Al Qaeda in Iraq: R.I.P.?

by Ryan on October 15, 2007

in Media Bias,The Iraq Front,War on Terror

Word today from, of all places, the Washington Post (known for being particularly anti-Bush and anti-Iraq War on its editorial pages), that al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) may have been effectively defeated.  The article’s authors, Thomas E. Ricks and Karen De Young, are known anti-war reporters who have taken a positive spin on the events of the last six months or so in Iraq. 

No high-ranking or high-profile US official is going to declare victory over AQI at this point for fear of another “Mission Accomplished” moment, as if egging AQI on to throw a few suicide bombers into the mix on a random Friday prayer service.  Maybe, as the article suggests, AQI is just moving operations to the north.  But the evidence is that the number of attacks is down sharply, the flow of foreign fighters has noticeably diminished, and local intel has improved greatly.  Also, US casualties have dropped in known AQI areas and the Surge is working in other areas to focus the Iraqis on making their country work for them. 

The jihad is just not taking hold en masse.  I’ve long agreed with the notion advanced by some that Iraq is al Qaeda’s Vietnam:  they can survive if they leave, but they’ll receive a severe public relations thrashing as a result.  Also, AQI cannot beat a local populace that doesn’t want them there and will tip off the US and Iraqi forces so often.  AQI faces the same problem we had in Anbar province, just without the flexibility, resolve or firepower to do anything about it.  AQI can’t leave, nor can they win at this point.  It’s quite a pickle.

I wouldn’t declare any kind of sweeping victory in Iraq until the Iraqi Parliament asks us to leave (maybe not from Al Asad Airbase, but from the cities).  Some say that signs of victory may encourage recruitment here at home.  Others think this helps the Democrat’s quick cut-and-run agenda.  Who knows?  I hope Ricks and De Young aren’t just playing a game here with their high-profile turn around on the progress of the war.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

rightonoz October 15, 2007 at 11:50 pm

Hi Ryan,

I sincerely hope you are right on this one. Despite my opposition to the war I would much prefer to see a win if that is what is happening!

I guess it proves that POSSIBLY the wrong war can have the right result!

Would be good to see both countries troops returning home with a “we whipped their arses” story to tell.

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TRM October 16, 2007 at 7:04 pm

To verify, we ARE whoopin ass every day, you just don’t see it on the tube. Its not pretty…

We are correct not to declare victory. Rule number one in guerrila warfare/terrorism is to hit the softest possible spots and cause as much destruction as possible, intimidating and eroding the “other sides” will to continue fighting. Baghdad is not so soft any longer… they are only looking for the next soft underbelly to slit open..

Until the sponsors (money, schools) and Mullahs are wiped out, there will always be a willing, steady stream of terrorist looking to gain entrance into paradise to dip his wick in some virgin fur…

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