…but we have little to nothing in the way of strategic batters. From Abu Muqawama:
Both authors believe that in the war of ideas Americans should focus on jihadist brutality rather than trying to burnish their own image.
Abu Muqawama then glanced down at the front page of Saturday’s Times of London:
Baghdad’s fragile peace was shattered yesterday when explosives strapped to two women with Down’s syndrome were detonated by remote control in crowded pet markets, killing at least 91 people in the worst attacks that the capital had experienced for almost a year.
Iraqi and American officials blamed al-Qaeda, and accused the terrorist organisation of plumbing new depths of depravity. Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, said that al-Qaeda’s use of mentally-handicapped women as bombers showed that it had “no political programme here that is acceptable to a civilised society and that this is the most brutal and the most bankrupt of movements”.
Ryan Crocker, the US Ambassador, said: “There is nothing they won’t do if they think it will work in creating carnage and the political fallout that comes from that.”
It’s too bad the U.S. and its allies have only a primitive IO campaign, because stories like this should be a goldmine.
UPDATE: AM’s timely message is followed by news and video of al-Qaeda’s use of kidnapped children. Of the many reasons children are used in war and crimes, popular support for the cause isn’t one of them. Releasing this information through Public Affairs channels isn’t adequate. DoD Information Operations isn’t adequate either.
Missing, of course, is a mechanism for us to intelligently and effectively and aggressively (as required here) counter enemy ideology and propaganda. If only we had the capacity to do so. A global full court press to highlight the badness of AQ and its cause is required for a new containment and new rollback. History doesn’t repeat in its entirety, but it does repeat enough that lessons can be learned from the past.
MNF-I video of AQ training of kids "for kidnapping, assassination, and terrorism against Iraqis."
MNF-I video of Iraq and U.S. forces rescuing kidnapped children in Dec 2007: