Iraq rebels in video taunt

Departing from fiery Islamic slogans, Iraqi guerrillas have launched a propaganda campaign with an English-language video urging U.S. troops to lay down their weapons and seek refuge in mosques and homes.

The video, narrated in fluent English by what sounded like an Iraqi educated in the United States or Britain, also mocked the U.S. president’s challenge to rebels in the early days of the insurgency to ‘bring it on’.

“George W. Bush; you have asked us to ‘bring it on’. And so help me, (we will) like you never expected. Do you have another challenge?,” asked the narrator before the video showed explosions around a U.S. military Humvee vehicle.

Threats intended to demoralise and frighten in the tense build up to elections at the end of the month were tempered with invitations to desert and escape retribution.

A masked guerrilla from an unknown group called the Islamic Jihad Army, eschewing past impassioned Arabic-language threats of holy war, told U.S. soldiers: “This is not your war, nor are you fighting for a true cause in Iraq.”

“To the American soldiers we say you can also choose to fight tyranny with us. Lay down your weapons and seek refuge in our mosques, churches and homes. We will protect you,” he said.

There was no way of verifying the authenticity of the video obtained by Reuters.
Previous insurgent videos have been dominated by grisly beheadings of foreign hostages who kneel beside radical Islamic banners before their deaths.

The Islamic Jihad Army video featured familiar scenes of guerrillas blowing up U.S. convoys but also highlighted some of the key issues of the Iraq war, from weapons of mass destruction to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

“We have not crossed the oceans and seas to occupy Britain or the U.S. nor are we responsible for 9/11. These are only a few of these lies that these criminals present to cover their true plans,” said the narrator, apparently referring to the Bush administration’s assertion of a link between Saddam Hussein and those attacks.

A masked speaker with a machine gun beside him delivered his message to triumphant music with the ring of U.S. military propaganda films during World War Two.

He said the enemy was on the run as the video showed guerrillas firing on U.S. convoys, standing beside the corpse of an American soldier, or loading a large shell for an attack.

The U.S. military has said it would stay in Iraq until the country is by its definition secure.

The rebels focused on political issues that divided the United States and its European allies over the war in Iraq while reminding troops of casualties with images of burning trucks.

“We also thank France, Germany and other states for their positions, which we need to say are considered wise and valid until now,” said the narrator, who also urged economic warfare against Washington.

“Stop using the U.S. dollar. Use the Euro or a basket of currencies,” he said on the video dated December 10, 2004.

At least 1,067 U.S. troops have died in combat since the start of the war that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003
http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=652858

Watch the video referred to in the article above here.