Jan 29 2008
Late last year al-Qaeda made a threat, a prediction, that they could wage a come back in Iraq. The promised to raise the level of carnage in Iraq over December and January to prove their vitality, there relevance, their ability to turn back America:
â€œThis campaign should be based on explosives and its target should be the apostates â€¦ wearing uniforms and all those who fight alongside the occupiers,â€ Abu Omar al-Baghdadi said in an audio recording posted on an Islamist Web site.
â€œEvery soldier (militant) is to detonate at least three bombs by the end of the campaign,â€ he said.
The campaign would continue until an Islamic date corresponding to the last days of January, he added.
I am sure many Surrendercrats shuddered in fear and renewed their efforts to turn tail and run from Iraq when they saw this. But to me it looked like a desperate act only a whack job would buy into (like this guy Ken Hoop who mails me with glee each and every day body counts – what a low life!). To me it was an opportunity to actually measure al-Qaeda’s strength – a test of whether they had enough left in them to turn Iraq back into the bloodbath it needs to succeed politically (against weak kneed pols who cave in the face of violence). Here is what I said back when the news came out:
Is al-Qaeda a force to be reckoned with or a spent movement heading into oblivion? We will know one way or the other through December and January. If al-Qaeda is able to muster a comeback it will sadly show up in the death toll figures for Iraqis and Americans. However, if they are a spent force then that too will show itself in the same figures as little to no change in the current trend showing regular reductions in the violence.
Well through December they were looking like a defeated force – see chart below:
The last three months are telling: 38 deaths, 37 and finally 21. The last month was the first month of al-Qaeda’s supposed come back. Sadly (but I am sure Ken Hoop is all excited and happy) in January al-Qaeda made some gains n their carnage. And the ghoulish SurrenderMedia – much like dismal Ken – are trying to make it sound as impressive as possible. It appears the SurrenderMedia’s sole function in life is to be the propaganda organ for Bin Laden’s thugs. Take this AP story for example (does “AP” stand for “”al-Qaeda Propaganda”?):
In a daring ambush, insurgents blasted a U.S. patrol with a roadside bomb Monday and showered survivors with gunfire from a mosque in increasingly lawless Mosul. Five American soldiers were killed in the explosion â€” even as Iraqi troops moved into the northern city to challenge al-Qaida in Iraq.
he attack on the U.S. patrol â€” the deadliest on American forces since six soldiers perished Jan. 9 in a booby-trapped house north of Baghdad â€” raised the Pentagon’s January death count to at least 36.
The toll so far is 56 percent higher than December’s 23 U.S. military deaths and marks the first monthly increase since August.
My guess is the AP is including some non-combat deaths in their number for December, but we can use there number for what we need to do. A 56% increase sounds impressive – doesn’t it? In fact it is misleading as hell. A death toll increase from 1 to 2 is a 100% increase! Let’s recall the last three months 38, 37 and 23. The 36 killed this month is right in line with November and October. In fact it is lower than the average of the two months. It is not a huge increase as the AP portrays.
Furthermore, al-Qaeda is a trapped and seriously wounded animal in Iraq. It will get some licks in as it dies. The price being paid by the other side compared to ours is better than 10 to 1 in casualties. From another story this week in Iraq:
raqi officials claimed Monday that 300 militants were killed in a fierce battle between U.S.-backed Iraqi troops and insurgents allegedly plotting to kill pilgrims at a major Shiite Muslim religious festival.
Bombings and mortar attacks targeting Shiites elsewhere killed at least 15 people.
The fighting that began Sunday near the Shiite holy city of Najaf had largely subsided by Monday …
Najaf is the place where al-Qaeda ignited the civil war in Iraq by bombing Islam’s fourth holiest site (behind Mecca) – the Golden Mosque. al-Qaeda is being decimated, but they are trying to fight back into relevancy and are very dangerous. But that only means we need to redouble our efforts. And apparently do something about their safe havens in Syria:
At a time when Iraqâ€™s government is massing up military reinforcements to strike Al Qaeda in Mosul, the cityâ€™s governor Duraid Kashmula called on the government to help security forces control its western borders with Syria where Al Qaeda members are crossing into Mosul via Rubaia region and Sahraâ€™ Al Jazira. Shumar tribeâ€™s leader Aziz Nazhan Al Sadid, located along the borders between Syria and Iraq, said that accusations on Rubaia are meant to cover the governmentâ€™s failure inside Iraq, stressing that Shumar tribes are in control of the borders in Iraq and refuse to deal with Al Qaeda, affirming that they will not cooperate with those who are killing Iraqis.
The article goes on to note Mosul is one of the few areas to resist the creation of “Awakening” councils. My suspicions are that resistance will end soon. It looks like we are getting hit because we are engaged with al-Qaeda and hitting them:
A suicide car bomb targeting a US patrol in Mosul wounded 10 Iraqis on Tuesday, a day after five American troops were killed in a deadly ambush in the volatile northern city, police said.
Iraqi and US forces are engaged in an extensive operation against Al-Qaeda in Mosul as part of a nationwide crackdown on the jihadists codenamed Operation launched on January 8.
Just one day after the sweep was launched, six US soldiers were killed when they entered a booby-trapped house in Iraq’s restive Diyala province, and four others were wounded.
While the media and the Ken Hoops of the world revel in the body counts, the fact is we are hunting down and killing people who, if we gave them time to plot and plan, would be coming into Europe and America with bombs strapped to kids. Bush was right last night in his SOTU speech. We have come too far to give up too soon and let these animals live another day only to come back and kill our children and our children’s children in the future. Iraq wants to be free of them and the Iraqis are fighting by our side – now. You don’t get too many opportunities like this in history. We can’t blow it by running or because our security requires the ultimate sacrifice of those who serve to protect us.
We do owe our military more than we can ever repay them. But the minimum we owe them is the opportunity and support to win, to make all these sacrifices means something for humanity’s future. That is more than exaggerated percentages can show or ever represent.