So much about the rhetoric of murderously radical Islamists strikes me, incongruously, as comical. They say goofy things. They remind me of a Doonesbury strip from the 70s in which the personable Viet Cong terrorist Phred is called back up to duty, and when he asks why, gets a response loaded with Leninist jargon about “running dogs” or some such, and he thinks to himself, “I forgot that we talked like that.” (Or something. I’ll try to find the actual strip and post it.)
There was a particularly goofy one in the WSJ today, in the “What’s News” briefing. It went like this:
A Taliban spokesman said insurgents are ready “to do jihad” as U.S. and Afghan forces planned a major offensive in southern Afghanistan. A17
I found myself wondering whether that was an accurate translation. Do Islamists really say “do jihad,” the way Yuppies in the 80s said, “Let’s do lunch?”
Unfortunately, the phrase didn’t actually appear in the story on A17 that the briefing item referred to, so I can’t give you the context… In the original language it’s probably not as odd-sounding. But apparently the phrase is frequently translated that way, such as here and here and here.