- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Does American al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn read left-wing blogs? Get a glimpse from al Qaeda’s weekend video. Gadahn loves George Galloway and Robert Fisk; he hates Daniel Pipes, Steve Emerson and President Bush. Take away the convert-or-perish exhortations and there remains a stellar tribute to the left-wing echo chamber, which is probably where the 28-year-old burnout-turned-terror mouthpiece got buzzwords like “Dubya,” “American concentration camps” and “Bush and Blair’s world order.”

“We invite all Americans and other unbelievers to Islam, wherever they are whatever their role and status in Bush and [British Prime Minister Tony] Blair’s world order” to convert to Islam, especially “all of you fighting Bush’s Crusader pipe dream in Afghanistan, Iraq, and wherever else ‘Dubya’ has sent you to die,” reads MEMRI’s translation. There are “American concentration camps,” an apparent reference to Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo Bay, and the desecration of the Koran. Nor does Gadahn short-shrift the critics of capitalism: “The American Dream is a Life of Debt, Debauchery and Doubt,” he says.

At least a few of the far left’s heroes are singled out by name for praise. Leftist British politician George Galloway and the London Independent’s Robert Fisk are lauded for their alleged “support and sympathy for the Muslims and their causes.” “Isn’t it time you stopped sitting on the fence, and came over to the side of the truth?” Gadahn asks.

Now, some of these similarities can be chalked up to coincidence — there simply aren’t that many ways to call America an evil empire. But then, it wouldn’t be unprecedented if blogs turned out to be the source of more than a few turns of phrase.

For instance, Osama Bin Laden himself is a suspected blog-borrower. An October 2004 message of bin Laden criticizing President Bush claims that Americans were left to die in the Twin Towers because the president supposedly thought “a little girl’s story about a goat and its butting [are] more important than dealing with airplanes and their butting into skyscrapers.” The president’s reading of “My Pet Goat” when the planes struck — so popularized by Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” — reached bin Laden somehow. Either bin Laden saw “Fahrenheit 9/11,” read about it on the Internet or has advisers who did.

Verso’s “Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden” — a compilation of the terrorist’s public utterances from 1994-2004 — is replete with phraseology from the blogs. “Bin Laden is a blogger,” wrote reviewer Brendan O’Neill in the May issue of Reason Magazine. “Not literally, of course, but he certainly speaks the language of the blogosphere.”

All of that just goes to show that al Qaeda knows where to turn for theories it can use cynically to rationalize its atrocities.

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