Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Al Qaeda's Vietnam

The New York Post:

June 17, 2008 -- LATELY, the Iraq War has looked more and more like another Vietnam - not for us, but for al Qaeda.

CIA Director Michael Hayden says the terror group has suffered "near-strategic defeat" in Iraq. It has been routed from Anbar, Diyala and Baghdad provinces, and now is getting a beating in its last stronghold of Mosul, in the north. It is reviled by the Iraqi populace, and its downward trajectory began with indigenous uprisings at its expense.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

How to risk your Freedom

According to Bill Whittle:

"When I was a starving college student, I was all in favor of massive income redistribution through taxes and benefits. I personally had no income to be redistributed, so it was a good deal for me. Now that I actually have to pay taxes and give up things, I find the entire idea a little more problematic. The sales tax checks I write go to the California State Board of Equalization, not the California Department of Coerced Larceny – but the effect is precisely the same. The people my money is going to did nothing to earn the money that is being taken from me. And if I don’t give it to them, I lose my freedom."

Similar to a realization I once had as an idealist.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Enemy's Bid For Success

"We are in a battle, and more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media... We are in a media battle for the hearts and minds of our umma."

-Ayman al-Zawahiri, July 2005

Monday, June 02, 2008

Taliban Decapitated

...says the Telegraph:

Missions by special forces and air strikes by unmanned drones have "decapitated" the Taliban and brought the war in Afghanistan to a "tipping point", the commander of British forces has said.

In the past two years an estimated 7,000 Taliban have been killed, the majority in southern and eastern Afghanistan. But it is the "very effective targeted decapitation operations" that have removed "several echelons of commanders".

First reports that al Qaeda in Iraq is on the run, maybe even disintegrating, and now the Taliban in Afghanistan. It's getting increasingly difficult for the media to spin the news negatively. The answer must be to just stop reporting any news on the war on terror. Or at the very least, don't give the US military any credit, as Victor Davis Hanson writes:
"But surely the US military contributed a great deal to the humiliation of al-Qaedists and the bankruptcy of their cause, since it has (1) killed thousands of generic jihadists, and to such a degree that the former Middle East romance of going to Iraq to fight the weak crusaders is now synonymous with a death sentence and defeat; (2) provided the window of security necessary for the growing confidence of the Maliki government whose success is absolutely destroying the Islamist canard that the U.S. backs only dictatorships."

Whether or not it's getting reported, the number of terrorists facing American and coalition troops is rapidly shrinking.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Fewest Deaths Since The Start Of The War

U.S. military deaths plunged in May to the lowest monthly level in more than four years and civilian casualties were down sharply, too, as Iraqi forces assumed the lead in offensives in three cities and a truce with Shiite extremists took hold.

And the AP headline?: Deaths in Iraq plunge, but will it last?

I think it will. Military and civilian deaths, along with attacks, are at record lows. I see a trend. Even the Washington Post jumps in.

Maybe the war isn't lost after all.

Zawahiri's favorite wife

"I say to you ... (I have) tasted the bitterness of American brutality: my favorite wife's chest was crushed by a concrete ceiling."

So said al Qaeda number two Ayman Al-Zawahiri in an internet response to female would-be suicide bombers. Alas, Zawahiri decreed, their place is not to martyr themselves with TNT, but to stay home and feed the kids.

Better for the west that female extremists aren't added to the militant ranks of the fanatical terror group. Yet, al Qaeda's stance is creating a controversy which would almost seem laughable if not for its dark implications.

How ironic that radical Muslim women are fighting for exactly the freedom and equality that the movement's ideology directly opposes.

The plight of al Qaeda continues to spiral downward, as this controversy pales in comparison to a major rift within radical Islamic circles. As Lawrence Wright explains,

"Al-Qaida is at war. And not just against the West, but with itself...

"It's very profound in the radical edge of it," says Wright, who explores the ideological rift for an article in next week's New Yorker magazine. "Before, moderate Muslims have spoken out against violence in the name of Islam, but now radicals are doing the same thing. And what's fascinating is that they're attacking on two grounds: One is that [violence is] not practical because it hasn't achieved their purposes. And secondly, it's sinful. It is placing the souls of the people who commit this violence in great jeopardy."

Wright tells NPR's Guy Raz that the two players behind the rift are Ayman Al-Zawahiri, al-Qaida's No. 2 man, and Sayyed Imam Al-Sharif, also known as Dr. Fadl. Sharif, who wrote al-Qaida's manual for jihad training, recently released a manifesto refuting those principles. The fact that al-Qaida's architect has changed his mind, Wright says, makes violence "harder to justify using that kind of thinking."

The cool air wafting into Zawahiri's cave must seem that much more bone-chilling these days; having to placate Islam's faithfully violent women on the one hand, and refute one of the movement's founding fathers with the other.