Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Death Throes of Al Qaeda

Mark Steyn points out that when Zarqawi decided to blow up Muslims in hotels in Jordan, he sent one of his top-ranking lieutenants:

... look at who Zarqawi dispatched to blow up his brother Muslims: why would he send Ali Hussein Ali al-Shamari, one of his most trusted lieutenants, to die in an operation requiring practically no skill?

Well, by definition it's hard to get suicide bombers with experience. But Mr Shamari's presence suggests at the very least that the "insurgency" is having a hard time meeting its recruitment targets.

Sending a surviving member of your rapidly dwindling inner circle to blow up a Palestinian wedding is not a sign of strength.

True, he did manage to kill a couple of dozen Muslims. But what's the strategic value of that? Presumably, it's an old-fashioned mob heavy's way of keeping the locals in line. And that worked out well, didn't it? Hundreds of thousands of Zarqawi's fellow Jordanians fill the streets to demand his death.

Yes, it looks like the war against Al Qaeda is coming to an end. And, that is very good news. The Astute Blogger points out that President Talabani, Deputy PM Chalabi and the Interior Minister have now all gone on record saying that they do not believe they will require America's help past the end of 2006.

Considering that just recently, Talabani was lecturing the appeasement crowd that for America to abandon Iraq now would be to hand it over to the insurgency, we can see that the confidence of the Iraqi government is surging as the Presidential elections near, and the Sunnis increasinly participate in the burgeoning democracy.

The thing is, as we draw to a close in Iraq, two things will happen:

1) The Left (who have been calling for a pull-out) will attempt to deny credit to the Bush Admininistration. - Indeed, they will likely attempt to credit themselves.

2) The Left will claim the War on Islamic Terror is over, when in fact it is only beginning.

Iran and Syria must be dealt with. Both regimes must be deposed. If they are not, we are only putting off the inevitable clash, and Iran will only become more and more dangerous with time.

Unless the Bush Administration greatly increases the forward motion of this war, I expect the Left will win the debate on whether to move on to Iran. If they do win that debate, then we can expect a very ugly wakeup call in the next few years.