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November 20, 2008

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Actually, I think the original post by Evan Kohlmann is as guilty as being contextually tone-deaf as he accuses Zawahiri as being. Zawahiri surely loses a popularity contest against Obama in most place in North Africa and the northern Sahel in any case, but I'm not convinced that strictly American-context terms like "House Negro" or "House Slave" set off non-existent PC alarms in such parts of the world. Especially given his target audience, and considering the fact that such terms are still used sometimes - albeit contentiously - in American politics. In fact, didn't Nader say something similar about Obama?

Zawahiri's certainly not as important as he likes to think he is, but nor is he a guest on Meet the Press either. I think this a bit wishful thinking, tbh. Those likely to be attracted to his broadcasts are not likely to care about such things, in fact this kind of message might even be well-tuned for the people he has in mind, for all we know.

In fact, didn't Nader say something similar about Obama?

He called Obama an Uncle Tom, and it didn't go over well at all. It hurt Nader.

Those likely to be attracted to his broadcasts are not likely to care about such things

My guess is that this tape will receive wider broadcast than just those that are attracted to his message.

And ultimately, we need to fortify support amongst those not attracted to his message as well.

Every little bit helps. It's a game of cumulative effects.

And ultimately, we need to fortify support amongst those not attracted to his message as well.

Exactly. Bush was entirely deaf and dumb in terms of trying to build support in the Middle East. The idea that an invasion, occupation and puppet government would be attractive to people in Syria, Jordan, Egypt and elsewhere is so bizarre as to be totally whacked out.

It will help if al-Qaeda makes some PR mistakes, but we still have to be proactive with positive programs to start winning public support in Africa and the Middle East.

Ralph Nader uses "Uncle Tom."

Agreed tomeck.

I don't mean anyone to interpret me as saying that this is paradigm shifting or something majore.

In my initial post on the subject, I lableled it something "small" in the grand schem of "own goals" and I stand by that.

I'm not disagreeing, I think it's quite funny, I'm just not sure that his constituency is actually bothered by it.

I think the influence Obama's visibility and popularity on the African continent, particularly Kenya, is not to be underestimated. To many of them, Obama is the national equivalent of "hometown boy done good", especially when you put his election in the context of what the slave industry in the United States did to the indigenous people there.

Al Qaeda attempts to diminish Obama's victory at their own peril.

A commenter at another blog remarked that the Arabic phrase translated as "house slave" has pretty much the same connotation as the English phrase. Remember that Africans were traded as slaves by Arabs before and after the New World slave trade occured. The details of Islamic slavery differ; I don't think children of slaves were born into slavery as in America.

Moreover, what would Malcolm X have thought of an organization, Al-Qaida...

I would guess Malcolm would've been pretty pissed. Post-NOI and especially post-Hajj, he was clearly a man who took his religion seriously and wouldn't take kindly to any group co-opting Islam. Sure, the pay discrimination would've made him angry, but not to the degree that harming his religion.

*that harming/defaming his religion would have.

My proofreading abilities are... Subpar at best. ^.^;

I wasn't aware of the level of racism within Muslim terrorist organizations. Interesting.

If and when the US ever takes Zawahiri prisoner, we should make sure to have him frogmarched by a team of black Marines.

If and when the US ever takes Zawahiri prisoner, we should make sure to have him frogmarched by a team of black Marines.

Black, female, Jewish Marines.

Thanks -

Black, female, Jewish Marines.

Black Jewish lesbians would be best of all. Shame about Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

So, how can we construe this as "Obama is Al Qaeda's candidate"?

Isn't the al-Qaeda #3 the one who always gets killed? Maybe al-Yazid got the position as a punishment.

I'm just not sure that his constituency is actually bothered by it

That depends on how broadly you define constituency. The core is likely not bothered - actually, it's par for their course.

But beyond that, this won't play well.

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