Al-Baghdadi's Eleventh Speech: Yawwwwwn
I guess it was to be inevitable: with the insurgency over, the “eventfulness factor” of a spanking new speech by Abu Omar al-Baghdadi turns out to be no more remarkable than yet another pathetic rant by a delusional and defeated enemy leader.
We hadn’t heard from al-Baghdadi, the self-styled caliph of the Islamic State of Iraq, since April, and his new speech today—his eleventh—runs for 25 minutes and is titled ‘Fight All the Polytheists.’ There is some indication that it was intended for release prior to the month of Ramadhan (…we’re knee-deep in it already), and it may even have been recorded ahead of the most recent security sweep in Diyala Province.
Al-Baghdadi serves up his usual repertoire: death threats, visions of victory, reprimands, and promises of bounty. But, heavens, it’s all so tedious. And nothing says dreary as a call for arms that arrives a couple of weeks too late: what use is al-Baghdadi’s pep-talk and instructions to his fighters in Diyala when the battle has already played out, with the jihadists losing all their redoubts?
The jihadists on the Ekhlaas forum were all frenzied with excitement (...compare that to their blase attitude over Zawahiri's many pronouncements), but one's gotta ask: Over what, exactly? I don't think they picked up on anything other than the more-of-the-same-BS aspect of this speech that I sensed, and while that ended-up boring me to pieces, it would have had a striking demoralizing effect on jihadists and their sympathizers. Al-Baghdadi would have been expected to use this opportunity to rev-up his base with a surprise choice of a Vice-Caliph or something, but all this speech managed to do was to cement the prevalent sentiment on the discussion boards that things are going badly for the jihadists in Iraq.
On the technical side, it’s the same voice alright, the same that we’ve heard in past speeches. But something’s off in the enunciation, as if al-Baghdadi’s got a toothache or something. And while he still says some place names in Iraq in a weird way, there’s also a line in there that is pronounced with a distinct Iraqi accent, which is further indication that he’s an Iraqi.
The only somewhat important or 'newsy' part of today’s speech is al-Baghdadi’s death threat against every single member of the Islamic Party, its leadership as well as its rank and file; he gives them a grace period of 15 days during which they can repent before his jihadists begin harvesting their heads. However, there are five IIP leaders who do not benefit from the 15 day reprieve and they are (…in this order): Usama al-Tikriti (MP), Ala’a Makki (MP), Abdel-Karim al-Samara’i (MP), Ibrahim al-Ni’meh (Sunni preacher in Mosul), and Tariq al-Hashemi (Iraq’s VP).
Al-Baghdadi’s specifically makes clear that he is not simply interested in destroying IIP headquarters but wants their heads, and he promises a “satisfactory prize” to be delivered by himself to anyone who brings him the head of a member of the top echelon of the IIP in parliament or in the provincial councils.
So there you have it, folks; that is what the top enemy leader in Iraq is up to. He’s the one that Obama wants to surrender to. And because the Iraq debate in this election cycle is so silly and disconnected from reality (…we can thank the so-called ‘experts’ and self-styled ‘Iraqologists’ for that), not a single reporter is going to ask either Obama or McCain to comment on today’s communiqué from the enemy.