Zawahiri’s Video is posted at Powerline. He primarily discusses Al-Qaeda’s war in Iraq. They’re having a rough time. Al-Qaeda faces disunity in Iraq, lack of sufficient manpower, and inability to be recognized as a legitimate government. Zawahiri criticizes religious scholars for opposing al-Qaeda’s Islamic State of Iraq and discouraging Muslim Youths from fighting. Al-Qaeda leaders even offer to stand before Islamci Courts to determine if they are guilty of war crimes that many Muslims are accusing them of. Zawahiri tries to rally the Jihadis.

It’s long and only the first part. I listen to Zawahiri so you don’t have to.

Zawahiris original goal was to attack the “Far Enemy” (Non-Muslims) to rally support of Muslims world wide. They would reclaim lost territories, overthrow the corrupt Middle Eastern governments and re-establish the Islamic Empire – the Caliphate.

This hasn’t been going well. Islamists lost ground in Chechnya, Afghanistan, Somalia, and are losing ground in Iraq. There are a billion Muslims worldwide, so why are they not flocking to Iraq?

Can I say it? Chickenjihadis. Many Muslims offer cheap talk that they support Jihad and wars in far away distant countries like Afghanistan. Once it affects their communities, they oppose the war.

Zawahiri begins by saying victory is near and the Americans will soon retreat.

“And the stage preceding victory is normally, in the history of nations, the stage in which there is most seen an increase in conspiracies, plots, and inciting of discord, in an attempt by the enemy, who has begun to see his defeat approach, to push back and delay the defeat as much as he can.”

This is true. Factionalism increases as both sides reach the critical point of any war. American and Islamist internal divisions are both on the rise. It’s a contest of political will to see who will outlast the other.

He begins by talking about the “arena” in Iraq “where the Mujahideen of Islam in Iraq of the Caliphate and Jihad are advancing with strong steps towards victory…”

He says there are certain things Al-Qaeda needs to do to win in Iraq. First, they must restore unity to the Mujahideen.

He praises Zarqawi’s creation of an Al-Qaeda Front in Iraq and the Mujahideen Shura Council to govern Al-Qaeda ruled Iraq. Abu Hamza al-Muhajir replaced Zarqawi. Zawahiri calls for Al-Qaeda to rally behind their new leader.

Islamic State of Iraq represents another step to restoring the Caliphate. However, many Muslims do not recognize the importance of Al-Qaeda’s stuggle. Many Arabs supported the Mujahideen in the Soviet-Afghan War now flinch and withhold support for the war in their own backyard. Zawahiri lashes out at them:

“In the recent past… the government of the Mujahideen was set up in the Peshawar, outside Afghanistan, and everyone hailed it and blessed and congratulated it, and no one objected. And many of those who object to the Islamic State of Iraq “because it’s not empowered” – or so they claim – were among those who applauded, congratulated and hailed the government of the Mujahideen in Peshawar. And moreover, the Saudi Regime – which is hostile to the Islamic State of Iraq – opened the Ka’aba to its members to swear to observe unity inside it, but the promise-making inside the Ka’aba was of no help in preventing the breaking of the promise after leaving it. And today, the Islamic State of Iraq is set up inside Iraq, the Mujahideen celebrate in the streets of Iraq, the people demonstrate in support of it in the cities and villages of Iraq, and backing of it, and pledges of allegiance to it are declared in the mosques of Baghdad and yet they don’t recognize it, because it – as they claim – lacks the necessary qualifications. All this because the wind of that time was blowing from Washington, whereas today they wind – by the grace of Allah – is blowing against Washington and thus the fatwa changed when the winds and desires changed.”

Zawahiri attacks the Saudi Regime. King Abdullah is the descendant of the man who worked for the English to destroy the Ottoman Empire and end the Caliphate. Zawahiri continues to be upset that the Ottoman Empire fell 90 years ago. Just like the Saudis helped overthrow the Caliphate for the British back then, today they work for the Americans.

He accuses the Saudis and their followers of “weaving conspiracies and plots against the Islamic State of Iraq from Amman on behalf of the Americans.”

“And we hear today – from those who used to encourage youths to go to Afghanistan – those who issue fatwas which state that the Jihad in Iraq is not obligatory and forbid the youth from going to Iraq although commanders of the Mujahideen are them urging day and night to hurry to Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Al-Qaeda is not getting enough men to fight in Iraq. Their leaders bet on the population rising to support the Islamic State against the Americans. Yet they get a few hundred volunteers here and there. This is not the stuff of legends.

He quotes some dead guy. The Dead Guy offers one of the most useful analogies to describe American progress in this war.

Dead Guy on Jihad: Dead Guy says it is a duty for all individuals to fight for Islam. He asks about “those scholars who are still debating: Is the Jihad an individual duty or a collective duty?” He calls religious scholars ignorant idiots.

The Dead Guy gives a speech that the enemy is at the gates while the religious scholars are having a discussion.:

“Constantinople was the headquarters of the synod of the Eastern Church. As Muhammad al-Fatih was pounding the walls of Constantinople with the catapult, the men of the Church Synod were meeting and discussing how many devils are able to stand on the head of a pin. We’re like that: The Jews, the enemies, the Russians and the Americans are coming at us from every side, right? And some of us are still asking, “is it an individual duty or a collective duty?” May Allah pluck out your eye if you haven’t already seen that Jihad is an individual duty!”

So today, the Americans are battering at the gates of Islam, while the religious scholars debate how many devils fit on the head of a pin. I like this analogy.

Back to Zawahiri:

“And I read something written by one of them in which he forbids the youth to do that [Jihad]and says that the commanders of the Mujahideen don’t want men and we must support them with books and cassettes! Is the purpose of the Deen [Way of Islam] for you to trim your moustaches? O you nation at whose ignorance the nations laugh. So O Youth of Islam, don’t listen to them, and I convey to you the Mujahideen commanders mobilization of you, so hurry to Afghanistan, hurry to Iraq, hurry to Somalia, hurry to Palestine, and hurry to the towering Atlas Mountains.”

This is an al-Qaeda recruitment video. He quotes the Koran, Surah 9:38 that urges true Muslims to fight for the cause and not find excuses to stay home.

“O you who believe? What is the matter with you, that, when you are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, you cling heavily to the earth? Do you prefer the title of this world to the hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life as compared with the hereafter.” (9:38)

He criticizes the Palestinian Civil War and notes that Hamas exists only at Israel’s discretion. Yet the Arab Governments and Religious Scholars recognize Hamas but not al-Qaeda.

“Coming Back to the subject of Iraq, I say: what is called the government of Hamas in Gaza and Ramallah has been set up, yet we haven’t heard criticism of it from those who criticize the Islamic State of Iraq, nor has anyone accused it of being an unempowered government lacking the justifications, although half the government in Gaza only connects with its other half in Ramallah through television circuits and the leader of the government can only enter and exit…after the Israeli Army permits and searches him.”

“Then Hamas, which claims that it follows the democratic way, and represents the majority of voters, was forced – under pressure from the democracy-sponsoring nations – to relinquish a third of the seats of government and agree to give up four-fifths of Palestine and surrender to Mahmoud Abbas the right to negotiate in the name of the Palestinians, and yet we haven’t heard the critics say that it is lacking qualifications.”

“Meanwhile the Islamic State of Iraq is – by the grace of Allah – much larger and the number of its soldiers and supporters many times more than what is called the government of Hamas…. And moreover, they threaten America and America admits their severe danger, and they invite their Palestinian brothers, banished to the desert between Iraq and Jordan – victims of the militias, serving the Cross – to live in the villages and cities of the Islamic State and they declare their defense of all causes of Muslims from Grozny to Ceuta and Melilla…”

“And in comparison, the leadership of Hamas disowns its Mujahideen brothers…”

Hamas declares “that Chechnya is an internal Russian affair. And Hamas kills Fatah members on a daily basis and Fatah kills Hamas members and Hamas announces that… and offers justifications for what it is doing.”

The Arab governments mediate between Hamas and Fatah while criticizing Al-Qaeda’s murder of Muslims in Iraq:

“Whereas the Islamic State of Iraq announces that it only kills spies and traitors, and declares its innocence of an inviolable blood, which one of its soldiers might spill, and not just that, but its Amir announces his readiness to appear before a judicial council in any complaint [my emphasis] and that he is prepared to have the right taken away from him personally if the legal ruling is issued against him. Yet despite that, a storm of media campaigns, allegations and claims is whipped up in their face, exactly the opposite of what is said to Hamas.”

This is very interesting. Al-Qaeda is losing popularity and legitimacy in the Arab World. Al-Qaeda leaders are even offering to put themselves before trial and legal review.

But really, why do Arab Governments and religious scholars support the Palestinians more than the Islamic State of Iraq?

“Why all this inconsistency? Because the dragging of Hamas to the game of political concessions is a Zionist Crusader decree being implemented by the Arab governments, whereas the establishment of the Islamic State of Iraq is an Islamic Jihadi decree being fought by the Zionist Crusade and therefore by the Arab governments. And if the cause is known, the amazement ends.”

Why? The Jews did it. Everyone is in cahoots with the Jews.

He calls for unity of the Iraqi Mujahideen despite arguments and differences. He sentimentally praises “Jihadi companionship”. He calls for recognition of them to give unity and strength.

He recounts Al-Qaeda’s victories against the Americans. He lists a series of attacks, “the destruction of the destroyer Cole, to the greatest conquest in the raids on New York and Washington…” Al Qaeda continues the fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, and supports Jihad across the world, from Indonesia to Spain. This “forces the enemies to admit the strength of the Mujahideen.”

Zawahiri likes to quote and shows videos of American Politicians. Here he shows Thomas Kean claiming that America faces one of its gravest challenges in history.

Zawahiri acknowledges that the Jihadis and the Islamic State of Iraq are not perfect. They made mistakes “because they are humans who are sometimes right and sometimes wrong.” And “They must submit to the purified Shari’ah.” He calls on reason and compassion to settle differences through Shari’ah law and not with violence.

“Thus the Mujahideen must solve their problems among themselves…And I don’t see any benefit for them in making public the problems of the Mujahideen for all to see. In fact, I believe the harm is greater than its good.”

He speaks of a third issue in Iraq. There are the “dangers surrounding Iraq.” Some are obvious like the casualties of war. He speaks about the other dangers that are “hiding under the name of aiding the Arabs Muslims, people of the Sunnah, while their only concern is eliminating the Arabs, Muslims, people of the Sunnah in service to the Caesar of Washington and his allies, the Crusaders and Jews.”

He ends by proclaiming that Al-Qaeda will “liberate the usurped lands of the Muslims from Spain to East Turkistan and raise the banner of the Caliphate to flutter nobly after a long absence.”

Remember: Nancy Pelosi feels sad that anyone thinks Al-Qaeda is in Iraq.

“There’s a lot of sectarian violence taking place [in Iraq], fomented, in my opinion, because of these attacks by al Qaeda, causing people to seek reprisal,” Bush said. “And we will work with the Maliki government to defeat these elements.”

“My thoughts on the president’s representations are well-known,” Pelosi said. “The 9/11 Commission dismissed that notion a long time ago and I feel sad that the president is resorting to it again.”