Of course, he will spin anything as a victory for the sake of morale. It’s interesting that he speaks of free elections, thereby acknowledging their appeal in a backhanded way. “Zawahri says U.S. defeated in Iraq-Jazeera TV,” from Reuters, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
DUBAI (Reuters) – Al Qaeda’s deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri said in a video aired on Friday that U.S. President George W. Bush’s plans to withdraw troops from Iraq meant Washington had been defeated by the Muslims.
He also criticised Islamist groups, including Egypt’s banned Muslim Brotherhood, for believing in Western-style democracy and taking part in elections.
“Bush, you must confess that you have been defeated in Iraq and in Afghanistan and you will be in Palestine soon,” he said in the video broadcast by Al Jazeera television.
Jazeera said the video by Osama bin Laden’s second-in-command, which had English subtitles, carried the date of the Muslim lunar month which ended in December.
“I congratulate the Muslims on Islam’s victory in Iraq. I said more than a year ago that the Americans’ departure from Iraq is only a matter of time,” said the bespectacled Zawahri, who wore a white turban and sat next to an assault rifle.
“But they are justifying their withdrawal by saying that the Iraqi forces have reached a satisfactory level.”…
In Washington, a U.S. counter-terrorism official said: “U.S. intelligence is assessing the video tape. It appears to be a recitation of well-worn jihadist themes. There’s nothing particularly new.”…
Egyptian-born Zawahri said elections in his home country were a “U.S. game … designed to mislead the Muslim public”.
“America tells Islamists: every time your behaviour improves, we’ll give you more (seats), until you become secularists with only a false affiliation to Islam.”
In the elections late last year, candidates linked to the Muslim Brotherhood increased their seats more than five-fold to 88 of the 444 elected seats, confirming the group as Egypt’s strongest opposition.
“My Muslim nation, you will never enjoy free elections … and governments answerable to their people … unless you are liberated from the Crusader-Zionist occupation and corrupt governments, and that can only be achieved through jihad (holy war).”…