Douglas...

I think the perfect example would probably have to be the Purple Heart Bandaids handed out by Morton Blackwell at the Republican National Convention in 2004.

 
At 2:41 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

Try to think of it as useful in the way newtonian physics is useful, even though it's not actually completely correct.

 
At 2:42 PM, May 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

If I believed reality didn't exist, then maybe I'd go shadow box with fantasy. Weird dichotomy.

 
At 2:43 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

The band-aids were a bad idea, but certainly were not a declaration of Kerry's effeminity or weakness, it was a (poorly thought out) satire of his 'courageousness'.

 
At 2:44 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous Spanky said...

Douglas,

You and I agree on something, actually. There is no statement that is not, by definition, a generalization. Read Nietzsche's "On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense."

But beyond that, there simply is no "Muslim culture" outside of your head. It doesn't exist. Just as people here are fond of pretending that they can read the minds of millions of Americans and find the dark perfidy that lurks within, you imagine that you can read the minds of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions, of people and know what they are thinking and why.

When image is so rediculously important in this country - when the president sings the anthem in Spanish one day to appear sympathetic to Hispanics, and then declares that it should not be sung in Spanish to appear sympathetic to those fearful of immigrants - why would you think that image would not equally trump reality in another part of the world?

 
At 2:53 PM, May 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

If the point was to say that Kerry had fake medals awarded to him, then it is rather counter-productive to wear them yourselves or appear to be wearing them yourselves. Obviously that isn't effective propaganda, because it mixes the messages.

The people have already found the dark perfidy of Americans, and as I have outlined, this dark perfidy is mostly centered around America's ability to use wars to solve problems in contrast to how other people use wars, which is to make problems worse.

 
At 3:06 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous Spanky said...

"The band-aids were a bad idea, but certainly were not a declaration of Kerry's effeminity or weakness, it was a (poorly thought out) satire of his 'courageousness'."

Let's see...

The band-aids were not to make Kerry appear weak, but rather to make him appear...not courageous.

Oh, I see. They weren't meant to make him look bad, just ungood.

 
At 3:09 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still don't get why anyone even bothers replying to Spanky. He's not even funny any more; all he does is assert, over and over, that neocon talking points don't exist.

Just let him babble to himself, he'll feel accomplished and we'll be able to discuss stuff that actually matters.

 
At 3:16 PM, May 05, 2006, Blogger Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

"Again, reality doesn't exist, only image."

Ymasker, you said it best.

In fact, reality must always be avoided because sooner or later, reality won't support the image.

Culturally, over the last one thousand years, Islam has been built on house of cards.

That is the real 'clash'- between the reality based communities vs the religiously 'enlightened' Islamic community.

That is another difference- the Christian and Jewish faiths have evolved to serve their respective communities.

Islam is not 'weak'- it does not respond to the needs of Muslims, no matter how much they may need those redefinitions.

 
At 3:19 PM, May 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I suppose that is one of the disadvantages. If your propaganda requires that reality not exist, because your propaganda does not exist in reality, that becomes a liability.

 
At 3:23 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous Spanky said...

Aww, anonymous, you hurt my feelings =(.

So I asserted that there was no such thing as "Muslim" culture.

Is this wrong?

Is "Muslim" culture exemplified best by a Malay fisherman, the President of India, a professor in Sarejevo, a Kurdish peshmirga fighter, the poet Khalil Gibran, Osama bin Laden, all those purple-fingered Iraqis, or an American political pollster?

 
At 3:24 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like some people enjoy pointing out, the war on terror is a war on an idea. An ideological war reqires ideological weapons and tools. Both the US and Islam have developed extraordinary weapons, each tailored to attack the other's weaknesses.

Islam's weakness is its inability to tolerate freedom, which is the reason for OIF. America's weakness is that its people are so sheltered from harsh reality that most would rather commit suicide than face it.

Islam, sadly, is still winning.

Only a fool thinks ideas can't be destroyed.

 
At 3:25 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous Spanky said...

Yammer,

It doesn't surprise me that you are unfamiliar with Jean Baudrillard. Why don't you look him up on wikipedia? That seems to be where you learn most things. Oh, except from storybooks. You can learn a lot about reality from made-up stories.

 
At 3:26 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous the Unknown Blogger said...

Douglas said:

Please provide one quote showing someone noteable portraying Kerry as effeminate, or physically weak.

I would like to applaud this "please provide quotes" request as an extremely positive development around here. I hope it catches on, it could save us all alot of typing. Thanks Douglas!

That said, there was the "French Poodle" ad from the NRA. Not technically a quote, but it is an "image".

Then there was the Faux News Channel's completeyl fabricated but long-lived "metrosexual" story.

Then there was all the fun the right had with distorting Kerry's "more sensitive war on terror" remark.

I think those do a fair job of establishing the point, no?

UB
(Still waiting for his "Cole apologizing for 3rd world tyrants" quote and his "America is being crippled by leaks" quote.

 
At 3:30 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous Spanky said...

God Bless the Unknown Blogger. It's not easy being the only one in here not part of the praise chorus.

 
At 3:35 PM, May 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I think I can learn a lot of reality from reading Spank's comments. And I tend to think, that if Spank doesn't latch onto me, he'll start heaping his vitriole on someone else and ruining his day. Since Spank doesn't fire me up, it's not really a problem unless Neo has a specific requirement of course.

I think those do a fair job of establishing the point, no?

A fair job of portraying Kerry as morally weak, correct.

 
At 5:04 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous Sally said...

Something to bear in mind in all of this is that terrorism itself is a purely ideological and propagandistic form of warfare. Sudden, random, and otherwise pointless acts of mass slaughter are an extremely effective way of, first, getting everyone's attention, and second, "persuading" the more impressionable and easily frightened (e.g., the indecent left) of the value of your cause. Against an enemy that was at all robust or self-confident, of course, this type of warfare would be risky, to say the least. But in this case the murderers are counting on their opponent -- that is, the West generally -- being fundamentally soft and weak, enfeebled by decadence, riddled with self-doubt, fractured into squabbling factions. Against that kind of target, acts of mass carnage have the force of a spectacular propaganda display, and can induce a degree of internal collapse that leaves the target an empty and effectively paralyzed shell.

So are we that kind of target? I don't think so, though the outcome of the absurd cartoon uproar is anything but encouraging. Mocking Zarqawi is fine, but doesn't in itself carry much impact compared to the murder of thousands. It says more, however, if seen as an aspect of a society and culture sure enough of itself that it can respond to murder with mockery (as well, of course, as with putting an end to the murderers). I do think that the big hope of the murderers rests with the faction they've clearly identified as being most responsive to their particular form of persuasion: the indecent left -- witness the parallels between their recent rhetoric and left-liberal "talking points" on the war.

 
At 5:34 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous Spanky said...

Sally, do you really believe that the point of terrorism is '"persuading" the more impressionable and easily frightened (e.g., the indecent left) of the value of your cause' ?

I always thought the point of terrorism was to, you know, terrorize people so that the would give into your demands in order to end the perceived threat.

Funny, who knew that Charles de Gual was persuaded of the value of the Algerian cause? Who knew he was such a softy?

 
At 6:02 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous TalkinKamel said...

Sally, you are right; terrorism itself is propaganda!

And, one it's greatest victories has been making Islamic terrorists sympathetic, and their victims---even when they're completely defenseless, or schoolchildren, either nonentities, or somehow responsible for what happened to them.

It's blaming the victim at its best! The suicide bomber is a misunderstood, unhappy hero, protesting oppression; his victims? Who cares about his victims? It's his struggle that's important, not their deaths.

(Sometimes, to add insult to injury, the victims of terrorism are dehumanized as "Little Eichmanns" or some such delightful slogan, by the likes of Big-Chief-Hot-Air Ward Churchill. They were just asking for it, ya see, by being parts of industrial/war complex, yadda-yadda).

 
At 6:11 PM, May 05, 2006, Blogger The probligo said...

I would just love to see GWB with the current general issue carbine, do a stripdown and assemble then load and fire.

Betcha he'd struggle...

 
At 6:14 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous TalkinKamel said...

"Give ridicule a chance"---that's a great sounding motto, Neo!

 
At 6:18 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous Spanky said...

This is remarkable - hyperreality at work.

You people have convinced yourselves that liberals are sympathetic to terrorists - and then concluded, based on this fantasy, that the point of terrorism is to win sympathy.

Your absurdity is a thing of beauty.

 
At 7:05 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous the Unknown Blogger said...

Sally wrote:

I do think that the big hope of the murderers rests with the faction they've clearly identified as being most responsive to their particular form of persuasion: the indecent left -- witness the parallels between their recent rhetoric and left-liberal "talking points" on the war.

"Parallels between recent rhetoric and left-liberal talking points"? I must have missed the latest "talking points" email.

Sounds like a good opportunity to request quotes!

Douglas, are you with me?

Sally can you point us to some quotes from "someone notable" that illustrate these parallels? I'd be interested in examining them.

"Give ridicule a chance" - reminds me of a song ;)

So staying on the topic of embarrasing videos, has everyone seen this one?

UB
(Who, by the way, hates murderers!)

 
At 7:28 PM, May 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I think I'm with Eject on this one. Quotes don't make good arguments, although they clarify points and help communicate ideas.

In Debate Society, you have to have a lot of cites. But, that's not how I prefer to do things.

I prefer pure reason and logic, analysis by logic and with logic.

All the quotes in the word and all the links and sources, will do you no good, if you cannot sufficiently tie in the meaning of those disparate branches of human thought and knowledge.

Relying purely or even primarily on cites and quotes to make your point for you, is literally just an offshoot of intellectual debate, where the guy with the more credentials buries the guy with less. If this worked everytime, everybody would be a Ph.D. But everyone is not a Ph.D.

 
At 7:35 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous Sally said...

Spankee: I must have missed the latest "talking points" email.

Must've.

Now, while I think it would be fun to run the latest bin Laden rant intermixed with Dean/Kerry quotes -- and ask which was which, for example -- I also think you're a troll, who thinks it's entertaining to get others to jump through your hoops. So in this case I think I'll just leave the quotes for you as an exercise.

Good to know you're on side re: murderers, though. How bout puppies?

 
At 7:51 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous Spanky said...

Yammer, on Wednesday:

'One way I know Spank hasn't read much of anything is because as much as he writes, he doesn't "quote" anything or anybody. Now why is that?'

Yammer, today:

'Quotes don't make good arguments...In Debate Society, you have to have a lot of cites. But, that's not how I prefer to do things.'

Sounds like someone's a Flip-Flopper.

Sally, wrong person. I know all liberals look alike to you, but seriously - our names don't look alike at all.

 
At 7:57 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous the Unknown Blogger said...

Oh, Sally, now I see why you might be a bit quote shy - that "talking points memo" quote was from me, UB, not Spanky.

 
At 7:59 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous the Unknown Blogger said...

Spanky I am impressed that you still read Yammer...

 
At 8:01 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous Spanky Full of Hate said...

I just...hate him so much I...can't resist...telling him how...stupid he is.

 
At 8:08 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous Sally said...

Oooh, Spankster, Ubee, my apologies!

It's not all liberals, you know, it's just you two. Are you sure you're not the same? Separated at birth, maybe? It's not that you look alike, it's the identical tone.

 
At 8:14 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous Bookworm said...

I found fascinating one news outlet's take on the story (I think it was AP). It announced that the US released the footage in an "attempt" to diminish Zarqawi's image as a fierce killer. To me, language speaking of a government's attempt to do something implies that the attempt was unsuccessful. A more interesting (and accurate) lede, would simply have been to say what you said: that the US released outtakes showing that Zarqawi too several tries before successfully firing a gun, or something like that. The subtle editorial spin the press puts on these things is a constant, almost subliminal drumbeat that bothers me a great deal.

 
At 8:27 PM, May 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I'm still impressed that Yammer reads Spank and Unknown. But that's just Ymar's alternative personality, not me.

Sounds like someone's a Flip-Flopper.

One of the advantages to having a triumverate in your head, Spank. I already told you, but you don't believe me. Too bad. Good job hunting up the quotes though. I appreciate the effort.

Sally, it's not the identical tone. Trust me, I've put the resources and emotional, logical, and rational analysis algorithmns of all 3 of my personalities on this, and it wasn't the same.

Spank's logic, what is left of it, is a sort of inverted statement. He makes a statement about your arguments, that is inverted in one way or another, making a weird distortionary effect.

Unknown appreciates evidence, I suppose. And like SPank, Unknown tries to get his facts straight. Be the historian buff or the current events buff.

But the one thing shared, is a lack of common sense communication. There's always the smart ass guy you know, who might have something worthwhile to say, if he wasn't hostile to everyone and making them angry all the time.

That of course doesn't apply to Unknown as much to Spank, but it is obvious Unknown does not like certain arguments and presents a rather quaint dismissal of them without reasoning or evidence.

"Parallels between recent rhetoric and left-liberal talking points"? I must have missed the latest "talking points" email.

There really is no justification for Unknown's belief that the fake liberals have no talking points. The only thing he says is that he didn't receive any talking points. But that is of course beside the point, the point is that other people do receive those talking points when they go on news programs and keeps pounding at the same point, over and over. Divider, not a uniter? Mission Accomplished? A unilateralist, not a multilateralist? I wouldn't even remember these statements if the fake liberals hadn't repeated them a million times over.

Talking points is a disciplined propaganda effort calculated to convince people through repetition and exposure. As such, it is valid and legal, but it does not mean it is true or useful.

When Osama says to the American people that we should take care of our folks in Katrina and in our own country, and leave Al Qaeda to take care of the folks in "Iraq", where do you think you might have heard that from except the fake liberal isolationist Leftists?

You leave us alone, we leave you alone. Obviously the Left believes this, they believe we messed with Iraq and broke it, and now that they have to "fix it" by leaving.

That's only one example calculated from memory. There's plenty more to justify fake liberal talking points and the congruence with terroist talking points. But all that is really beside the point. What is really important is why Unknown Believes What he Believes. What justifications does he use. We know some of what Spank uses, because he types a lot, even if he doesn't quote what he is talking about or explain it.

As they say politics have strange bedfellows. Stalin wanted to kick Hitler's arse, and so did we. So now Stalin is our ally. Then when Hitler was gone, Stalin was our enemy again. Fake liberals want us out of Iraq, and they want us to kill AL Qaeda and forget every other terroist because only Al Qaeda is a threat to american lives, not Islamic Jihad. Well, so does Al Qaeda, they want us out of Iraq as well. And so does Islamic Jihad, they want us to target Al Qaeda and be free to get lots of funding from the West. Political alliances are not made on morality.

It is a mystery whether Unknown actually believes that politics is made on morality, because he keeps his cards close to his chest, and you really can't read his poker face.

 
At 9:05 PM, May 05, 2006, Blogger Brad said...

Spanky,
You have become nothing but a spammer. Please stop.

 
At 9:29 PM, May 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Well I posted a something on my blog that talked about Spank and was in rely to the Stalin Tank thingie, but Spank chose to try and debunk me here and not at my blog. Weird choice, eh? What is this, a popularity contest?

 
At 10:41 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous TalkinKamel said...

Neo, it appears you've got a troll here, eating up your bandwidth and spreading, "SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM!" all over.

 
At 11:19 PM, May 05, 2006, Blogger Harry Mallory said...

I, myself am tired of the childish, "But what about you ?! What about you?!" replies.

 
At 3:11 AM, May 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

like the spanky guy.....funny how da neo-con f***wits dont like people contradicting 'dem. awww is he saying things you don't like....poor little neo-cons. Why dont you just play nicely with each other and all agree.

Even the meanest and baddest man around will die screaming in agony if you shove a 1 foot wooden stake up his ass.

'cept your not nice people at all are you.....bunch of stay at home low life violence obsessed racist retards.

tell you what when spanky writes you put your fingers in your ears and say."notlisteninnotlisteninnotlisteninnotlisteninnotlisteninnotlisteninnotlisteninnotlisteninnotlisteninnotlistenin"

then call him a spammer

 
At 4:23 AM, May 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ha ....just been here what a bunch of losers. get your ideas from fantasy stories and your motivation from the martial arts. For you Bush was a hero of Vietnam. not a drunken spoiled rich kid too chicken shit to fight so daddy got him out and let the poor kids be put in the body bags. but kerry...who actually did some fighting you want to have a satire of his 'courageousness'.
What a bunch of hypocrits.Wake up and try and think about the real world...... but no you won't cos u is notlisteninnotlisteninnotlisteninnotlisteninnotlisteninnotlisteninnotlisteninnotlistenin

why dont you weirdo warlords join a real army and go and get your stupid heads blown off instead of typing away so bravely.

cowards

 
At 6:48 AM, May 06, 2006, Blogger SteveR said...

I loved seeing the Zarqawi "outtakes" video. Looks as if he's been eating too well lately.

With his pudgy face, behind his beard he reminds me of a guy I used to know in Hebrew School!

 
At 9:06 AM, May 06, 2006, Anonymous TalkinKamel said...

Steve R

Yes, I find the outtakes hilarious too!

Looks like some of the trolls, though, are upset that Neo has had the audacity to hold Zarqawi up to ridicule. (SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM! Butwhataboutyou? Butwhataboutyou? Butwhataboutyou?)

 
At 9:29 AM, May 06, 2006, Anonymous the Unknown Blogger said...

"Looks like some of the trolls, though, are upset that Neo has had the audacity to hold Zarqawi up to ridicule."

"I, myself am tired of the childish, "But what about you ?! What about you?!" replies."

I guess it won't do any good to ask for substantiation of these assertions, correct?

Come, I gave you guys 3 quotes, one more and I'll have a gallon!

UB
(Who, by the way, loves Marx!) ;)

 
At 11:37 AM, May 06, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

France requests custody of Moussaoui

http://steven-foley.redstate.com/story/2006/5/4/172123/5994

 
At 11:56 AM, May 06, 2006, Anonymous Vietnam Vet said...

Should this surprise anyone? We live in a post-reality world, in which the image long ago replaced the real. It is far more important for Zarqawi to play the evil terrorist, both to his audience in Iraq and to us.

We live in a country in which a decorated war veteran who threw away his decorations(and later said he didn’t), called his fellow soldiers war criminals and married an heiress is portrayed as a humble intellectual, while his opponent who went to the same university and made higher grades is an ignoramus.

Reality left a long time ago. All we have is its ghost.

 
At 12:19 PM, May 06, 2006, Anonymous MovieFan said...

Who, by the way, loves Marx!

Yeah, Groucho was great but Harpo was funny too.

 
At 12:22 PM, May 06, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12:25 PM, May 06, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

To a degree I love all the psychobabbling garbage going on in this thread -- it reminds me of me when I was a teenage Leftist; soul-less and without a coherent thought. Today, if there was ever a day in human history with our liberal paradise of democracy [the unimaginable dream of humanity’s servitude, injustice, and misery from pre-history to the Enlightenment] is a day to live liberal vote conservative. It still amazes me that the center Right now champions what the center Left once championed. Neo’s analogy demonstrated this clearly, that world response to the global push of Jihad it is like a pendulum push to far to the wrong side, it’s like a door that has been left wide open -- and a night stalking Richard Ramirez army is coming up the steps.

 
At 12:34 PM, May 06, 2006, Anonymous TalkinKamel said...

Unknown Blogger, just go back and read your own posts, for quotes.

 
At 1:28 PM, May 06, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

'cept your not nice people at all are you.....bunch of stay at home low life violence obsessed racist retards.

Spank likes me, maybe because he knows I can't do anything to him. But no, compared to your average civilian who favors non-violent solutions, I'm not exactly civilized or domesticated. I was, but that was before the terroists introduced me to some righteously effective interrogation and torture methods, and they even had the kindness to show me videos of them executing Nick Berg so I could have a front row seat on their depravity. As Neo said, there are two consequences to terror. Benefits and package deals, loot and booty. Or, increased resistance and a more alert enemy.

Unlike others, I don't cower from such violence, and I don't really feel disgusted by it. Perhaps it is because I am not very nice at all, that my civilized exterior is only a mask, one of many, people show in polite company. It is obvious Anon's mask slipped a little bit.

ha ....just been here what a bunch of losers. get your ideas from fantasy stories and your motivation from the martial arts.

Like I said, people like Spank tend to go in packs, with a alpha male and a beta male and an omega male who is the runt of the party. They tend to talk in the same tones, speak the same words, spell people's names the same way, use the same ridicule strategy of Yammer. Spank believes he is attacked by fake liberals and conservatives, so that this means he is balanced and righteous. Doesn't seem very balanced now. They slip away quietly into the night, when their energies are exhausted, relying upon their pack brothers to fill in the human wave attacks.

It's not the internet's fault. A lot of gangs behave the same way, especially those violent un-employed youths up in England. They like to bash people's heads in for kicks. I suppose they are supposed to scare people, but compared to the real deal, it's not too bad really. Maybe the internet allows more organization among these rabid packs of demi-humans, but still, that's just a fringe benefit of freedom of speech.

I guess it won't do any good to ask for substantiation of these assertions, correct?

Come, I gave you guys 3 quotes, one more and I'll have a gallon!


Given how Unknown has decided to ignore me and my quotes concerning his arguments, it is rather too hypocritical of Unknown to truely and honestly justify his "Search for Quotes" in the Holy Grenade of Antioch quest we have here. It is only of several inconsistencies in his logic, which are hard to decipher because he gives you nothing to go on, except Questions which require Answers. Not exactly sure what answers Unknown wants. If someone provided those quotes, would Unknown bow down and admit whatever truth those quotes contain? Or would he rope a dope, and talk about more quotes and beliefs he has that he has no justifications? Curiouser, and curiouser.

When people like Unknown choose to ignore arguments that pierce his Veil of Ages, you have to really ask why would he then be interested in evidence and the quotes dug up by your hard spent time?

When Unknown incessantly asks others to justify with quotes and arguments and argumentum ad logicam, why national security leaks harm national security, and ignores my example of D-Day's WWII scenario in which a double agent fooled Hitler into not concentrating on fortifying Normandy , Unknown says nothing.

As he should, because to recognize the truth is a painful experience. And those who cannot withstand the pain of their own consciousness, are worthless in a fight against the pain that shall be inflicted upon the rest of us by the savage terroist beasts in the world. Both domestic and foreign.

 
At 1:51 PM, May 06, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Here's some tips for people annoyed by Anon and Unknown and Spank. Don't read their posts, just skip them. It will make you feel much better. You can do so easily by clicking on To Comment, and then "hide all coments", then clicking only on those you want to read.

But if you truly truly want to read and are curious, then I'd either have to suggest breathing exercises or emotional discipline. Emotional discipline can be acquired through one simple mantra.

Don't get angry at people you don't intend to kill or harm through violence.

It's a simple Jacksonian philosophy, don't start fights unless you intend to finish the fight, and if a fight is started with you, finish it. Otherwise, don't play around.

 
At 1:56 PM, May 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unlike others, I don't cower from such violence, and I don't really feel disgusted by it. Perhaps it is because I am not very nice at all

oohhh yeah Ymarsakar you whup dem wid your keyboard.... who ya kiddinn? what is up with you stupid people? who you think you are?

fundamentally soft and weak, enfeebled by decadence, riddled with self-doubt, fractured into squabbling factions

and keen to get other people to die for you.

big brave keyboard army

 
At 2:36 PM, May 06, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

We live in a country in which a decorated war veteran and three-sport collegiate athlete is portrayed as the weak, effeminate waffler

read the eye-witness accounts in "Unfit for Command"

 
At 2:50 PM, May 06, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

Kerry: filing false operating reports; lobbying for and receiving three Purple Hearts for minor wounds, two of which were self-inflicted; receiving a Silver Star under false pretenses; offering false confessions of bogus war crimes in both print and testimony; and recklessness in the field, including the burning of a village without cause or direct order. Kerry left Vietnam after serving just four months instead of the usual one year tour and that he returned home and accused his fellow soldiers of atrocities without offering any evidence, endangering POWs in the process. Un-fit. These charges are debatable yet to this day they are still debatable. Or is there to much truth therein? Making a ghost of reality is no pursuit of truth.

 
At 4:12 PM, May 06, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Still undebated. The Democrat character assassination program really targeted the Swift Boats, making their name into a real slur. "Swift Boating", just remember that whenever Alan Colmes say liberal is a curse word, he should know.

 
At 1:28 AM, May 09, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

I take the weekend off and everything goes nuts. Last comment got stuck waiting for my blogger login!

So first the old one:

"Again, reality doesn't exist, only image. What could possibly be left of the "real" al Jazeera? All that's left are images of it, the simulacra of a media outlet that is both pro-jihadi and anti-jihadi at the same moment."

It's not simulacra, it's the reality of the arab world, where people don't like terrorists, but want them to win, because when they lose it's bad for the Arab image...

Then some new comments:

So spanky, it's all generalization, so it's all not generalization... Again, that just takes us in circles, no?

As for how can I generalize about cultures? How about this: Can you relate to a culture where people have to be confronted with an ad campaign to tell them "Girls are as good as boys" so they'll keep their daughters? Thought not, yet there is a culture like that, China, right now. That's a real quote from a real government billboard. I think it's therefore safe to generalize that Chinese culture holds females in lesser value than males, unlike the United States and Western Europe. There are certainly exceptions among individuals, but the generalizations hold.

French poodle= efemminate? I thought it just =unmanly, not a gender flip, rather a reduction, but fine, I'll concede on that UB. Links are good. I just like to see people verify assertions for clarity's sake, that would include Y, but I know he won't. Oh well.

You and I agree on something, actually. There is no statement that is not, by definition, a generalization. Read Nietzsche's "On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense."

Why would you think I hadn't...

But beyond that, there simply is no "Muslim culture" outside of your head. It doesn't exist.
In Muslim culture, people are more resigned to their fate than in western culture. Just a figment of my imagination? If your religion teaches that ultimately it's all 'bismillah' (God willing, God's will), you see things differently than someone from western protestant culture who focuses on self-reliance and self-determination (god helps those who help themselves). Yeah, all in my head.

...you imagine that you can read the minds of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions, of people and know what they are thinking and why.

Where exactly did I say I was a mind-reader? I judge actions and public comment, not thought.

I think I left this for you before, but I'll try again:

Pew Poll

 
At 3:12 PM, May 09, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I thought it was inshallah. Well, I will elaborate and clarify, but there's a limit to how much research I will do for the other person, and it really depends upon how they ask.

 
At 12:48 AM, May 10, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

my bad- indeed it is inshallah (God willing)- bismillah means "in the name of allah".

 

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