Is Al-Qaeda's supposed endorsement of John McCain for president real, fake, reverse psychology, or reverse-reverse-reverse psychology? Melissa Joyner-Sykes, associate director for Central Asia policy analysis coordination at the Institute for Asymmetrical Warfare and Global Confrontation Metrics is not a real person. She joins Bob to discuss the implications of the endorsement.
BOB GARFIELD: John McCain may have been stung by Colin Powell and The Chicago Tribune last week, but he did get one unexpected nod of approval – from al Qaeda. A radical Islamic website put up a post that concluded a McCain/Palin administration would be in the best interests of global Jihad.
The McCain campaign described the proclamation as reverse psychology, a bid to move voters in the opposite direction. Joining us now is “Melissa Joyner-Sykes,” associate director for “Central Asia Policy Analysis Coordination at the IAWGCM, the Institute for Asymmetrical Warfare and Global Confrontation Metrics in Beltsville, Maryland.” Melissa, welcome to OTM. MELISSA JOYNER-SYKES: Thanks Bob, good to be here. BOB GARFIELD: Let's start with the obvious. Why would [LAUGHS] al Qaeda be endorsing a candidate in the U.S. presidential election?
“MELISSA JOYNER-SYKES”: Well Bob, first, it’s not an endorsement, per se. It’s more like political analysis, a statement of what would most benefit global Muslim hegemony.
But beyond that, it’s been said this is the most important presidential election of our lifetimes. If that’s true for Democrats and Republicans, it’s no less true for Islamofascists. BOB GARFIELD: Why? “MELISSA JOYNER-SYKES”: Amid economic crisis, terrorists have families, too. The cost of inculcating their children with twisted philosophies of hate is going up, not down. The cost of explosives is going up, not down. Food, website hosting, infidel extermination videos, where does the money come from?
Remember, a terror cell, before it conducts its operations, is a small business, and Obama’s tax policies are a big worry. BOB GARFIELD: But al Qaeda is not naive. Could it, in fact, be employing reverse psychology intended to trick Americans into voting for a weaker leader? “MELISSA JOYNER-SYKES”: Possibly, but it could also be reverse-reverse psychology, or reverse-reverse-reverse-reverse psychology, like that scene with Wallace Shawn in Princess Bride. [CLIP]: WALLACE SHAWN AS VIZZINI: Are you the sort of man that would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemy’s? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool; you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me. [END CLIP] BOB GARFIELD: Okay, for the sake of argument, let's just say that this exercise is somehow an endorsement of John McCain. Who’s the target for the message - red states, blue states? “MELISSA JOYNER-SYKES”: Mainly New Mexico, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Arkansas and Pennsylvania. In this case, it’s the cave states, Bob. BOB GARFIELD: Melissa, thank you.
“MELISSA JOYNER-SYKES”: Thanks for having me. BOB GARFIELD: “Melissa Joyner-Sykes,” who does not exist, is associate director for “Central Asia Policy Analysis Coordination at the IAWGCM, the Institute for Asymmetrical Warfare and Global Confrontation Metrics,” which also does not exist. The website story, though, is absolutely true.