May 6, 2006

Iraqi's Funniest Home Video

Hatched by Sachi

In an April 25th propaganda video released by Musab Zarqawi, head of al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia, the terrorist tries to show his followers (and his enemies) what a great warrior he is and how much he's still in command. But the outtakes from the video paint a totally different picture of this "brave warrior": they show him as incompetent and ignorant of the simplest principles of gun handling.

(We know he was wounded in the past... but was he fighting or cowering when he was shot? We may never know.)

The clips shown by the US command are part of video seized by Task Force 145, a multi-service special-forces unit that includes both American and British troops, during a raid last month, according to AP:

Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, spokesman for the U.S. command, mocked al-Zarqawi as the previously unseen footage showed a smiling al-Qaida leader first firing single shots from an automatic weapon. A frown creeps across al-Zarqawi's face as the weapon appears to jam. He looks at the rifle, confused, then summons another fighter.

By contrast, portions posted on the Web showed the Jordanian-born al-Zarqawi confidently blasting away with bursts of automatic gunfire....

"It's supposed to be automatic fire, he's shooting single shots," Lynch said of the new footage. "Something is wrong with his machine gun. He looks down, can't figure out, calls his friend to come unblock the stoppage and get the weapon firing again...."

"And his close associates around him ... do things like grab the hot barrel of the machine gun and burn themselves," Lynch said. "Makes you wonder" about their military skills.

In the video, Zarqawi holds the rifle in a ridiculous, awkward position: not bracing against his shoulder but held loosely at his side. It is clear he has no familiarity with handling a rifle at all, let alone a select-fire weapon.

Update by Dafydd: It's worse than that. I'm not a big gun expert; but I have fired a Thompson submachine gun, an Uzi, an H&K MP5, an M-16, and an AK-47, all on full automatic; and I can tell you that if Zarqawi had been shooting real rounds, the way he was holding that weapon, it would have jumped out of his hand and begun knocking seagulls out of the sky (or whatever kind of avian life exists over Iraq). Zarqawi was firing blanks. Wow, what a Rambo.

These outtakes would be great PR for the good guys -- if only Arabs were allowed to see the video.

American military officials said the new clips were released to Arab media but too late for many evening newscasts. By late Thursday evening, the stations had yet to air the material.

I am not holding my breath. It seems like al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya, which both say they're anti-terrorist, and which are quick to air al-Qaeda recruitment videos and anything from Osama, Ayman, or Musab, draw the line at showing anything that would embarass the terrorists. I doubt they'll ever air these outtakes. If the Arabs are to see it, we will have to find a way to broadcast it ourselves.

Zarqawi is in a tight spot. Recently the U.S. and British special forces formed the multi-service "Task Force 145" to hunt down Zarqawi. These video outtakes were seized during one of their operations... and they came very close to capturing Zarqawi himself, too.

The raid was carried out by the secret Task Force 145, made up of Army Delta Force, Rangers, Navy SEALs and British Special Air Service paratroopers, the newspaper said.

The more al-Qaeda weakens, the more visible Zarqawi must become; but the more he's seen, the greater the risk of capture. I am hoping it is just a matter of time before we know the true Zarqawi: a criminal thug sitting alongside Saddam Hussein in an Iraqi courtroom.

Hatched by Sachi on this day, May 6, 2006, at the time of 3:17 PM

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The following hissed in response by: rambler

My son is a former US Marine. I asked him if he had ever fired a SAW. He said yes, it is basically just an M-16 that will fire on full automatic. I asked how long the training was. He said "about half an hour".

The above hissed in response by: rambler [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 6, 2006 7:25 PM

The following hissed in response by: Eg

I'd much prefer knowing the true Zarqawi as: A bullet riddled corpse lying beside the maggot infested bodies of Uday and Orsay.

Pictures courtesy of Getty.

The above hissed in response by: Eg [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 7, 2006 12:57 AM

The following hissed in response by: Nuclear Siafu

Well, it doesn't come as too much of a shock that the Arab media isn't going to embarass one of their "freedom fighters" by showing him as the boob he is.

But here, in America, at the New York Times no less, his incompetence is being defended and the military is being called unfair for pointing out that Zarky looks like an idiot.

Then again maybe that shouldn't be too much of a surprise.

The above hissed in response by: Nuclear Siafu [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 7, 2006 9:24 AM

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