A slang-slingin' American-born Al Qaida asshole has extended a "special invitation" to American troops and others fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. The deal: Convert to Islam, and you won't go to Monopoly Hell. ("You know that if you die as an unbeliever in battle against the Muslims you're going straight to Hell without passing 'Go.'") Act now! These deals won't last! (He says, I'm not making this part up, "Time is running out!")
Seeing this story, I have to wonder how these Keystone Qaida types hope to inspire terror. In fact, the pitch is so phenomenally silly and inept, it really looks like a US production. (Yes, I know spokesmodel Adam al-Pseudonym is, ultimately, a US production.) The video has at least a couple hallmarks of a Rumsfeld's-in-trouble disinformation campaign:
1. it arrives just when the campaign season is ready to heat up,
2. it reminds us that the shadowy types are out there looking our way, and
3. it features several talking points that could have come from any less-than-prim Bush critic ("You [US soldiers] know you're considered by Bush and his bunch of warmongers as nothing more than expendable cannon fodder"), side-by-side with standard lunatic-with-handicam ravings ("If the Zionist crusader missionaries of hate and counter-Islam consultants like ... the crusader and chief [sic] George W. Bush[... blah blah blah, sputter, whinge, BE AFRAID OF ME, ALL YOU BULLIES FROM MIDDLE SCHOOL!]").
At the root of this campaign ad is, of course, religion. Whether the video is really from the baddies or not, its main point is not dissimilar to one we'd hear from them: worship my imaginary superhero or die. (To be fair, their imaginary superhero has a flying horse, which is pretty cool. Not Flying Spaghetti Monster cool, but way better than Jesus's bottomless bread bowl trick. Still, Thor. C'mon. Thor, huh?)
What do the tiny minority of atheists, also mentioned as targets in this infomercial, have to offer this fight? We don't have magic; we can't wish on the moon or whatever with any hope that some super-elf, possibly with flying horse, will smite our enemies for us. Reality can only offer boring ideas like personal responsibility, provable truths, soluble and possibly insoluble mysteries, life exclusively during one's lifetime, and the struggle to promote fairness in an inherently unfair global society. Yawn-o-rama!
So do what one super-conservative warmonger or another tells you: Act now! Put your trust in fairy dust! Time is running out, because if you're on the wrong church's softball team when The Big One comes, you'll end up dead. Of course, you'll end up dead anyway, but if you spend your time between now and then in a fantasy world so super-special you're willing to kill and die just to get other people to buy into it, it'll go much quicker.