May 04, 2006

Blooper Troopers

It appears the video released of al Qaeda action hero Musab al-Zarqawi left quite a bit on the cutting room floor, including footage edited out from his "Rambo" scene, where Zarqawi is seen in firing long bursts from a 5.56mm light machine gun used by the U.S. military.

What the version of the video posted to the internet does not show says quite a lot. The unedited footage was captured near Youssifiyah, presumably by Task Force 145, shows that al Zarqawi is unable to clear a simple "stovepipe" jam from the M249 squad automatic weapon he uses. He requires the assistance of a follower, who with one deft motion of his hand, racked the bolt to clear the malfunction.

Just seconds after Zarqawi fired dozens of rounds through the gun, he puts one of his men at extreme risk as he sweeps the machine gun's barrel around, momentarily pointing at the terrorist's chest without apparently activating the weapon's safety, or even taking his finger off the trigger. Shortly after that display of stupidity, another terrorist is shown grabbing the machine gun by the still-smoking barrel, burning his hand.

The unintentionally comic elements of this footage does not, of course, minimize the lethal threat Zarqawi and his minions pose to the Iraqi people, but it does humanize him and diffuse a bit of the mythology surrounding him. He is not invincible, and at moments, he is all but helpless.

Update: As I noted in a comment at Hot Air:

If he [Zarqawi] is that unfamiliar with a common weapons malfunction, I wonder just how many combat actions he has actually participated in.

Is Musab al-Zarqawi a paper tiger? We don't have enough data to answer that question, but with this film, we now have enough to bring it up.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at May 4, 2006 01:34 PM | TrackBack

Prayer for our Troops:

God bless our troops and give them the courage, wit, and power to destroy all the terrorists, especially Zarqawi and Bin Laden.

Richard Davis
Phila, PA

Posted by: Richard Davis at May 4, 2006 03:23 PM

My view is simple: whenever possible, make the terrorists look like fools. It's hard to generate martyrs for your cause when the enemy is laughing at your leader. Forget the "lethal threat" stuff...point out how his American-made tennis shoes are made for running and how he will need them when TF145 catches up to him. "Run like the wind, Musab!"

Posted by: Chris At Home at May 4, 2006 04:16 PM

"Is Musab al-Zarqawi a paper tiger? We don’t have enough data to answer that question, but with this film, we now have enough to bring it up."

Seems to me that someone whose idea of waging war means blowing up school busses and such is no soldier. Why would he need to be proficient to shoot unarmed non-combatants, and give orders from the rear?

Posted by: BobG at May 4, 2006 05:48 PM

Now I understand why Zarqawi never uses a gun in his execution videos! It's because he doesn't know how to use one!

Posted by: Jimmy Wu at May 4, 2006 06:05 PM

This is sort of like seeing Hitler pick his nose and eat it.

Posted by: TallDave at May 4, 2006 10:41 PM

Al-Zarqawi is not a Soldier. He is a terrorist. His job as the leader of Terrorists it to cause as much fear as possible. For this he does not need a gun. yes, he may be a buffoon with a weapon, but he does not need to be competant with one to be the most feared terrorist leader in the region. Al-Zarqawi is good at inciting fear and hate, creating suicide bombers, planning destruction, and not getting caught. Aparently the Terrorist movement is having a little "PR" problem over there and somebody advised him to do a film showing him as a great fighter. Maybe not the best idea but reality is not important in PR. This video increased his recruitment i am sure, thus it was effective. Let us hope that we were able to learn something usefull in taking him down from this video, other than barrels are indeed very hot after extended fire.

Posted by: Web at May 5, 2006 06:53 AM

I don't see Zarkman wearing a bomb vest. Wassup wid dat?

Posted by: Jabba the Tutt at May 6, 2006 07:08 AM

Here is a reference to an article by an American of Arab origin, with a few pertinent quotes. It has struck me repeatedly that the terrorists don't seem capable of creating anything new or original, except in degree of depravity and vicioiusness. I don't by any means think tha's true of all Arabs, but certainly true of the terrorists. Farouk El-Baz points out some factors we need to note in an article found at the URL:


Farouk El-Baz, member of the US National Academy of Engineering, is director of the Boston University Center for Remote Sensing. A veteran of the Apollo Program, he served as Science Adviser to Anwar El-Sadat, late president of Egypt.

Although the Arab region is considered oil-rich and wealthy, all indications point to its knowledge deficit. This fact is clearly conveyed in the Arab Human Development Report: Building a Knowledge Society that was issued in 2003 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The report, which I helped to review prior to its publication, pointed out that the Arab region trails behind all other regions in knowledge indicators, except sub-Saharan Africa. These indicators included the number of books, newspapers, radio stations, television channels, telephone lines, personal computers and Internet access.

• The number of patents produced by Arabs is meager; during the past two decades, South Korea registered in the US over 44 times the number of patents from all Arab countries combined.

• ... the number of books translated in all 22 Arab countries is equal to one-fifth of those translated into Greek.

• Although Arabs constitute five per cent of the world population, they produce only 0.8 per cent of the literary and artistic literature.

Posted by: david march at May 7, 2006 02:48 AM