Thursday, November 10, 2005

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Open Jordan thread

Comment away on the latest suicide bombing attacks in Jordan.

Earlier in the week I had referenced Marc Lynch's overvations about prior Zarqawi-inspired attacks in northern Africa. I tend to agree with his preliminary read of this attack as well:

[C]alling it an "al-Qaeda attack" is misleading - you have to look at it, I'd say, as a Zarqawi operation aimed both at his Iraqi strategy and at his escalating intra-Islamist strategy. The timing and nature of this attack suggest that it may have more to do with Iraq and with Zarqawi's two-level games than with bin Laden's grand plan....

The nature of the attack - especially the sheer evil brutality of attacking a wedding celebration - once again throws dirt in the face of Ayman al-Zawahiri, who (assuming the authenticity of that letter) urged Zarqawi to stop doing things which would alienate Arab public opinion. That the traditional Jordanian opposition - including the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated professional associations - led an angry protest against Zarqawi speaks volumes. Jordanian public opinion (certainly the organized political opposition) has been more generally supportive of the insurgency than in most other places... to hear them shouting "death to Zarqawi" shows how thoroughly his methods alienate even potential supporters.

Here's an MSNBC story on the post-bombing protests:

Hundreds of angry Jordanians rallied Thursday outside one of three U.S.-based hotels attacked by suicide bombers, shouting, “Burn in hell, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi!” — a reference to the leader of Al-Qaida in Iraq, the terrorist group tied to the blasts that killed at least 56 people.

The protest was organized by Jordan’s 14 professional and trade unions — made up of both hard-line Islamic groups and leftist political organizations — traditionally vocal critics of Abdullah’s moderate and pro-Western policies.

posted by Dan on 11.10.05 at 01:31 PM


Zarqawi makes Osama and Zawahiri look weak and ineffectual each time he pulls something like this, and he makes himself hated.

This is why you don't usually want your psycho killers running your insurgencies.

posted by: Appalled Moderate on 11.10.05 at 01:31 PM [permalink]

If he keeps this up, I think we may see Zarqawi assassinated by his own. They have to realize what kind of damage he's doing to their reputation among the constituency they want to attract.

posted by: crane on 11.10.05 at 01:31 PM [permalink]

A Knight Ridder story being linked around this morning -- sorry, to lazy to Google just now -- reported on combat in the Iraqi city of Ramadi between foreign jihadists and local Iraqi insurgents driven over the edge largely by the jihadists' indiscriminate violence.

Capper quote was something to this effect: "How can we fight these people when all they care about is death?" Funny thing is, the quote was from an Iraqi policeman.

I say that country might just find its way through this mess yet.

posted by: trostky on 11.10.05 at 01:31 PM [permalink]

basically, you build a pressure cooker, add water, put it on the fire, and then you are surprised when it starts to let off steam.

posted by: tom on 11.10.05 at 01:31 PM [permalink]

Hundreds of angry Jordanians rallied Thursday outside one of three U.S.-based hotels attacked by suicide bombers, shouting, “Burn in hell, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi!”

Does this mean the US is winning the 'hearts and minds' thing? I'm having trouble keeping track.

posted by: rosignol on 11.10.05 at 01:31 PM [permalink]

Hundreds of protestors? Seems pretty mingy. Fifty six people are killed, 14 unions organize a protest, and they can't even get 1000 people? This doesn't suggest a functioning civil society as we understand it.

posted by: y81 on 11.10.05 at 01:31 PM [permalink]

I don't think you conduct in Jordan right now any kind of demonstration that is not completely sanctioned by the Jordanian government.

posted by: Jim Mitchell on 11.10.05 at 01:31 PM [permalink]

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