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Abu Who?

First you need to understand the meaning of abu, which can be “the father of” [appropriate for Father’s Day] or “the guy with” depending on what follows.

For example, Abu Hamza could mean “Leo’s Dad” or “the guy who has a lion” or “the guy with the virtues of a lion”. Abu Ayyub could mean “Job’s Dad” or “the guy with the patience of Job”.

There might be a lot of kids named Leo, but I suspect that the popularity of Abu Hamza among thugs in the Islamic world is an attempt to paint themselves as tough. In the West we name people “the Lion-Hearted”, “Coeur de Lion”, or “Corleone”

When the US identifies the new leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, they are using kuniyat, nicknames. The guy is either “a lion-hearted migrant” [Abu Hamza al Muhajir] or “a patient Egyptian” [Abu Ayyub al Masri].

The International Terrorism Monitor doesn’t see any real information coming from the US briefing, and the Turkish Press headline says: Identity of Zarqawi’s successor remains enigma.

They interview Diaa Rashwan, an expert on political Islam at Cairo’s Al-Ahram Center for Strategic Studies:

“The Americans have given details of his past, saying he (al-Masri) joined Islamic Jihad in 1982 and make him out to be one of the founders of Al-Qaeda in Iraq without knowing his real name, which is difficult to believe,” says Rashwan.

The photo shown by the US military does not show “the facial features of an Egyptian man but rather a Saudi”, according to Rashwan.

“The Americans are eager to establish a non-Iraqi identity for Zarqawi’s successor for political reasons,” said Rashwan. “They need a symbol of international jihad (holy war) to justify their occupation of Iraq.”

I was a Soviet analyst. My knowledge of Islam is based on the Турнир Теней [Tournament of Shadows], The Great Game. I know about Pashtuns, Turkmen, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Khazaki, Azeri, Kurds, etc., just about everyone except Arabs. There were up to 200, possibly more, ethnic groups in the Soviet Union, and none of them were Arabs.

The one advantage I have is that my consciousness was never polluted by Raphael Patai’s The Arab Mind which has been favored by the neoclowns. Having grown up in the South in the 1950’s I recognize racist garbage. There is a direct connection between that book and Abu Ghraib [?father of strangers?].

I have read and read about T.E. Lawrence and seen David Lean’s film, Lawrence of Arabia. I have also read extensively about the World War I campaign against the Ottoman Empire, including A Peace to End All Peace by David Fromkin, which explains how the Middle East was carved up by Britain, France, and Russia [Soviet Union] after the War to End All Wars.

There is psy-ops misinformation, agitprop, not truth coming out from Baghdad.

Abu Qitta al Florida [a guy with cats in Florida]


1 Karen { 06.19.06 at 4:44 am }

And even more *similarities* to the BushCo regime: Calling their supporters “The Base”; using *nickname* attributes; thugish policies with a disregard for collateral damages and innocent lives; a world view based on a warped reading of religious texts; a strict- fundamentalist naively simplistic approach to the world…the list continues.


2 andante { 06.19.06 at 6:50 am }

Add to that “need for a bogeyman to scare the pants off their supporters and with which to beat their opponents into submission”.

3 Mustang Bobby { 06.19.06 at 11:36 am }

I don’t know if a thorough understanding of the cultural differences between Western and Arabic countries would help, but it sure couldn’t hurt. The motto of the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair comes to mind: “Peace Through Understanding.”

Abu Mustang al Florida.

4 Bryan { 06.19.06 at 2:52 pm }

You shouldn’t look too closely, it becomes uncomfortable, Karen.

Everyone needs “Satan” to excuse and justify evil, Andante.

It’s hard to understand people, when you really want them to be spawns of “Satan”, Bobby. If you learn about people and their lives, it makes it more difficult to slaughter them.