Wednesday, July 18, 2007

 

War Debate

Democrats agree with the President, that chaos will almost certainly result from our withdrawal from Iraq, and they don’t give a d***.

As reported by Noam Levey, a reporter for the LA Times with a piece in the Baltimore Sun, Congressional backers of the many “get out now” proposals are fully aware that surrender and abandonment of Iraq is what their plan is all about:

"I wouldn't be surprised if it's horrendous," said House Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey, a Wisconsin Democrat who has helped lead the drive against the war. "The only hope for the Iraqis is their own damned government, and there's slim hope for that."

Democratic lawmakers and their small handful of GOP abettors make little provision for what happens next, if they get their way. All of those making the point that Iraq is in the middle of a “civil war” fundamentally misread actual facts on the ground, and “coincidentally” swallow in one gulp the prepackaged, preplanned disinformation campaign led by Al Qaeda (in Iraq surely, but directed by AQ leadership elsewhere).

Note to the ignorant: if international terrorists blow up mosques and other holy shrines, busloads of civilians, children, police academy candidates, and other innocent civilians, as a means of provoking sectarian reprisal; if these same terrorists conduct or initiate similar atrocities against the other side, with the same end in mind, would you still want to characterize those acts of violence as part of a civil war?

Wouldn’t it be more accurate to identify those responsible for these provocations as guilty of acts of war, and crimes against humanity as well? And what if the targeted populations, after some period of sectarian-based reprisal, decide not to fight each other, but cooperate in a fight against the true aggressors?

The Democrats have been against our efforts in Iraq since shortly after the war began, when they evidently concluded that a successful war made President Bush too popular, and his aggressive anti-terrorism policies, made them and their “talk, talk, talk” foreign policy prejudices inconsequential. Ever since, they have latched on each new development or trend (always negatively construed), and hung on to these mischaracterizations and exaggerations way past the expiration date of their delusions. So it is with the Civil War in Iraq falsehood.

The level of Congressional ignorance, not only in matters Iraqi, but militarily, is breathtaking. Note this concluding quote from willing accomplice Oregon Senator Gordon Smith:

Few, if any, champions of pulling out U.S. forces are willing to intervene again, should ethnic and sectarian cleansing intensify.
"It will grow," predicted Oregon Sen. Gordon H. Smith, one of three Senate Republicans backing the Democratic withdrawal plan. "But it will burn itself out. That's how civil wars are fought. That's just the brutal truth."

Hmmm. That’s not how I would characterize any civil war with which I’m familiar. Seems like they do indeed grow and violence worsens, before one side manages to defeat the other, or some outside force intervenes. But as I’ve concluded, describing the situation in Iraq as a “civil war” ignores the very real enemies against us, and minimizes the very real threats they pose, in Iraq, and elsewhere American retains an interest.

In what I would consider providential timing, the US military reports on a major capture in Iraq:

BAGHDAD - The U.S. command said Wednesday the highest-ranking Iraqi in the leadership of al-Qaida in Iraq has been arrested, adding that information from him indicates the group's foreign-based leadership wields considerable influence over the Iraqi chapter.

The AP report actually downplays the significance of the capture and the results of interrogation, no doubt due to how unpleasant AP finds this particular news.

Fortunately, better reporting is immediately available in the person of Bill Roggio, who provides an in-depth analysis of the significance of the capture, and the broader implications about who we fight in Iraq. Roggio introduced his analysis with the background on the capture:

On July 4, Coalition forces captured Khalid Abdul Fatah Da’ud Mahmud Al Mashadani, a senior al Qaeda in Iraq and Islamic State of Iraq leader and close associate of Abu Ayyub al Masri, al Qaeda’s commander. Mashadani, also known as Abu Shahed, was captured in Mosul and is thought by the U.S. military to be the most senior Iraqi-born leader in al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).

Contrary to AP’s disinterest in specifics, Roggio dug into reports of Mashadani’s interrogation:[

During interrogations, Mashadani admitted that the Islamic State of Iraq was merely a puppet front group established by al Qaeda in order to put an Iraqi face on the insurgency. Mashadani co-founded the Islamic State of Iraq with al-Masri in 2006. “The Islamic State of Iraq is a ‘front’ organization that masks the foreign influence and leadership within AQI in an attempt to put an Iraqi face on the leadership of AQI,” said Brig. Gen Bergner.

But not only is the Islamic State of Iraq a contrived entity, its leader, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi is as well. “To further this myth [of the Islamic State of Iraq], al Masri created a fictional political head of ISI known as Omar al-Baghdadi,” said Brig. Gen Bergner. Al-Baghdadi is actually played by an actor named Abu Abdullah al Naima, and al Masri “maintains exclusive control over al Naima as he acts the part of the fictitious al-Baghdadi character.”

Al Masri then swore allegiance to al Baghdadi “which was essentially swearing allegiance to himself, since he knew that Baghdadi was fictitious and totally his own creation,” said Brig. Gen Bergner. “The rank and file Iraqis in AQI believed they are following the Iraqi al-Baghdadi but all the while they have actually been following the orders of the Egyptian Abu ‘Ayyub al- Masri.”

Mashadani said the domestic insurgents groups recognize that al-Baghdadi and the Islamic State of Iraq are fronts. “The idea of al-Baghdadi is very weak now because other insurgent groups have realized that the concept of al-Baghdadi is controlled by the al-Qaeda foreign fighters in Iraq,” said Mashadani to his interrogators.

Mashadani stated that al Qaeda in Iraq is operationally controlled by foreign fighters, not Iraqi insurgents. “Mashadani confirms that al Masri and the foreign leaders with whom he surrounds himself, not Iraqis, make the operational decisions for AQI,” said Brig. Gen Bergner. “According to Mashadani, in fact, al Masri increasingly relies only on foreigners, who make up the majority of the leadership of AQI. He does not seek or trust the advice of Iraqis in the organization.”

For those who might hope Congressional critics would turn to sources such as Roggio, rather than the woeful AP or New York Times, their hope is pre-empted by the absolute need of Democrats to find only signs of defeat. Victory or any hope of it moves the debate in a direction they don’t want to go.

Somehow, as in Vietnam 30 years ago, they’ve convinced themselves that anything bad that happens from here on out is the sole responsibility and fault of the President. They can leave all manner of chaos and catastrophe in the wake of their ignorance, because no matter what, none of it is their fault. Not obstruction, not advancing enemy propaganda, not aiding and abetting the enemy, not pushing for failure, not demoralizing our military. Nope. Their hands are clean. Like Pilate, they want to wash their hands of Iraq.

Miracle of miracles, if the US military pulls off the current counter-insurgency fight, brings security, and allows US forces to reduce in conditions of victory, not to worry. I’m sure the Democrats in Congress will find a way to hold themselves accountable.

(As in, “we made the President change his strategy and pull this one out of the toilet.” Not, of course, admitting they were wrong.)

Also commenting on the capture today:

Captain's Quarters

USA Today

The Nose On Your Face

Hot Air

The Jawa Report

Don Surber

Gateway Pundit

Jules Crittenden

(Links courtesy of Memeorandum and Glenn Reynolds)

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