Monday, February 09, 2004

Iraq and Al Qaeda, Perfect Together

Both the NY Times and the WaPo report that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is plotting more evil. Mr. Zarqawi's name should be familiar: he's a Jordanian long under scrutiny for ties to Al Qaeda, for being the conduit between Saddam and Al Qaeda and under indictment in Jordan for assassinating an American USAID diplomat. According to the Post, his latest plan:
was outlined in a 17-page letter that appealed to al Qaeda leaders outside Iraq for help in waging a campaign of violence meant to destabilize the country. The document was on a computer disk that was found in a raid on a terrorist safe house in Baghdad about a month ago, officials said.

Intelligence analysts who have looked at the document believe that stage one of the plan was to attack Shiite Muslims to further divide them from the Sunni Muslims who have traditionally ruled Iraq. Shiites, who make up about 60 percent of Iraq's population, were brutally suppressed under the three-decade rule of former president Saddam Hussein. Bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network is also led by Sunni Muslims.
The Times explains that inciting civil war in Iraq would
rally the Sunni Arabs to the religious extremists. . . [The memo] says a war against the Shiites must start soon--at "zero hour"--before the Americans hand over sovereignty to the Iraqis. . ., scheduled for the end of June.
The good news is the memo's assessment of the coalition efforts:
[E]xtremists 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. . .

[T]he writer details the difficulties that he and his comrades have been experiencing, both in combating American forces and in enlisting supporters. [Even] after significant losses, he writes, "America, however, has no intention of leaving, no matter how many wounded nor how bloody it becomes. . . 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!"
Translation: we're winning.

Let me sum up here. The mainstream media reports: 1) a terrorist already suspected of being a crucial link between Saddam's Iraq and Bin Laden is operating within Iraq against coalition forces; 2) that terrorist seeks Al Qaeda assistance in Muslim-against-Muslim violence in Iraq; 3) the aim of such a civil war is to kill more coalition forces--especially Americans--in Iraq; and 4) the object of the plan is to eject the coalition and re-establish a Sunni dictatorship in Iraq. Yes, it's a bit "Rube Goldberg." But very cold-bloodedness of it evokes the fantastic schemes of Hitler and Stalin--which, however crazy, were quite real to 60 million victims.

Three questions: First, do you still believe Al Qaeda had no connection with Iraq? Second, even if you did, now that the relationship between Al Qaeda and Iraqi terrorists is proven, shouldn't the coalition continue its Iraqi mission, particularly given the apparent initial success? And finally, how can anyone--other than Dean or Kucinich fans--answer "no" to question two?

Take your time answering: the exam's not 'till November.


The CPA provides an English translation of the memo.

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