Dec 29 2007
Previously I posted that we would actually be able to measure al-Qaeda’s remaining effectiveness in Iraq because they had called on all elements to step up their attacks in Iraq during the months of December and January:
The leader of the Islamic State in Iraq, an al Qaeda-linked group forced on the defensive by its former tribal allies, ordered a renewed bombing campaign against Iraqi security forces in a Web message on Tuesday.
The campaign would continue until an Islamic date corresponding to the last days of January, he added.
For al-Qaeda to demonstrate its viability it would need to clearly show it could turn around the building successes in Iraq. Well today the data on violence is out for December 2007 and al-Qaeda’s efforts could not meet the challenge:
At the same time, December — with 19 hostile-fire deaths as of Friday — likely will be the month with the second-fewest American deaths of the war.
The decline in violence was across the board. The number of Iraqi civilians killed in Baghdad by explosions in December was half the number that were killed in January; the number of bodies found in the capital’s streets was down by nearly 75 percent compared with the beginning of 2007.
The US death rate was cut in half from just last month, going from 37 to 19! There is a companion chart attached to the link above (and now posted here) that says it all. And it supports the Iraqi claim that al-Qaeda is a beaten and spent force in Iraq:
he Iraqi interior ministry lauded its achievements over the past year on Saturday, saying that 75 percent of Al-Qaeda’s networks in the country had been destroyed in 12 months.
Ministry spokesman Abdul Karim Khalaf also outlined sharp falls in the numbers of assassinations, kidnappings and death squad murders.
He told a news conference that increased patrols along the borders with Saudi Arabia and Syria had slowed infiltration by militants and played a key role in Iraq’s improved security situation.
The fact is the US and Iraqis are tasting victory and the momentum is building for a huge success for Iraq and President Bush on the Iraq front. And al-Qaeda’s self-destructive bloodlust has backfired so badly in the Arab Muslim communities of Iraq they have become the enemy of Islam – not its future. As Michael Yon so clearly points out any threat or actual continuation of violence in Iraq by al-Qaeda will only hasten their extinction at the hand of Iraqi Muslims:
I have directly observed how more and more Iraqis have grown to hate al Qaeda as much as Americans do. Al Qaeda has lost all credibility there, both from a religious standpoint as well as strategically.
Al Qaeda terrorists can continue to murder Iraqis and Americans at the behest of Osama, but their tactics will only backfire. Osama will no more own Iraq than he will own America. His is a lost cause. Not because of decisive military defeats, (although these have helped) but because decent Iraqi people from all quarters, sects and regions of Iraq have had enough of his people cutting off heads of children.
Osama’s thugs have done the unimaginable – they have supplanted America with al-Qaeda itself as the largest evil in the world in the eyes of the Muslims in Iraq. And that lesson will be shared with other Muslims in the region. Including those in Pakistan. There is no doubt al-Qaeda is tottering on the edge of complete defeat. Which means we could see not only vindication for efforts in Iraq in 2008, but victory over the evil that brought us the horrors of 9-11 6 years ago.