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May 07, 2011

Midmorning Headlines Open Thread

Here's a possible conspiracy theory: Did Zawahiri give up bin Ladin? It's speculation from a Saudi newspaper.

Not sure the potential psyops value of that. These guys don't seem to believe even in the most basic stuff -- UBL's responsibility for 9/11, the non-hornedness of Jews, the immorality of murder, bathing, vaginal sex -- so I think any attempt by us to be clever is doomed by their basic stupidity.

When you think about it, cleverness is only a useful tactic on the clever or at least semi-clever. Usually psyops and deceptions rely on the target to make deductions and inferences themselves, so it feels, to the target, like he thought of it (and therefore buys into it, because everyone likes their own ideas, even if they're not their own ideas).

Stupidity and ignorance is a perfect defense against such ploys. You can lead a horse to water, but if the horse is too stupid to understand the connection between water and survival, the horse won't drink.

Because it's stupid.

On the other hand, I guess this particular story has no need of deduction. The story goes, flatly, "Zawahiri sold out your hero."

But they believe what gives them pleasure or validation to believe, and believing in Al Qaeda, and its new head Zawahiri, gives them pleasure and validation. So I think they'll just reject this out of hand.


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posted by Ace at 10:53 AM

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