Sunday, September 25, 2005
Only days after Al-Qaida announced the completion of its latest campaign of violence aimed at avenging alleged "massacres" of Sunni Muslims in Tel Afar by the U.S. and Iraqi government, there are growing indications that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his Al-Qaida acolytes may be facing the most serious political and operational challenges they have encountered since they first joined the anti-coalition insurgency in mid-2003. The deadly glut of suicide bombings that began on September 8 has undoubtedly caused destruction and chaos--but militants were neither able to undermine the anti-insurgent operation in Tel Afar nor deter Iraqi government efforts to formulate a constitution... Instead, renewed apparent threats from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to massacre both Shiite and Sunni "collaborators" have been warily received by many Iraqi Sunnis, leading the respected Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars to issue a statement strongly admonishing Zarqawi...
Whether or not the government of Iraq can suppress the Ba'athist rejectionists, there is a real opportunity to humiliate al Qaeda. We must not miss that chance, which is why we should reject both demands for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq -- which would be tantamount to retreating from a battle with al Qaeda -- and proposals to adopt a "spreading ink blot" strategy -- which might broadly secure Iraq but which would prevent us from defeating al Qaeda's fighters. And, no, the fact that the interests of the United States and the government of Iraq are at least slightly diverging in this respect is not lost on me.
Great News! I've also heard that they're "on the run", "in their last throes, and that "we've turned the corner". If the good news keeping pouring in like this, then we ought to be able to get out of Iraq sometime in 30's, leaving behind nothing more than an abandoned training ground for global terrorism and a disorganized Islamic theocracy.