Dec 22 2007

War On Terror Update 12/22/07 – Beginning Of The End

Published by at 10:34 am under All General Discussions,Bin Laden/GWOT,Diyala,Iraq

As we look back on this year I think we will find it was a pivotal year for the coming century. I think we will see the beginning of the end of al-Qaeda in the US Surge and the Iraqi Awaking – both of which took root this year (though the very beginnings of the Awakening go back to fall of 2006). It will be the year al-Qaeda became the enemy of Islam instead of its future.

The reason I say this is al-Qaeda seems to be retreating into the tribal areas of Pakistan for one final thrust to gain control of a country – Pakistan. Defense Secretary Gates is indicating al-Qaeda forces are massing in the tribal areas of Pakistan (referred to as the FATA and NWFP):

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said today that Al Qaeda insurgents who were launching attacks in Afghanistan have now shifted their emphasis to Pakistan, increasing the threat in that nation.

Al Qaeda, Gates said, maintains its base in the loosely governed tribal areas on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. But the Al Qaeda fighters, he said, were not focused on attacking Afghanistan from Pakistan.

“There is no question that some of the areas in the frontier area have become areas where Al Qaeda has re-established itself. But so far, we haven’t seen any significant consequence of that in Afghanistan itself.”

The thing to keep in mind is al-Qaeda doesn’t have an endless supply of seasoned fighters and, more importantly, leaders. al Qaeda has lot thousands of fighters in Iraq over the last two years, and is also losing forces to crackdowns in many other Arab states. There forces have been shrinking over the last two years. Which means they cannot project much force on too many fronts. The constant decimation of their capability is something that has to be considered when we look at their change in tactics.

And that brings me to another indicator of al-Qaeda’s waning prospects in the Muslim community. It was almost a year ago I noted the fact that al-Qaeda’ attacks on Muslim Iraqis was a clear indicator something significant was happening in Iraq. I wrote this last March of this year:

As goes Ramadi goes Anbar Province, as goes Anbar Province so goes Iraq. The last bastion of resistance to a democratically run Iraq is the Sunni triangle. And the tide is turning against al Qaeda and the other foreign fighters and the insurgency as the Bush Surge starts to gain ground and momentum.

The reason I thought that Iraq had hit a turning point was the use of chemical weapons on Iraqis Muslims by al-Qaeda:

I think al Qaeda has finally made a fatal mistake with their gas attacks today in the heartland of the Sunni insurgency. Following in the horrific footsteps of Saddam Hussein, who gassed whole villages killing thousands, the al Qaeda effort was much less effective in terms of killing people. But in terms of killing off support in the Arab/Muslim street the attacks today couldn’t not have been more effective.

It was one of those events the exposed the rift between al-Qaeda and their Muslim allies-pawns that had supported them. It was the line crossed that could never be uncrossed. And now we see another sign of how bad al-Qaeda is doing in the Muslim world, this time from Saudi Arabia and targeted at the heart of the Muslim Haj:

Saudi security forces have arrested an Al-Qaeda-linked group of people planning to carry out terrorist attacks during the annual pilgrimage, Al-Arabiya satellite channel reported yesterday. Informed sources told the channel that the arrests took place in different cities of the Kingdom.

“The group aimed to trouble the security of the pilgrimage,” which attracted nearly three million Muslim faithful from around the world this year, the television report said. Members of the group, whose number was unknown, were arrested “three days before the start of the Haj season”, or at the end of last week, the sources told the Dubai-based channel.

How would the Muslim world react to an attack on the annual pilgrimage to Mecca? How are they going to react to the idea someone was trying to launch such an attack? This has all the signs of an act of desperation by al-Qaeda forces. A lashing out at the Muslims who failed to see the glory of Bin Laden’s way, failed to support their cause, failed to keep them from defeat. It looks like the kind of attack we saw turn the tide in Iraq – an effort to force allegiance to al-Qaeda’s cause.

al-Qaeda wants to take over Pakistan and get its hands on nuclear weapons so they can vaporize any dissent and opposition. I am sure the Madmen of Iran are not much different in how they would love to enforce their world views on the evil and wayward masses. But the Muslim street is Awakening to what al-Qaeda is and how they will be the first victims of its bloodlust. And so they could be turning on al-Qaeda as it once again overplays its hand and shows its true face. it will be interesting to look back and see if 2007 was the year the end of al-Qaeda had begun.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “War On Terror Update 12/22/07 – Beginning Of The End”

  1. WWS says:

    In Pakistan a suicide bombing was carried out inside a mosque yesterday, killing 50. Apparently it was a failed assasination attempt, but it fits in well with your comments about Al-Qaeda. They are now taking actions that not even the worst enemies of Islam would take – blowing up worshippers inside a mosque?

    This also reminds me of some of C.S. Lewis’ comments on Evil. Yes, there is true Evil in this world and it is capable of horrendous things. But Evil’s greatest weakness is that in the long run, it can never resist the urge to destroy everything close to it and eventually itself. Look through history, and it’s a good way to categorize which movements were misguided, which were bad, and which were pure Evil. The higher the level of Evil, the greater the urge to destroy is – first their “enemies”, then anyone around them, and finally themselves. They can’t resist the pull, because it is their true nature calling.

    (Think Trash Can Man in Stephen King’s “The Stand”)

  2. MerlinOS2 says:

    I also goes exactly the opposite of what Chairman Mao insisted on during his revolution. He demanded his followers respect the local populations and not abuse them in any way to gain their support.

  3. aerawls says:

    One small correction: the Anbar Revenge Brigades emerged in EARLY 2006, shorty after, and in direct response to, al Qaeda’s attack on the Golden Dome mosque and the retalitiatory attacks by Iranian backed Shiites. (Roggio reported it. Iran was actually funding both sides. but the Iraqis NEVER fell for this phony “civil war.” They understood immediately that it was proxy war, trying to fire up their sectarian divides for foreign purposes, and they fought it from the outset. The Golden Dome attack was the birthday of the Anbar awakening.

    I put up a lengthy retrospective last week on what I call “our de facto flypaper strategy” in Iraq. My view, which has often been informed your fine posts on the subject, is that al Qaeda was duped by the Democrats into thinking that if they just kept murdering enough Iraqis, the Democrats could use it to create American withdrawal. Captured al Qaeda documents show that they KNEW this was a losing strategy on the ground, but it gave them a chance to win the war off the battlefield. This was the only chance they had, so they took it, and it has destroyed them.

  4. […] terrorists had gone one step too far. Here are my thoughts from December 22, 2007 on what I called “The Beginning of the End“ for al-Qaeda and the war on terror: And that brings me to another indicator of al-Qaeda’s waning […]