We’re a day late with this, but it’s worth noting, for anyone who missed it, that yesterday more than 200,000 people demonstrated against terrorism and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Amman, Jordan. This photo is from the rally:
Al Qaeda is obviously nervous about the furious reaction to its attacks in Jordan and throughout the Muslim world. Now Zarqawi is trying to deny, ludicrously, that his bombers intentionally targeted a wedding reception, or, for that matter, Muslims at all:
People of Jordan, we did not undertake to blow up any wedding parties. For those Muslims who were killed, we ask God to show them mercy, for they were not targets. We did not and will not think for one moment to target them even if they were people of immorality and debauchery.
That’s certainly tolerant of him. In part, what we’re seeing here is the difficulty of getting good help. Zarqawi is by far al Qaeda’s most effective operative. But he is, and always has been, a street thug whose chief motivation is probably sadism. His lifelong experience as a criminal probably contributes to his effectiveness as well as his remarkable elusiveness–it’s hard to understand how he has survived as one close associate after another has been captured or killed–but he doesn’t have quite the right touch for a public relations campaign.