If you were wondering who this Evan Kohlmann person is…
…as found here: he’s the guy that did this pre-surge interview in 2007 for Salon where he breezily declared that:
- “The U.S. is failing miserably at containing the spread of al-Qaida.”
- “The idea of Western-style democracy in Iraq doesn’t appeal to anyone.”
- “I don’t think any number of new troops is going to help unless we’re going to station troops on every single corner of every single street in every single city in Iraq.”
Yeah, I know: oops.
Anyway, I note this so that when you read something like:
Yet, for those who would defend Gadahn on this basis, there is a clear, recent example of an effective American mujahid who has appeared on video and who admittedly does have a certain distinct “Che Guevara”-style appeal. I speak here of “Abu Mansour al-Amriki”, the erstwhile star of a recent propaganda video produced by the Shabaab al-Mujahideen Movement in Somalia. While Abu Mansour certainly displayed his own set of eccentricities–including rapping freestyle about Al-Qaida and terrorism–he fits much more closely into the mold of an Ibn-ul-Khattab or an Usama Bin Laden. Abu Mansour speaks softly, carefully, and deliberately. He offers deference to others, and in a tone that suggests coolness and confidence, not frothy rage. He is shown fighting in the field, hiding from the enemy, and without any sense of script or pretension. In a word, in contrast to the constantly posturing Gadahn, Abu Mansour appears genuine. Not the least of all, his incredible pronunciation of Arabic makes Adam Gadahn’s Quranic recitation sound by comparison like someone banging trash cans together.
Thus, on behalf of all of us, this is an open appeal to As-Sahab to please take away Adam Gadahn’s microphone. There has got to be someone more influential–or at least somewhat more interesting–to constantly parade around on camera.
…you can at least be reasonably certain that Kolhmann’s not being sarcastic, or playing a double-blind. That unconscious attitude of his that this is all an intellectually-stimulating, but ultimately abstract, mental exercise? Totally real.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.