'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The Iraqi Resistance Speaks 

So here's the actual video that Kos and others have posted about, the subject of this Reuters piece:

Departing from fiery Islamic slogans, Iraqi guerrillas have launched a propaganda campaign with an English-language video urging U.S. troops to lay down their weapons and seek refuge in mosques and homes.

The video, narrated in fluent English by what sounded like an Iraqi educated in the United States or Britain, also mocked the U.S. president's challenge to rebels in the early days of the insurgency to 'bring it on'.

The video is quite something.

Every few weeks we hear about tapes from Bin Laden or other terrorists, and it may at first seem as though this video is just more of the same, that is until you actually view it. If this tape is authentic -- and it surprises me that Reuters et al. have so quickly deemed it as such offering not even a one sentence provenance -- it truly is something we haven't seen before. It is unlike other anti-US messages for two reasons: (1) it presents itself not as a message from a terrorist organization but from the Iraqi resistance, and (2) it is a very well-made document.

The message seems to tacitly agree with the argument that posits the Western media makes no distinction between foreign terrorists such as Zarqawi who are benefiting from the chaos that is Iraq and ordinary Iraqi resistance fighters who have taken up arms against the occupation of their country by a foreign army. The video aligns itself with the resistance; this is the point, for example, early on when the narrator characterizes those he is speaking for as "simple people who chose principles over fear" and "those who up to the day of the invasion were struggling to survive under the sanctions imposed by the criminal regimes of the U.S. and Britain".

The narration and score are so well done and so Western in feeling that I would believe the tape was faked by someone who isn't actually involved in the Iraqi resistance if it wasn't for the fact that some of the footage included clearly must have been filmed by actual insurgents.

Anyway, this thing is among the most powerful pieces of modern propaganda that didn't originate from the big guns of the West -- from Karl Rove or so forth -- that I have ever seen.

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