October 11, 2006

The YouTube Jihad : It Really IS a Jihad, Folks

The Mudville Gazette summarizes an al Qaeda working paper summarizing a plan for an expanded English language propaganda effort:

Najd al-Rawi, the document's author, begins by noting that although they've been successful in many ways, the jihaddists haven't fully exploited the opportunities presented by the US media. Inspired by a video from bin Laden addressing the American people with subtitles in English, the author notes that "It seemed the Shayk wanted to send a clear message to his brother mujahadeen to pay more attention to this part of the mission." He points out that videos from the "Shayks of jihad" are in great demand in the western media. . . .

Suggested projects include English translations of the declarations of the Shayks of Jihad "to throw fear into the American people's hearts". Cited examples include "Sharia Rules regarding the use of WMDs" by Shayk Nasir al-Fahd, (probably a reference to a document with an English translation already available here) or "documentation of Mujahadeen acts against the U.S., such as 'Documentation of the Destruction that Befell America' by Shayk Abd-al-Aziz al-Jarbu", (a non-al Qaeda sponsored translation may be underway here) along with "other pieces the brothers deem worthy."

As an example of the sort of video material the group should provide, the author suggests "Video of attacks on US foot patrols with the caption 'Operation against the sons of the US people whom Bush cast into the fire of war against the Muslims'."

What this means is: the online jihad is only beginning. We can expect to see new and more effective forms of Islamist propaganda. The hard-edged propaganda is good for rallying and inspiring their troops, but they already have that out there in droves. YouTube and other video hosting networks are infested with the stuff. I anticipate we'll see more of the Qana-style "softer" propaganda designed to evoke sympathy with the "victims" of "Western imperialism."

I don't care much about the hard-edged stuff. They can spread that all they want, as far I'm concerned. In fact, we at Jawa Report even help them on occasion. That hardcore jihadi shit scares the bejeezus out of normal, rational people, and rightly so. Fear can be a good thing, so long as it's the kind of fear that makes you want to get out of your seat and do something and not the kind of fear that makes you want to bow toward Mecca.

I say it's the "softcore" propaganda that we need to be concerned about. Islamicist music videos, cartoons, shahid emo-porn, etc. will become more prevalent with time, and that's the stuff that has a potential to have an effect. This is a multi-front war, and success in the propaganda war is, as always, going to be crucial to victory in the war as a whole. For decades we've been losing the propaganda war--mostly because we refused to accept that we were even in one. Our enemies are today reaping the fruit of our earlier propaganda failures. With a effort, we can uproot the noxious weeds that bear this nasty fruit. All it takes is the will to do it.

By Ragnar Danneskjold, Typical Bitter Gun-Clinger at 10:05 PM | Comments |