Tuesday, January 22, 2008

al-Qaeda's Nemesis: The Pointy-Haired Boss

The Army's Combating Terrorism Center at West Point has studied captured documents from Iraq, and has some interesting things to say. (Hat tip to Richard Saunders at Wild Turkeys.)

This paragraph jumped out at me:

"These documents tell us more about AQI than they do about Iraq," said Brian Fishman, an associate at the West Point center and co-author of its Sinjar analysis. "When you've got hundreds . . . entering the country with different skill sets and different intentions, you have to build a bureaucracy to use your resources efficiently.

(Emphasis added.)

Well, I've been working in corporate America too long, so here's my vision of a young al-Qaeda manager's annual review:

"Abdul, I see that you are not mentoring and grooming enough fedayeen to enter into management roles. Now, we are under a fatwa that requires us to engage in a broader, more inclusive search for managerial talent . . . "

"Selim, the fedayeen I recruit on Monday are going to be blowing themselves up on Wednesday! In case you missed it, I'm running the al-Anbar Martyrdom Department, and we've always had extremely high turnover, it kind of comes with the mission statement! How in the hell am I supposed to mentor some idiot from West Bumf***, Syria--who probably can't even read the Qu'ran, fer Allah's sake--when he's going to be DEAD in a couple of days?"

"Abdul, hey, I know it's frustrating, but you've got to see it from my side of the jebel. I have to keep al-Zawahiri happy. Ever since he read Deming--may that infidel dog roast slowly over a fire of goat feces--he's been going on about 'Total Quality Jihad' and 'suicide vest quality circles,' and don't get me started about how he wants 'proactive efforts to gain and leverage mindshare.' Then there's the 'Allah Akhbar' web portal project . . . I mean, the guy wants to use Java, when all the smart money is going to Ruby on Rails . . . doesn't ANYONE in the executive cave ever read the trade journals anymore? Anyway . . . look, if you find a really smart guy, could you try to talk him into applying for the management track?"

"Selim, I did that--HR shot him down for being a Alawite."

"Oh, yeah, I forgot." (Pause) "Did you find another job for him?"

"Selim, when I said 'HR shot him down,' I wasn't using a figure of speech."


And that will be the downfall of al-Qaeda and Islamism in general: they will gradually become just another sclerotic bureaucracy managed according to the buzzword du juor.


MLEH said...

Absolutely beautiful, Ken! Thanks for the heartiest chuckle of the day.

Anonymous said...

Ken had made the point right. Though its look very hilarious, I doubt that al-Qaeda like a functioning well managed, goal oriented, visionary corporate. Where, there will be no affect even in the situation of employee turnover and financial losses...
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