They Know Us Well

Here's a story batting around for awhile that caught my eye this morning. The yeomen at MEMRI who translate jihadi media for us recently posted instructions from an Islamist website about how to propagandize Americans. Most bloggers have focused on the methods: pretend you're an American, tell a sob story about soldiers you know who committed suicide or their sad and lonely drug-addicted fiances left behind, etc. I liked the jihadi description of the folks they'll encounter in chat rooms and the like:
  • This American is an idiot and does not [even] know where Iraq is...
  • It is better that you raid non-political forums such as music forums and trivia forums... which American people favor
  • In my experience, the areas most visited in American forums... [are titled] 'Random Thoughts' and 'What's going on in your mind?'... [The former] takes priority in the American forums, and is highly popular.

Try and rebut that if you can, oh blog reader! On the other hand, if Jules Crittenden is to be believed, Iraqis may not know where Iraq is either. From his post on this day in 2003:

The soldier finished his prayers, and as he rolled up his prayer rug, he exchanged a couple of words of Arabic with the Hajjis, who were excited by this encounter. I explained the problem.
“These guys say you’re praying the wrong way. They say Mecca’s that way,” I told him, pointing about 20 degrees south of where he’d been facing. The soldier pulled out his compass and said, no, he had checked it, this was right. He tried to explain this to the Arabs, showing them the compass. But they weren’t having it and kept pointing the other way. The American stood his ground, pointing insistently his way.
I thought about it for a minute, and then I said, “You know, these guys have been praying in that direction for about 1,000 years, and we’re leaving in five minutes. Maybe we should let them have it their way.”