February 09, 2004

We're winning, Pt 178
Posted by Jon Henke

Best news I've read in awhile....

American officials here have obtained a detailed proposal that they conclude was written by an operative [Abu Musab al-Zarqawi] in Iraq to senior leaders of Al Qaeda, asking for help to wage a "sectarian war" in Iraq in the next months.
Why is this such good news? Well, why do you think he's begging for help?
The memo says extremists are failing to enlist support inside the country, and have been unable to scare the Americans into leaving. It even laments Iraq's lack of mountains in which to take refuge.
ie: even Zarqawi thinks the US is winning.
Yet mounting an attack on Iraq's Shiite majority could rescue the movement, according to the document. The aim, the document contends, is to prompt a counterattack against the Arab Sunni minority.
He's encouraging Al Qaeda to foment a war on the Sunni population. One hopes we'll use this item to convince the Sunni's that the resistance movement is not on their side....

Other interesting excerpts:

But the writer details the difficulties that he and his comrades have been experiencing, both in combating American forces and in enlisting supporters. The Americans are an easy target, according to the author, who nonetheless claims to be impressed by the Americans' resolve. After significant losses, he writes, "America, however, has no intention of leaving, no matter how many wounded nor how bloody it becomes."

The Iraqis themselves, the writer says, have not been receptive to taking holy warriors into their homes.
...
The writer contends that the American efforts to set up Iraqi security services have succeeded in depriving the insurgents of allies, particularly in a country where kinship networks are extensive.

"The problem is you end up having an army and police connected by lineage, blood and appearance," the document says. "When the Americans withdraw, and they have already started doing that, they get replaced by these agents who are intimately linked to the people of this region."

With some exasperation, the author writes: "We can pack up and leave and look for another land, just like what has happened in so many lands of jihad. Our enemy is growing stronger day after day, and its intelligence information increases.

"By God, this is suffocation!" the writer says.

There's the campaign commercial for Bush:
Picture of Zarqawi - text: "By God, this is suffocation!"
Announcer: "The War on Terror...it's working".

UPDATE: Hey, welcome to the blog. Take a look around, bookmark, blogroll. You know...the usual. Thanks for reading.

UPDATE II: More from Daniel Drezner and Juan Cole.

UPDATE III: Helen makes an interesting comment...

This puts into perspective the attempted hit on Ali al-Sistani, doesn't it. The Shia would indeed run amok if that happened; that would bring in the Iranians (they're itching for a greater presence); the rest of the Sunnis would pile on. Nice.
Perhaps Zarqawi and Co were trying to freelance before they went to Al Qaeda?

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