The source of this letter is for obvious reasons unknown. But it illustrates our adversaries thinking icy clear.
Read it and remember it. It shows what we’re up against!
Man Without a Face
You’ve seen me on TV, but you do not know my name, and if you meet me on the street, you will not recognize me. That’s because my face was hidden, as I posed in front the camera along with four of my friends, gathered for the execution of an American. I am one of those responsible, whom your president promised to bring to court. Good luck!
It might surprise you, but I felt a little pity for the poor guy whose head we cut off. He knew what would happen, and yet he walked to his death without a struggle as a sheep. He could not escape, of course, but on the other hand, he had nothing to lose, and there was little we could have done if he had decided to destroy the dignity of our presentation by kicking and screaming, except from the fact that it could have made his death more painful. He would have been killed anyway, but at least he would have died as a man, struggling. On the other hand, we should make a video, and if he had ruined it for us, we would have executed someone else.
Your president sends your troops and civilians to their deaths in the same way in Iraq in pursuit of the dream of spreading democracy. Our warriors die fighting for the sacred goal to spread Islam. But here the comparison ends. Just look at what all current democracies have in common: they all exist in prosperous capitalist countries largely populated by Christians, or – in the case of Israel – Jews. I doubt that this is just a coincidence, because every wealthy capitalist country – populated mainly by Christians or Jews – is a democracy.
Although India and Turkey are considered democracies, none of them have shown signs of it, rather the opposite. Indian democracy is forced to live side by side with the old caste system, which will easily survive their democracy as well as any other sign of Western influence. And if you think that Turkey is such a free country, why is never any American ever emigrated there in search of freedom unattainable at home?
We Arabs are poor compared to the decadent West.
We are not capitalists. We are ridiculously poor. We have always been poor and always will be. Our most coveted possession, oil was worthless a few decades ago, before capitalism made the West so powerful, and it will be worthless again in a few decades, when capitalism dies, and the West’s power belongs to the past. And, of course, we are neither Jews nor Christians. We are Muslims. Our desert soil will not support democracy. Nothing grows on it other than holy war.
Tell me, how on earth did you get the idea that we want democracy? Have you ever seen us do anything, which could resemble a desire for personal freedom that Americans are so eager to spread and defend with their lives?
Of course, we will invade Europe and your country in ever increasing numbers, but freedom has never been on the list of personal reasons that compels so many of us to move our roots out of the sand, crossing the ocean and settle us with our mortal enemies.
Our great exodus to the West is not an operation against freedom; it’s that simple holy war, though in its least spectacular form. When America and Europe will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed is coming to America and Europe. Some of us achieve great success between you infidels, but most of us do not care because we know that sooner or later your evil folly fall apart so easily and completely as the World Trade Center collapsed under our attack, and the world will return to the simple, clear truth in the holy Koran. Where will you run to when we change your country to the desert? Where will you hide?
But let us for a moment forget that democracy in Iraq is impossible. Unleash your imagination. Imagine that you are in one way or another winner, and Iraq will be democratic in the American fashion. Imagine even that waging holy war on your side. Of course, based on performance of its army as in the two wars, your Bush’s has forced our people, would be more lucky if they fought against you, but imagine – against all odds that I manage to teach them to fight on your way, cowardly and efficiently.
So the question is: how do you think it can protect you against terrorism?
How will it stop a second bunch of Saudis, or Egyptians or Moroccans, or Lebanese or Jordanians from flying a few other jets against a few other skyscrapers or place that few bombs or poison your water supply or do some of the things we normally do when the opportunity presents itself?
The answer is that it can not. You can not win this war. Not the way you fight it.
Try to see it from my side. The father of the executed American gave Bush and Donald Field blame for his death. I know that you have little reason to believe some of what I say, but you must believe me when I say that neither Bush or Donald Field was among the five men who beheaded the American. I know, because I was there. I am sure that the father knows it too. Right now he is probably living through the most painful days of his life, and you should not judge him. Only God knows what stupid things each of us can do or say when you are forced to see his beloved son die without purpose while you are powerless to defend him, and without hope of ever being able to avenge his death. Only purpose gives us strength to face this tragedy with dignity, like countless palestinian mothers whose sons and daughters have made themselves martyrs by fighting the Zionist occupation of their country.
But let us return to the dead guy’s father. He knows that we Arabs killed his son in strict accordance with our culture, our tradition and our religion. Bush is the only world leader who tries to fight back – although without the chance of success. And anyway, the grieving father gives your president the blame. It never occurred to either him or almost anyone else in the world into putting the blame on Islam, Arabs in general or even the five of us. This is no exception. Whatever we do to claim the glory of God, the world reacts as if the destruction, we add our enemies, because something that is absolutely beyond human control like bad weather. Hurricanes, floods and earthquakes kill every year thousands of people, but no one yells at retribution, no demands revenge.
This leaves me and my brothers without guilt. We can murder infidels in front cameras. We can cut them into small pieces and pose with their body parts. We can do just what we want and no one, whether friend or foe, will charge us for it. Think about it. You are so proud of your freedom, but in reality it is us who are the freest people on earth. If you believe that we will surrender our absolute freedom in exchange for your figments of American democracy, you are totally ridiculous wrong on it, and I will be happy to tear you to pieces – and preferably with press photographers around to prove it.
I remember how your newspapers at the beginning of the war went on to speculate about whether the Iraqis would turn against you or greet you as liberators. We admired Saddam, but not because he did something good for us. He robbed the country blind, and his thugs tortured people to death when it suited him. This is what a ruler does. It’s what every man in his place would do. There was just no one else was smart enough to take his place. It is for this reason that we admired him as much. And when the Americans came, we welcomed them for two reasons. First, we expected to be punished if we failed to praise the new rulers. Secondly, You had slain the man who we thought was unbeatable. Even in your country when a challenger beats heavyweight world champion in the floor, You all love the winner, don’t you?
It took us a while to realize that despite your awesome weapons and the superb training of your soldiers, you are weak. I have no idea what is needed to win a war against Arabs. You do not understand your enemy. Your president promised to bring me to court. He may or may not succeed in it, but to kill me or catch me changes nothing. I am a warrior, and I expect to die by my enemies’ hands, and I’m not afraid of my destiny. But how will my death or capture help you? You caught Saddam, did it help you?
On the other hand, if I had the opportunity, I would not only kill your president. I would not miss the chance to kill your grandmother – not because she presents a danger to me, but because this is a war and in war you do not let a chance go by to harm the enemy. I hope you understand that there is nothing personal in it. This is holy war.
You thought you won the war, when Saddam’s army crumbled under your attack, unable to put up with any real resistance. Now you know that at the time when Saddam’s army was completely demoralized, war had not yet started. Now you stand with a real war on your hands, and you have already lost it.
It will not be easy to point out when it happened because it happened gradually, but I can mention the exact time at which there was no turning back. It was when you allowed Fallujah to survive the murder and mutilation of four American civilians. It succeeded you do not provide the only policy that would have given you a chance: subjecting you or die. You made a big mistake by not destroying Fallujah with its entire population. What happened next? Muqtaba al-Sadr, a nothing, a man who has nothing to show himself apart from his dead father’s fame, challenge you and survive. Now, not even children afraid of you anymore.
Here is a lesson to you. Winning a war, while keeping your armor shiny, are two very different tasks. You are learning that when you have an enemy like us to exclude these tasks together.
Nothing shows your innate weakness better than your reluctance, what needs to be done, for fear of the hatred of Muslims or the UN. Do you think we hate you more or less than we hated you in the afternoon on 11 September? Are you afraid of how the UN will react, if you did the right thing?
Thinking you do not believe that we – the seemingly inferior – really do not care whether you love us or hate us, although you can – in theory – blow us away in less time than it took us to film the beheading?
Think about it, until we meet again.
And we will, I promise.