Monday, July 16, 2007

Al Qaeda's Atrocity, Strategy, and Our Resolve

This was actually printed in newspapers starting 8 July, written the Sunday before; before all the amendments hit the floor.

On July 5th, freelance reporter Michael Yon, embedded with our troops in Iraq, shared an horrific Al Qaeda activity occurring in Baqubah. I remember becoming accustomed to the Iraqi people telling me about their friends being “slaughtered”, beheaded, or of terrorists forcing them to watch videos of such activity as a means to “persuade” them to join Al Qaeda’s way of thinking.

But Michael Yon’s dispatch describing Al Qaeda’s savagery was beyond comparison. In Baqubah, Al Qaeda would target a family they wanted to convert to their way of thinking, a family with a young son, invite them to lunch, and then try to serve them their son as lunch. I won’t describe the grotesque manner in which this was done, but I think you see my point.

Every day the major news outlets tell us of attacks against civilians in Iraq. But the context in which they’re described hides the true nature of those attacks. They’re reported as our failure in Iraq, not sickening terrorist attacks, targeting and murdering innocent lives.

Whether it’s a car bomb detonated among a group of women and children outside a wedding or something as horrific as described above, one common link remains, Al Qaeda.

We fight Al Qaeda in Iraq nearly every day. Multi-National Force – Iraq press releases from July show that coalition forces captured or killed Al Qaeda operatives 8 of the first 9 days in July. I know from reading the daily updates that it’s been that way for quite some time.

It is the same Al Qaeda we should have all sworn to defeat after September 11.

Yet this week Congress will again take up the attempt to surrender in Iraq, and the news cycle will be filled with liberals and Hagelites who want to cut and run.

They likely won’t address what to do about Al Qaeda in Iraq. At best, they’ll suggest we leave enough troops there to fight Al Qaeda. Our military planners have told us that it’s about the same number we have in Iraq now.

None of them will address the repercussions of a precipitous withdrawal for our country, the region, or the world. Nor will most reporters have the guts to press them on this issue.

At best, they may spin out an answer about a regional solution, as Senator Hagel does, but it will be obvious that the time-lines don’t jive. Moving, voting, and speaking to get out now before any other solution is developed is ultimately just wanting to cut and run, but with nuance.

Nor will they be pressed on why they were calling General Petraeus’ plan a failure before he had all his requested troops on the ground, or why they are now calling it a failure, just as his plan if being fully staffed.

Ultimately the position of the politicians will be similar to that of, the leftist organization which possesses an “overwhelming sentiment that it should be for immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.” Interestingly, it’s the same organization which also expresses “solidarity with the resistance movements in those countries and in Palestine and Lebanon.”

Yes, they express solidarity with terrorist organizations. They express solidarity with Al Qaeda. They express solidarity with those who have killed American citizens and target our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. I guess that’s one way to “support the troops, but not the mission.”

Although the politicians haven’t, nor do I believe they would, ever express solidarity with the resistance movements in Iraq and Afghanistan, is the effect on the outcome any different? After all, Al Qaeda targets them, as much as our troops or the Iraqi people, trying to convince them to give up the fight and run from Iraq.

Every time a politician expresses as much, it gives Al Qaeda yet another reason to keep fighting. It gives them yet another reason to detonate an EFP and kill another soldier. It’s yet another step closer to achieving their goal and fulfilling their strategy: don’t defeat the American troops (they know they can’t) but defeat the will of the Americans instead, especially their politicians.

The terrorists know that American news organizations won’t share the news about their atrocities in the context in which those atrocities are committed.

The terrorists know that American’s won’t otherwise get to hear about the success of our troops as described in the rest of Michael Yon’s dispatch, the jubilant people of Baqubah working with coalition forces to drive Al Qaeda from their city, making sure none of their children were ever served up by Al Qaeda again.

The terrorists believe it’s just a matter of time before they succeed in driving America from Iraq.

And they know they should be planning their next move. After all, if they can achieve success against America this time, why shouldn’t they be able to repeat that success?

Won’t these same politicians still lack the resolve to lead America through more tough fights in the future?

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