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Sheriff Gonna Getcha 11-21-2007 09:09 PM

Al Qaeda in Iraq on the Ropes?
 
I haven't posted about anything related to politics in a while, but I keep reading stories from various press agencies (ranging from US and British publications to Al Jazeera) that Al Qaeda in Iraq is all but defeated. The situation in Iraq is still grim, but it seems like AQI is done. I don't know what this bodes for the general US effort in Iraq, but it's a good thing if true.

Lets try to keep this thread civil. I also ask people, whether from the right or left, to discuss this matter with an open mind. Please don't post here if you've reached a conclusion about the matter before you've done your homework. Thinking before you speak is usually key to an interesting discussion.

[url=http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/0135731D-D628-4A85-887B-32ABAB700DBF.htm]Al Jazeera English - News - Ex-Allies 'Fight Al-Qaeda In Iraq'[/url]

[url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article2121006.ece]Al-Qaeda faces rebellion from the ranks - Times Online[/url]

[url=http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/10/15/iraq/main3366346.shtml?source=RSSattr=HOME_3366346]Al Qaeda In Iraq Defeated?, Military Tells Washington Post Group May Be Beaten, Intel Experts Not So Confident - CBS News[/url]

dmek25 11-21-2007 09:36 PM

Re: Al Qaeda in Iraq on the Ropes?
 
i hope this stuff is true. but i don't see how a world wide organization can ever be " defeated". if it is true, the world we know will be a much safer place

Sheriff Gonna Getcha 11-21-2007 10:50 PM

Re: Al Qaeda in Iraq on the Ropes?
 
[QUOTE=dmek25;381300]i hope this stuff is true. but i don't see how a world wide organization can ever be " defeated". if it is true, the world we know will be a much safer place[/QUOTE]

I don't think anyone thinks that Al Qaeda is defeated. I think people are just starting to think that Al Qaeda in Iraq has worn out its welcome. Like the U.S. troops were welcome in the Kurdish north and the Shiite South, Al Qaeda was welcomed in the Sunni-dominated Iraqi neighborhoods when they first came. They have worn out their welcome. Even the Sunnis have come to learn that the U.S. troops are preferable to Al Qaeda elements.

djnemo65 11-21-2007 11:18 PM

Re: Al Qaeda in Iraq on the Ropes?
 
Definitely good news coming out of Iraq recently. Let's hope that things can continue to improve there so we can get our guys home safely.

4mrusmc 11-21-2007 11:38 PM

Re: Al Qaeda in Iraq on the Ropes?
 
Of course this is great news but, we don't hear about it from our main stream media. That would be egg on there face if they could ever report anything positive about the war effort. Everyday I tune into the news to see if we captured or killed that rat bastard bin laden, only to be disappointed. I still haven't forgotten that day. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

djnemo65 11-21-2007 11:58 PM

Re: Al Qaeda in Iraq on the Ropes?
 
[QUOTE=4mrusmc;381317]Of course this is great news but, we don't hear about it from our main stream media. That would be egg on there face if they could ever report anything positive about the war effort. Everyday I tune into the news to see if we captured or killed that rat bastard bin laden, only to be disappointed. I still haven't forgotten that day. Happy Thanksgiving to all.[/QUOTE]

Where do you think I have heard about it? That's right, the grey lady herself.

Sheriff Gonna Getcha 11-22-2007 12:51 AM

Re: Al Qaeda in Iraq on the Ropes?
 
Here's an interesting article from the Washington Post

[B]In Iraq, Signs of Hope and Peril
By David Ignatius
Wednesday, November 21, 2007; A17
[/B]
Thanksgiving day is a moment to celebrate the news from Iraq of declining violence and increased security. But it's also a time for honesty and humility about what this good news portends.

The signs of improvement in Iraq are clearer every week. The latest numbers show a 55 percent drop in attacks since the surge of U.S. troops reached full strength in June, and a 60 percent drop in Iraqi civilian casualties since then. This translates into the beginning of a return of normal life, with people going to restaurants, taking walks, having weddings. The New York Times bannered this human story across its front page this week: "Baghdad Starts to Exhale as Security Improves."

Only someone with a heart of stone would not rejoice at this news. When you think of the suffering Iraqis have endured -- through the decades of Saddam Hussein's brutality, the years of punishing economic sanctions, the U.S. invasion and the terrible aftermath of insurgency and sectarian killing -- even a little bit of progress is worth a cheer.

But what accounts for these welcome changes? That's where we need to be careful. This isn't an American victory over a well-defined adversary; it's not that kind of war. And Iraqis aren't showering their American liberators with flowers now any more than they were in April 2003. A more complicated set of factors is at work, and it's worth examining two of them carefully.

First, it's clear that al-Qaeda in Iraq is losing, even if we aren't exactly "winning." A senior State Department official in Baghdad said this week that "al-Qaeda is in disarray and even in retreat." Its Hussein-like tactics of intimidation have backfired badly and triggered a revolt among Sunni tribal leaders. This "Awakening" is spreading across Sunni areas of Iraq, drawing in former Baathists as well as the tribal sheiks.

Even Osama bin Laden understands that al-Qaeda has stumbled badly in Iraq. In an Oct. 22 audiotape that attracted too little notice at the time, bin Laden scolded his followers for tactics that alienated Iraqis. "Mistakes have been made during holy wars," he said. "Some of you have been lax in one duty, which is to unite your ranks."

Bin Laden's self-criticism was "possibly the most important message" in al-Qaeda's history, wrote Abdel Bari Atwan, an Arab journalist who has interviewed bin Laden and written an insightful biography. "It is the first time that bin Laden recognizes the error committed by the members of his organization and in particular the excesses committed in Iraq."

Second, the recent security gains reflect the fact that Iran is standing down, for the moment. The Iranian-backed Mahdi Army of Moqtada al-Sadr has sharply curtailed its operations. The shelling of the Green Zone by Iranian-backed militias in Sadr City has stopped. The flow of deadly roadside bombs from Iran appears to have slowed or stopped. And to make it official, the Iranians announced Tuesday that they will resume security discussions in Baghdad with U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker.

I suspect the Iranians' new policy of accommodation is a tactical shift. They still want to exert leverage over a future Iraq, but they have concluded that the best way to do so is to work with U.S. forces -- and speed our eventual exit -- rather than continue a policy of confrontation. A genuine U.S.-Iranian understanding about stabilizing Iraq would be a very important development. But we should see it for what it is: The Iranians will contain their proxy forces in Iraq because it's in their interest to do so.

As a caution against over-enthusiasm about the surge, it's useful to consider what happens in a "draw play" in football. Defensive linemen go charging toward the quarterback, congratulating themselves on evading the blockers, when suddenly the opposing running back races past, and they realize, "Oops! We've been suckered." A Syrian analyst draws a similar picture of what's happening now in Iraq. He notes that former insurgents are regrouping and forming alliances among Sunni and Shiite militias that oppose the United States. "This will be known as the era of deception," warns my Syrian friend.

Al-Qaeda's mistakes and Iran's tactical retreat don't diminish the importance of what Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. forces are accomplishing. But the hard work of building a stable Iraqi state is still ahead. The Bush administration needs to seize this moment and speed the transition to Iraqi control. If our troop levels in Iraq are "conditions-based," and conditions really are improving, then a whole lot more soldiers should be home next Thanksgiving.

saden1 11-22-2007 01:21 AM

Re: Al Qaeda in Iraq on the Ropes?
 
War is brutal, costly, and tiring so I don't doubt the fact that they're on the brink in Iraq. No one should make the mistake, however, that this is it for them. They're a committed bunch to their cause and will get back on the saddle at some point in the future.

Anywho, we still need to address real issues instead of putting lipstick on a pig to make it look pretty.

Sheriff Gonna Getcha 11-22-2007 02:21 AM

Re: Al Qaeda in Iraq on the Ropes?
 
[QUOTE=saden1;381329]War is brutal, costly, and tiring so I don't doubt the fact that they're on the brink in Iraq. No one should make the mistake, however, that this is it for them. They're a committed bunch to their cause and will get back on the saddle at some point in the future.

Anywho, we still need to address real issues instead of putting lipstick on a pig to make it look pretty.[/QUOTE]

We certainly have a long way to go in Iraq. There is no doubt that the overwhelming majority of the insurgents are Iraqi nationalists or members of sectarian gangs, not Al Qaeda-types. But, it is the members of AQI that have perpetrated some of the worst attacks on Iraqi civilians, incited a lot of the sectarian strife, and are responsible for many of our soldier's casualties. So, while this isn't necessarily the light at the end of the tunnel, it's a good start.

dmek25 11-22-2007 07:09 AM

Re: Al Qaeda in Iraq on the Ropes?
 
[quote=4mrusmc;381317]Of course this is great news but, [B]we don't hear[/B] [B]about it from our main stream media.[/B] That would be egg on there face if they could ever report anything positive about the war effort. Everyday I tune into the news to see if we captured or killed that rat bastard bin laden, only to be disappointed. I still haven't forgotten that day. Happy Thanksgiving to all.[/quote]
isnt times, and cbs news main stream media?

dmek25 11-22-2007 07:12 AM

Re: Al Qaeda in Iraq on the Ropes?
 
and saden, great line. im changing my signature

Sammy Baugh Fan 11-22-2007 08:25 AM

Re: Al Qaeda in Iraq on the Ropes?
 
I mean this with all due respect to Iraqies but it's about fricking time those stupid people finally got some brains and balls to see Al Qaeda was no friend of theirs. Geez o flip.

God Bless America the Land of the Free paid for by the Brave.
mike

saden1 11-22-2007 11:21 AM

Re: Al Qaeda in Iraq on the Ropes?
 
[quote=Sheriff Gonna Getcha;381330]We certainly have a long way to go in Iraq. There is no doubt that the overwhelming majority of the insurgents are Iraqi nationalists or members of sectarian gangs, not Al Qaeda-types. But, it is the [B]members of AQI that have perpetrated some of the worst attacks on Iraqi civilians[/B], incited a lot of the sectarian strife, and are responsible for many of our soldier's casualties. So, while this isn't necessarily the light at the end of the tunnel, it's a good start.[/quote]


I believe that was the beginning of their downfall. I'm guessing they've never read "The Art of War."

Sheriff Gonna Getcha 11-22-2007 12:43 PM

Re: Al Qaeda in Iraq on the Ropes?
 
[QUOTE=Sammy Baugh Fan;381345]I mean this with all due respect to Iraqies but it's about fricking time those stupid people finally got some brains and balls to see Al Qaeda was no friend of theirs. Geez o flip.

God Bless America the Land of the Free paid for by the Brave.
mike[/QUOTE]

I don't think the majority of Iraqis supported Al Qaeda. All it takes are a few supporters to harbor and aid terrorists. My many friends who have gone to Iraq have all said how badly misunderstood the Iraqi people are. The news would have you think that they are all toting RPGs, killing Americans, and teaching their kids how to build shaped charges. In reality, according to my friends, the vast majority of Iraqis are decent, generous, friendly people who want nothing to do with the war. I actually have a lot of sympathy for the average Iraqi who does not care about global politics and just wants to go to work, put food on his family's dinner table, and raise his kids.

saden1 11-22-2007 02:23 PM

Re: Al Qaeda in Iraq on the Ropes?
 
[quote=Sheriff Gonna Getcha;381364]I don't think the majority of Iraqis supported Al Qaeda. All it takes are a few supporters to harbor and aid terrorists. My many friends who have gone to Iraq have all said how badly misunderstood the Iraqi people are. The news would have you think that they are all toting RPGs, killing Americans, and teaching their kids how to build shaped charges. In reality, according to my friends, [B]the vast majority of Iraqis are decent, generous, friendly people[/B] who want nothing to do with the war. I actually have a lot of sympathy for the average Iraqi who does not care about global politics and just wants to go to work, put food on his family's dinner table, and raise his kids.[/quote]

That pretty much describes most of the people on the planet. We all have the same wants and needs...Peace -> Freedom -> Security -> Peace.


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