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Following The Jihadist Script

Joe Gandelman notes that the terrorists who sized Lockheed Martin worker Paul Johnson are following a well worn script.

Some abroad -- and in the United States -- might be tempted to ask: Can't we reason with them? Can't we win their hearts?

It's abundantly clear the answer is a resounding no. And if you don't believe it, note that the terrorists have already changed their demands. At first they had captured him (they said) to treat him the way they said American guards treated Iraqi prisoners at the center of the prisoner abuse scandal.

But how they've changed their tune -- making a demand they know full well the Saudi government cannot meet, so they can kill Johnson in a public, horrific way to send a message to other foreigners and weak-kneed governments to quit Saudi Arabia.

They'll follow the script to the letter, of that you can be sure.

Update: Stephen Green thinks he's already dead. He's probably right.

Releasing a video of the kidnapped Johnson makes infinitely more sense than only releasing a Nick Berg-style execution video only. A video of his execution is not going to get much media exposure. A hostage video is sure to run on every cable news network every hour on the hour for days.

Al Queda is fighting their war on the media front as well, and adapting their strategies to the coverage.


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Comments (13)

As soon as I heard he was k... (Below threshold)
Tracy D'Ambrosia:

As soon as I heard he was kidnapped I knew he would be killed. They are not going to let him go. They prisoners they want released will not be. I agree he, in all likelihood, is dead already. I still can't understand why anyone would voluntarily go over there to work. No amount of money could make me do it.

I agree fully--if he isn't ... (Below threshold)
BoDiddly:

I agree fully--if he isn't dead already, they'll take delight in killing him, because the feedback they get from such a thing is how much it breaks the spirit of Americans. True, this is a tragic happening, but the mass media, in my opinion is responsible for this type of event repeating itself. What we are shown on television is the angry terrorists and the sobbing, weeping (translated in the terrorists' world: WEAK) Americans, calling for an end to the violence. If the portrayals on the evening news were reversed--demonstrations in American streets demanding vengeance for our slain civilians and servicemen, and by contrast the terrorists being flushed out of their hiding places and groveling for their lives at gunpoint, perhaps we'd see a difference in the way these groups target our people.

Food for thought: I am under the impression we have within the U. S. some of the most cunning and skilled hackers in the world, some of which are in custody now for their actions. Why not let them work for early release by doing what they do best---and shutting down the websites where these videos and pictures crop up. Without a way to disseminate such media, the terrorists wouldn't get nearly the worldwide response to their actions they now enjoy.

And so it has come to pass.... (Below threshold)
Artok:

And so it has come to pass...

Only an hour ago, special reports broke into regular programming to say that (unconfirmed) reports of Mr. Johnson's beheading have been released on the Saudi website (which, I'm curious; does ANY public person have? I'm curious as to their contents). The video is supposed to be horrific and will not be played on the news networks (time will tell).

My prayers and condolences for the family and friends of Paul Johnson.

i wonder if we started kill... (Below threshold)
tom:

i wonder if we started killign there people here in the us that is prospering from us if they would hate us as much. i am not sayign that is what i want, but i would be willing to say that there are more people fro mover there in our cournty, then there are americans over there. Then again do they hate there own people for living here. oh well. there wil lbe no end to this hatred. i could only hope and suggest that anyone that is an american get the hell out of there, because it wont be long before you will be targeted next.

It appears that we CAN'T re... (Below threshold)
chet:

It appears that we CAN'T reason with such people. They do not want to communicate with us, infact they do not want to associate with us. They want us, our businesses, our Western idealogy, etc... out of the middle east. This is a fact that I myself have come to understand only recently. They want to be what they have always been - living in the past with thousands and thousands of years of tradition. They have no interest of technology or the modern way of life. For another, they do not care for other religions but their own and even within the different sects of the Muslim religion, they can not agree.

If one can take his/her own life so easily, does it surprise anyone what they are capable of doing? How does one reach/educate such a people when they want to be left alone? Only time will tell. But do we have that time???????

It appears that we CAN'T re... (Below threshold)
chet:

It appears that we CAN'T reason with such people. They do not want to communicate with us, infact they do not want to associate with us. They want us, our businesses, our Western idealogy, etc... out of the middle east. This is a fact that I myself have come to understand only recently. They want to be what they have always been - living in the past with thousands and thousands of years of tradition. They have no interest of technology or the modern way of life. For another, they do not care for other religions but their own and even within the different sects of the Muslim religion, they can not agree.

If one can take his/her own life so easily, does it surprise anyone what they are capable of doing? How does one reach/educate such a people when they want to be left alone? Only time will tell. But do we have that time???????

You mentioned you thought t... (Below threshold)
Cindy:

You mentioned you thought that Paul Johnson was probably killed right after that video was made. If you look at the pictures, there's hardly any blood, so it seems to me that he was long dead before they beheaded him. On the Nick Berg video you can see the blood everywhere and it's messy but it seems to me he was already dead - not surprised and scared like Nick Berg was - so awful - that Paul Johnson was dead and died in another fashion before he was beheaded for the sake of the picutes.

die u americans... (Below threshold)
Jifahg:

die u americans

Sure western idealogy and e... (Below threshold)
Americana:

Sure western idealogy and everything is part of it, but the major reason we have all our problems in the middle east is our israeli support... we have no business spending the money we spend in israel and giving the support we give and letting out country suffer because of it... nothing personal towards anybody, it's just a fact that everyone tries to cover up

Sure western idealogy and e... (Below threshold)
Americana:

Sure western idealogy and everything is part of it, but the major reason we have all our problems in the middle east is our israeli support... we have no business spending the money we spend in israel and giving the support we give and letting out country suffer because of it... nothing personal towards anybody, it's just a fact that everyone tries to cover up

The terroists are simply co... (Below threshold)
cwallace:

The terroists are simply coward. I cannot believe how they can exucute an innocent human being. Isn't that against everything their supposed religion believes in??? I pray for the family of Paul Johnson and all the other innocent people who have died because we have have stepped upon 'holy land'. I am an American citizen and my blood traces upon this land for centuries....yet I cannot understand why we are in a war in Iraq. We are allowing our innocent men and women to die every day. The vast majority of Americans don't want to accept the fact that there is no just cause for us to go into Iraq in the first place.

My deepest thoughts and prayers are with the family of Paul Johnson tonight. God bless you. May God deal with those who so violently took you from this world.

Jifahg your comments are mu... (Below threshold)
Jimbo:

Jifahg your comments are much as what would would be expected of the limited mindset that people like you would have.I wonder what your view would be if we started to treat the people that you support in exactly the same way. I fight fire with fire and would do the same to you and support any goverment that carried out the same actions that were carried out against Paul that would soon stop scum like you.

Wounded Knee,Hiroshima,My L... (Below threshold)
justice for all:

Wounded Knee,Hiroshima,My Lai,Afghanistan or Iraq,its all the same.War is bloody war.War is bloody murder.Who was there,knows it.Offensive or preventive war is criminal.Waging war for profit is robbery and murder.Killing people with bombs by pulling triggers in airplanes,in the security of 30000 feet,or buttons in ships 500 miles away-is that heroism or cowardice?
Its all greedy,yellow,inhumane murder. Or lets say,if whats the US does is humane,than what Al Qaida does is humane too.Or is it only human?

How could anybody call this man innocent?
-He supported an illegal war,based on lies and greed for money,spitting on Human Rights,International Treaties or Conventions on Warfare.
-He worked for a company that builds killing machines,and profited from hundreds of thousands of deads all over the world.
-He bought himself an asian wife.
-His personal greed for money was big enough to expose(and lose) his head for George W. Bush,who faked election with the help of papas friends,called Supreme Court,who lied to Americas People,who let hundreds get executed as Texas Governor,like the US does to mentally sick people,to people even under 16 years old at date of deed,to innocent people even,or condemned by proof under torture. The US kill(ed)people by gas,electricity and the more since 200 years .
-Nick Berg and Paul Johnson had a dead fight of lets say 30 seconds.Compare it with grilling people on electric chair for 10 minutes,lynching blacks like they were animals,compare it with thousands of iraqi children starving to death in the time of embargo,or painfully bleeding to death under houses smashed by US Bombs,or dying of cancer from urane ammo dust since 1991 desert storm directed by G.W.s father and Colin Powell.Those pictures like destroyed bodies of men,women and children,innocent civilians,you wont see on CNN,even if they wanted,because there was no cameras present.
EVER WONDERED WHY ALL THOSE PRISONERS OF EL QAIDA WEAR ORANGE SUITS LIKE IN US DEATHROWS? Its what US does to its own people and to the world,is now coming back.
If the American People lets itself govern from greedy traitors,waging wars for personal profit,using murder,torture,lies,blackmail,like Rumsti,Bush and Condi,its got to feel the consequence.
Who makes business with Bin Laden Family?Bush and Company:
Who raised fund for Al Qaida from the start? The US.
Who paid fundamentalist terrorists against the USSR in Afghanistan? The US.
Who paid palestinian Hamas against the PLO? Israel.
Its a dirty game.
STOP TRYING TO TEACH OTHER COUNTRIES DEMOCRACY,CLEAN UP YOUR OWN HOUSE !!!




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