Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Tables Turned

A videotape now threatens Al-Zarqawi.

BAGHDAD, Iraq July 6, 2004 — A group of armed, masked Iraqi men threatened Tuesday to kill Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi if he did not immediately leave the country, accusing him of murdering innocent Iraqis and defiling the Muslim religion.

The threats revealed the deep anger many Iraqis, including insurgent groups, feel toward foreign fighters, whom many consider as illegitimate a presence here as the 160,000 U.S. and other coalition troops.

In a videotape sent to the al-Arabiya television station, a group calling itself the "Salvation Movement," questioned how al-Zarqawi could use Islam to justify the killing of innocent civilians, the targeting of government officials and the kidnapping and beheading of foreigners.

"He must leave Iraq immediately, he and his followers and everyone who gives shelter to him and his criminal actions," said a man on the video.

The video marked the first time that an Iraqi group made such a public threat against al-Zarqawi.

It was issued a day after U.S.-led coalition forces, who have been targeting al-Zarqawi, launched an air strike in the restive city of Fallujah on a suspected safe house used by his followers. The attack killed 15 people, witnesses said.

In the video, three men, their faces covered with Arab headscarves, were flanked by rocket propelled grenades and an Iraqi flag. The man speaking had a clear Iraqi accent.

"We swear to Allah that we have started preparing ... to capture him and his allies or kill them and present them as gift to our people." the man said. "This is the last warning. If you don't stop, we will do to you what the coalition forces have failed to do."


UPDATE: Another bar-brawl at KURDO'S WILD WEST SALOON. Amid all the incendiary commentary, Andromeda takes a reasonable stance.

I think it's been sufficiently well established that the claim that the US sold Saddam chemical weapons is false. Given the observable evidence, when actually understood, all attempts to continue to make this claim venture into the land of conspiracy theories. We didn't sell him chemical weapons - he was able to purchase equipment and supplies needed to manufacture them through a network of legal and illegal means. The US could have possibily inhibited his ability to do so more than we did, but chose not to. However, that's clearly not equivalent to 'giving him chemical weapons".

The way to respond to these claims isn't to get rude and insulting, it's to refute them directly. Which is what I did and it took me a relatively small number of posts compared to all the back and forth.

There are many other such claims about the US that are part of the popular mythology of anti-Americanism around the world, and many of them are similarly easily refuted.

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