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May 16, 2004

Jim Dunnigan offers some insight into why some arabs like saw off people's heads and wave them around on camera.

Wahabism Delenda Est!

The short answer: They're losers.

And it's an adaptation to being losers. Kinda like the fans of a once great sports team who now take solace in the fact that this year, they kicked a 50 yard field goal (while still losing every game) or had 74 home runs in a losing season vice 72 last year.

Note to the Arab world - hard work, innovation, reform, and, above all, a change in management and oganizational outlook will do more to change your win/loss ratio than taking excess joy over an asshole sawing off the head of some poor fellow who was still alive and hogtied and sat upon by a cowardly weasel wearing a mask and shouting things that only serve to embarrass God, and further diminish your own mean little spirits.

Al Qaeda is taking advantage of a uniquely Arab concept of “victory.” Having been on the losing side of history for so many centuries, most Arabs accept just about anything as a “victory.” For example, Saddam Hussein declared himself the winner of the 1991 Gulf War because he was still running Iraq after it was over. Of course, the main, and widely publicized, reason he was still in power was because Arab nations refused to join the coalition to drive the Iraqis out of Kuwait unless the U.S. agreed NOT to invade Iraq and depose Saddam. Earlier, Saddam gained much perverse praise from the Arab world for getting Iran to agree to stop the war that had raged between the two nations throughout the 1980s. This war began when Iraq invaded Iran in 1980, in an attempt to grab some Iranian oil fields while Iran’s armed forces were in disorder following a revolution in which Islamic radicals overthrew the king (Shah) of Iran. The Iranians quickly got their act together, pushed the Iraqis out of Iran and spent the next eight years trying to get to Saddam. For thousands of years, the Iranians (or Persians or Parthians or whatever) have been pounding Arab armies into the ground. So Saddam’s ability (via the use chemical weapons and billions of dollars worth of Russian arms) to stop (if not exactly defeat) the Iranians, was, to many Arabs, a real victory.

Now all this Iran/Arab stuff plays a special role in Iraq. To the surprise of many Sunni Arabs, the Shia Arabs fought, during the 1980s, to defend Iraq from the Shia Iranians. Actually, about three percent of Irans population is Arab, so in some cases you had Shia Arabs fighting Shia Arabs in this war. But the Iraqi Shia Arabs (over half the population), via a combination of fear, nationalism and financial incentives, were compelled by Saddam (a Sunni Arab) to serve in the war against Iran. What was being played was the race card. The Iranians are an Indo-European people, and have been defeating, and generally lording it over the Arabs, a Semitic people, for thousands of years. Memories are long in this part of the world, and in this case, ethnic memory trumped religion. Normally the Sunni and Shia Moslems do not get along very well. Conservative Sunnis consider the Shia heretics. And the fact that most Shia are Iranians does not help matters either.

Al Qaeda is a basically a Sunni Arab organization that attracts recruits who are not Arabs, but who MUST be Sunni. Al Qaeda was founded by members of the conservative Wahabi form of Islam found in Saudi Arabia. To a Wahabi, even contact with infidels (non-Moslems) is forbidden, and it is the duty of all Moslems to convert or kill the infidels. One should not lose sight of al Qaeda’s core values and goals. When you do focus in on those values and goals, the video of an American civilian being beheaded makes some kind of perverted sense.

The whole thing is here.

Wahabism Delenda Est!