- By David KennerDavid Kenner is the Middle East editor at Foreign Policy. He is based in Beirut, Lebanon, and has been with FP since 2009 (a long time, he knows). He worked for FP previously in Cairo, where he covered the early days of the Arab Spring, and before that in Washington. He has attended Georgetown University and the American University of Beirut and has reported from Libya, Egypt, Gaza, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq.
In the post-election lull, every pundit from the left and right will offer President-elect Obama advice about how to run his administration. Oh, and the emir of the Islamic Army in Iraq, an insurgent faction, also wants to throw in his two cents.
The emir’s dispatch, translated by the SITE Intelligence Group in Maryland, summarizes the election quickly: "This day… a mad elephant fights an ambitious black donkey to reach the destination of America’s decision." It goes on to attack George W. Bush and his supporters as "war criminals" and "Darwinists," both charges which Bush would probably deny.
But if one can get beyond the ridiculous imagery, the letter offers is a fairly standard, nationalist case against the occupation of Iraq. "America should know that a people never lost a struggle for freedom," it warns. America should depend "on dialogue and cooperation with others in order to achieve goals."
Odds are, Obama won’t be listening to the advice of the Islamic Army in Iraq, but his most trusted advisors will soon be telling him some of the very same things.