May 29 2007

The Tale Of Two Wars

Published by at 7:59 am under All General Discussions,Iraq

If we focus on what is happening in Iraq we see signs that there has been a fundamental shift with Iraqis shunning both al Qaeda and Iranian intervention. The civil war we wanted is here with the Muslim street rising up against Islamo Fascism. Michael Yon reports back from Iraq, after being pessimistic for months, that success is now very possible thanks to the change in allegiance coming from the local Sunni Sheiks. And there is now also a conflict within the Shiia community in Iraq to push back on the Iranians:

Post-Ba’athist Iraqi politics are undergoing a dramatic change, and the Sadrists and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC), formerly known as the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), are leading the way by bringing a major shift in the balance of power.

With the gradual decomposition of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s national-unity government, mainly dominated by Shi’ite and Kurdish parties, Iraq is entering a new political era. As splintered political factions, such as the Sadrists, seek to form a new coalition made up of Sunni parties, formerly exiled Shi’ite groups such as Da’wa and the SIIC face new challenges in maintaining a dominant political bloc in Baghdad.

SIIC leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim’s May 13 call to change the name of the party, dropping the word “revolution” (thawra), brings to light a key move by Iraq’s leading Shi’ite politician in preparing for the post-coalition era. As the leader of Iraq’s largest party, backed by possibly the largest militia in the Middle East (Badr Organization), Hakim’s new strategy includes a renewed pledge of allegiance to Sistani and his Najaf-based religious organization.

The reason for this symbolic reaffirmation of the party’s political position is clear. Hakim aims to distance his party from its exiled past when the party was based in Iran from the early 1980s to 2003, and reconstruct a Shi’ite Iraqi identity by aligning with the Najaf clerical authority. The call was also an attempt to establish distance from the Iranian shrine city of Qom, where Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has considerable power over religious and political institutions.

These shifts in strategy to push for reconciliation and create an Iraq identity are significant. And Iraq is not the only place showing the Islamo Fascists on their heels. Afghanistan is a place where the Taliban and al Qaeda have taken serious blows to their leadership.

Undoubtedly the Taliban and al Qaeda forces have suffered recent blows to their leadership capabilities with the recent death of Mullah Dadullah and the capture of Abd al Hadi al-Iraqi. A flood of mid level commanders have also been targeted and killed by NATO and Afghan forces in an attempt to thwart the Taliban’s spring offensive.

Just last week Mullah Mujahid, an al Qaeda sponsored commander in the east, was seized by US forces. During the same time, Sayed Gulab, a mid level Taliban bomb-coordinator, was arrested by Afghan border forces in Nangarhar. However, not all insurgent leaders make it out alive during such raids and assaults.

The assassination campaign itself broke open with last December’s air raid that killed top Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Osmani, a former Corps commander and member of the 10-man leadership council. At the time, his death served as the highest ranking member of the Taliban to be killed in the war. Within weeks Mullah Azizullah, a local commander in Kajaki Helmand, died along with 14 other Taliban during a massive gun battle with NATO forces.

The pace continued as more Taliban commanders were killed in Helmand’s Musa Qala City, a remote district center seized by militants in February.

By early March, Pakistani authorities seized another top Taliban official in Quetta. Mullah Obaidullah Akhund, the former Taliban defense minister, was later identified as that commander.

The most detrimental blow came in May when US Special Forces launched an air assault against Mullah Dadullah’s safe house in Helmand after being tipped off by an informant.

The fact is informants and tips are decimating these bloody movements because the people are sick of their mad pestulance. The Islamo Fascists bring nothing but death and brutal oppression. It is no wonder they are being rejected and turned in.

But something else is happening. The Islamo Fascists are spreading out of Iraq and reforming. It seems al Qaeda is now being led by Egptian militants close to Zawahiri (who ran Islamic Jihad before joining forces with Bin Laden):

Meanwhile, al Jazeera aired a videotaped interview of an Egyptian jihadist named Mustafa Abu Yazid, who has replaced the arrested Abd al Hadi al Iraqi. Yazid, formerly from the Egyptian Jihad group, is a closely aligned with Ayman al Zawarhiri and Bin Laden.

Consolidating the Ranks

The installment of Yazid may indicate the state of affairs in Al Qaeda’s upper echelon as nearly every top position is filled with an Egyptian fundamentalist linked to Ayman al Zawarhiri, the top Al Qaeda leader thought to be hiding somewhere in western Pakistan.

In a similar move last year, al Qaeda replaced Abu Musab al Zarqawi after his June 2006 death in Iraq with a militant also thought to be an Egyptian national.

The devastating air strike in Damadola, Pakistan last January is believed to have killed several top ranking al Qaeda terrorists including some Egyptians. Thought to be amongst the dead are, Abu Khabab al-Masri, Khalid Habib and Abd Rahman al-Maghribi.

Abu Khabab, an Egyptian national, was a poison and explosives expert and allegedly headed al Qaeda’s quest for weapons of mass destruction.

In late 2005, another top ranking Egyptian Al Qaeda leader, Abu Hamza Rabia, died in North Waziristan during an unexplained explosion. Pakistani authorities dubbed him Al Qaeda’s number 3 man but how they came to this conclusion was never revealed.

It seems there has been a power shift in al Qaeda. Saudi Bin Laden seems to be ebbing while Zawahiri becomes the face of a much more localized al Qaeda. Is this because old Islamic Jihad members are better, or what is left to carry on the fight? There is new that fighters are now leaving Iraq for other battlefields:

The Iraq war, which for years has drawn militants from around the world, is beginning to export fighters — and the tactics they have honed in the insurgency — to neighboring countries and beyond, according to U.S., European and Middle Eastern government officials and militant leaders in Lebanon, Jordan and London.

Some of the fighters appear to be leaving as part of the waves of Iraqi refugees crossing borders that government officials acknowledge they struggle to control. But others are dispatched from Iraq for specific missions.

In the Jordanian airport plot, officials think the bomb maker flew from Baghdad to prepare the explosives for Darsi.

I see a picture where al Qaeda is not growing but trying to shift forces to cover a desperate expansion to other Middle East countries like Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Why fly a bomb maker from Baghdad unless there are not many with this realistically low level skill. The Bombs uses in many of these attacks are not that sophisticated. So is it a coming wave, as some Jihadists claim?

Maj. Gen. Achraf Rifi, general director of Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces, said recently that “if any country says it is safe from this, they are putting their heads in the sand.”

Last week, the Lebanese army found itself in a furious battle near Tripoli against a militant group, Fatah al Islam, whose ranks included as many as 50 veterans of the war in Iraq, according to Rifi.

The group’s leader, Shakir al-Abssi, was an associate of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq who was killed last summer.

Militant leaders warn that the situation in Lebanon is indicative of the spread of fighters.

“You have 50 fighters from Iraq in Lebanon now, but with good caution I can say there are a hundred times that many, 5,000 or higher, who are just waiting for the right moment to act,” said Mohammad al-Massari, a Saudi dissident in Britain who runs a jihadist Internet forum. “The flow of fighters is already going back and forth, and the fight will be everywhere until the United States is willing to cease and desist.”

Or is it retreat? From what I can see in Lebanon (a much smaller problem than Iraq for Islamo Fascists to dominate and control) al Qaeda is taking a beating there. The US is pushing its limits to field 160,000 soldiers in rotations over many years. Is al Qaeda – a movement without a country or base of operations – also struggling to field its forces? Of course it is. And with a tide turning in the Muslim streets it may be having lots of problems keeping its forces staffed and trained. The stories surrounding this wave of Iraq war veterans invariably relate to foiled plots and captured terrorists. I do not subscribe to the idea the Middle East represents and endless supply of dead enders. Especially when no successes have yet come from all the killing of Muslims (despite a valiant effort by Democrats to create an al Qaeda success).

We shall see what is happening over the coming weeks, but to me forces leaving a battle do not represent success, the represent retreat. If the flood coming out of Iraq grows we could be witnessing the rats leaving the sinking ship. We could see success in Iraq.

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “The Tale Of Two Wars”

  1. kathie says:

    FORGET THE WAR——-we are now on to climate change as our big challenge. Forget Islamofascists———Algore is the new in, just asks the Dems, MSM and Old Europe they are in the know.

  2. kathie says:

    FORGET THE WAR——-we are now on to climate change as our big challenge. Forget Islamofascists———Algore is the new in, just asks the Dems, MSM and Old Europe they are in the know.

  3. Retired Spook says:

    Kathie, you too can do your part. Switch out all your incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescents (Algore will sell you credits for all the mercury they contain and reimburse your mileage to take them to a special recycling center). Also cutting down on the amount of toilet paper you use (except for those “pesky situations”) could make a huge difference. We must save the planet for “the children”.

  4. kathie says:

    NO, no children they cause population explosion, more co2, more devastation, more Algore. Retried Spook, people are the cause, God was so silly to think they might help with their intelligence. Lordy, lordy what was he thinking?

  5. Retired Spook says:

    Kathie, do I detect a “slight” hint of sarcasm?

  6. lurker9876 says:

    I detect a slight hin of sarcasm…this includes the trip that some democratic congressional team is traveling to some place in Europe to review the Kyoto treaty. What a crock…

    Well, if there is such a push-back and I hope this includes a major push-back against Sadr (e.g., to keep him from becoming part of the Iraqi Parliament), then yesterday’s talks and future talks with Iran are going to mean nothing.

  7. […] Back in May of 2007 I noted we were seeing the war for the heart of Islam we needed to see in order to achieve victory. We were seeing Iraqis fight for their own future, throwing off the jackboot of al-Qaeda and siding with America. While it took longer to play out than I anticipated (I have zero access to military data, just highly biased and inaccurate media reports to sift through) it was clear back then that a fundamental change had taken place. One destined to shape the outcome as Iraqi Muslims took up arms against al-Qaeda Muslim fanatics. […]