Achmed The Dead Terrorist

This is now one of the most watched videos ever on YouTube (behind the absolutely brilliant ‘Evolution of Dance’) .  

“I’ve skewered whites, blacks, Hispanics, Christians, Jews, Muslims, gays, straights, rednecks, addicts, the elderly, and my wife. As a standup comic, it is my job to make the majority of people laugh, and I believe that comedy is the last true form of free speech.”

Texan ventriloquist and comedian, Jeff Dunham.

Comedy is not only one of the last forms of free speech but one of the most powerful.   It’s far more effective to ridicule religious psycopaths like OBL than to fear them, or worse, to try and understand them and their ’causes’.

Three cheers for Jeff and Achmed.

nb – if you are at all offended by jokes at the expense of Catholics, Jews, Muslims and Michael Jackson then exercise your right not to watch this video.


32 thoughts on “Achmed The Dead Terrorist

  1. A group of neo-Nazi white supremacists wanted to kill 100 blacks and Obama and then behead them.

    do i want to understand their reasoning? no

  2. I’m not particular interested in understanding why God Hates Fags.

    I do, however, think understanding Osama is important. Like all criminals- if you can understand their thinking you can more successfully predict their movements and prevent them from committing more crimes.

    I also think comedy is important, though. Not just because it mocks ridiculous beliefs, but it’s a way of dealing with sensitive issues without seriously offending. Offence is implicit in comedy, which makes it a useful tool for expressing viewpoints that are legitimate, but offensive.

  3. That still seems like you’re proud of ignorance.

    It almost seems like you think the word “understanding” and “symphathy” have the same meaning. It’s possible to understand a perspective without agreeing with it. Indeed, it’s important to understand the motivations of your opponents so you can best oppose them.

    I think knowledge is a good thing. If all people refused to even consider the position of their opponents then no minds would ever be changed and knowledge would never progress.

    What is the down-side of knowledge?

  4. Shem

    OBL hates Jews, Americans and non-Muslims (he even hates Shia Muslims – he’s quite specific in who he hates).

    why is that important?

  5. The fact that he hates them isn’t important.

    WHY he hates them is far more important. I agree with Ron Paul- he doesn’t hate America because it’s rich and free…

    Religion plays a part, but religion is usually just a smokescreen for another agenda, usually one involving power. I can’t think of a single religious war that was actually about religion…

    Religion energises the troops, but it’s never the motivating factor for those in charge.

  6. It’s far more effective to ridicule religious psycopaths like OBL than to fear them, or worse, to try and understand them and their ’causes’.

    A little bit of understanding helps make the ridicule more effective. But in general I agree – sympathy, empathy and/or understanding are wasted on barbarians like OBL.

    They mostly suffer from a deficiency of copper-jacketed lead.

  7. I agree with Marks trifecta.

    The video is very funny. I don’t think humour is the last true form of free speech however it has always been a terrific one. And getting a puppet to say the more prickly things must be really quite liberating.

  8. is it important why i hate Osama?

    let’s come back to those white neo-nazis who wanted to kill 100 blacks. now we could engage an army of psychologists to attempt to understand ‘why’ they have such extreme views.

    but what good would it do? would it change anything?

    Of course it’s important to understand why people have such wildly different views to us (such as for example, carborexic state-loving socialists). But there are some people who are so deranged and psychotic that attempting to ‘understand’ them will get us nowhere.

    We have to be able to draw the line on certain loons and just call them loons. And if they want to kill us, we have to kill them first.

  9. How can we know somebody is a loon unless we understand their thinking?

    Before you understand something it often looks wrong. Only after you understand what somebody is saying can you confidently conclude that they are wrong.

    And don’t say that all killing is obviously wrong. You support killing sometimes too. As do I.

  10. Osama isn’t mentally incapacitated. What is different about Osama are his values, his beliefs and his motives. The reality is that othes share his values his beliefs and his motives. Killing Osama is merely a physical matter of destroying his body, however destroying or at least mitigating the extent of his movement can’t be done merely with killing. It is like thinking that with enough hangings you can end the drug trade.

  11. I totally disagree.

    You will never end the drug trade except for legalisation.

    You can kill off al Qaida by killing them. There simply isn’t the same profit motive.

  12. Legalising drugs won’t end the drug trade but I think it would be better than all those hangings. 😉

  13. Err…, you know what I meant. The drug cannot ever be stopped, but repealing strict anti drug measures will minimise harm, crime and have the most optimal outcome.

    So will killing terrorists.

  14. There isn’t the same profit motive… but the important issue is “motive”, not “profit”. While there remains a strong motive (in their minds) towards continuing the fight, then the fight will continue. Just like the drug trade.

    To ultimately stop the fight we need to undermine the motivation.

    Killing them is one way to create a dissincentive. But the threat of death doesn’t make much different to a suicide bomber, and the killing of somebody’s brother generally doesn’t decrease their incentive to fight.

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t fight Al-Qaeda (& friends). But if we don’t understand the motivations, how can we work to decrease the motivations?

  15. Humour is essentially a tool for reinforcing currently held beliefs and motivating people to act on them. Without the underlying beliefs, what we laugh at would be considered absurd to someone without that insider knowledge.

    As hilarious as Chaplin’s The Dictator was, it didn’t stop Hitler invading Poland.

    Tina Fey’s devastating mockery of Sarah Palin didn’t steal one vote away from McCain, but it did reinforce Democratic support and make it more likely that Obama supporters would get out and vote.

  16. No. The profit motive IS different…but I will demonstrate it doesn’t matter if I am wrong, the policy choice I want is still the best for society.

    Now, Amrozi wants to save his life, despite becoming a *martyr*.

    The alternative is his motivation is he simply wants to kill as many of the “enemy” as possible. In that case, it is a war of attrition we must win and win quickly. When they keep losing and keep dying, they will stop killing civilians. If we don’t, his allies would keep going.

    The drug trade has been happening for centuries, and the millions and potentially billions on offer simply overrides harsh disincentives such as life imprisonment and capital punishment. If we end criminalisation, the associated violence of the drug trade keeps going.


    1. Either the profit motive is different and killing terrorist really does deter them, OR, this is incorrect, and

    2. It doesn’t matter since the effect of not fighting terrorists is sub optimal. Whereas ending the war on drugs is the optimal choice.

  17. I’m not saying we shouldn’t fight Al-Qaeda (& friends). But if we don’t understand the motivations, how can we work to decrease the motivations?

    But we do know AQ’s motivations and we know what they want. Bin laden told us a few weeks after the attack on the WTC. He laid out his list of demands.

    One was that there was not to be any more interaction between Muslims and the west. another was that he wanted Christians to leave Andalusia…. which is Spain and Portugal.

  18. Ridiculing ridiculous beliefs has a lot of merit. I wouldn’t however make a leap from there to making a virtue of ignorance. What possible reason would there be to remain ignorant of some fact? The only reason to do that is to hold on to some dearly held value that can’t survive once you have said fact. That’s the sort of action that ignorant killers are all about.

    Shem said: I’m not particular interested in understanding why God Hates Fags.

    But Shem did you see the Louis Theroux doco on the Westboro baptist church? It showed a family that were pretty damned nice but who felt alienated by the rest of the world because of the controlling influence of Fred Phelps. It also let me know that these people would not harm a fly and were only ever going to use free speech to get their (admittedly repugnant) message out.

    There is no knowledge that is not power. To prove that point I got that last maxim from a Moral Kombat arcade machine. Word.

  19. Yeah I saw that doco too.
    You feel so sorry for the little kids in that religion.
    The parents are total morons though.
    They seem to use other people’s abuse towards them (and they cop plenty) as proof they are right.

  20. Shem, some good news!
    GOD does NOT hate fags! God hates sin, and homosexuality, and fornication. These are sins, and God hates sins, but God does not hate the sinner! (Otherwise, you’d have been lightning-struck as soon as you committed your first sin!)
    Feeling better?
    The only thing you need to worry about is me- I hate fags!

  21. Phelps and bin Laden deserve ridicule – they are simply self aggrandising, narcissist twits who think they are their God’s right hand man.

    Quite Frankly Dunham and Louis Theroux should be lauded for their efforts.

    That said, a level of understanding is important. Bush sold Iraq War II/Gulf War III based on unbacked assertions. With a more informed public, he would have needed better justification, and perhaps better planning and cooperation between Western nations.

    Understanding motivation and what is actually going on is good. The spate of irrational, xenophobic attacks on fellow Americans of Middle eastern origin after 9/11 wasn’t a good thing.

  22. “The spate of irrational, xenophobic attacks on fellow Americans of Middle eastern origin after 9/11 wasn’t a good thing.”

    There really wasn’t any such spate

  23. Ben, I saw it because I was bored one night. The extra understanding didn’t change my opinion of the Westboro nuts.

    Knowledge is power, true. But given time constraints we need to pick and choose the knowledge we pursue.

    Understanding the motivation of the Westboros didn’t help me in my life any, although it was interesting. I do think understanding the motivation of Osama is more important, especially if it can help prevent future attacks.

  24. Narcissist is right on the money with OBL Mark. The whole damned thing is one massive bummer caused by a handful of fwits and I don’t really understand why everyone can’t just be cool. I’m stating now for the record that anyone who wants to kill other dudes to get some sort of “thing” they want (land, a caliphate etc) is not cool in my books. That that Al-Qaeda!

    I saw “where in the world is Osama bin laden” the other night. I thought it was really a little bit lame for the most part but what I liked about it was how he managed to talk to people who may well identify with OBL. What was interesting was that people in the west bank, although adamant about their right to the land there, were not encouraged by freaks like al- zarqawi and obl name dropping their cause.

  25. you suck !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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