From Hugh Hewitt’s interview with General Petraeus, yesterday:
Iraq is not a breeding ground for terrorists, but a burying ground. General Petraeus, from my interview with him this morning:[A]s you know, we try to avoid body counting, but inevitably, obviously, it is something we keep track of, because we’re trying to have some sense of the damage we are doing to al Qaeda-Iraq, its affiliates, other Sunni insurgent groups, and also certainly to the Shia militia extremist elements. And the answer to that in a general sense is that they are losing many, many hundreds of their, of these different elements each month, certainly since the onset of the surge.
Even though the MSM likes to highlight every U.S. soldier that dies in Iraq (not to honor the fallen, but to will the American public into defeat), underscore the negative setbacks, and selectively reports on the bad news, we are not "losing"; unless it’s in our own fevered minds. Perception and perspective is everything.
In wars, people die. Good people. Our people.
We are in a war with Al Qaeda. And Islamic hirabahists.
In Iraq. And around the world, yes; but Iraq is the central front in a broader war, where we occupy center-stage with the enemies of civilization. Will America fold like a paper tiger? Or will America have the intestinal fortitude it takes to sustain losses in order to win wars? The world is watching.
At first, he said, they would only target Shia, but over time the new al Qaeda directed attacks against Sunni, and then anyone who thought differently. The official reported that on a couple of occasions in Baqubah, al Qaeda invited to lunch families they wanted to convert to their way of thinking. In each instance, the family had a boy, he said, who was about 11 years old. As LT David Wallach interpreted the man’s words, I saw Wallach go blank and silent. He stopped interpreting for a moment. I asked Wallach, “What did he say?” Wallach said that at these luncheons, the families were sat down to eat. And then their boy was brought in with his mouth stuffed. The boy had been baked. Al Qaeda served the boy to his family.
Iraqis love their children.
Over here, the fact of al Qaeda murdering children is just that: it’s a fact. How they chose to commit the murders is a variable that changes from incident to incident. I’ve written often about how Iraqis, as a rule, love and greatly value their children . This makes the children especially vulnerable as targets for terrorists. That is a brutal fact.Al Qaeda drinks and uses drugs here. This is not propaganda. This is not even news, it’s a fact that I wrote about back in 2005.
Religious extremism- that has no equal in any other major modern religions- has made human beings into human aberrations. Even Iraqis once allied to them are seeing who the real killers of Muslims and Iraqis are. And it’s not us.
Al Qaeda’s ultimate failure in much of Anbar and now in parts of Diyala relates back to one of the pillars of success—or failure—in this war: Values. People who understand how to tamp down this war realize the critical pillar that values can play into success or failure in counterinsurgency, or COIN.
Abu Ali said that on 1 April 2007, he and his people attacked al Qaeda in Buhriz for their crimes against Islam. He also said something that many Muslims have said to me: al Qaeda are not Muslims. (Both Sunni and Shia have said nearly the exact same words, at times on video.) Abu Ali said they fought hard against al Qaeda, and on 10 April, they asked the Americans to join the attack. It worked.
Before the tape was running, I asked Abu Ali why he and the 1920s turned against al Qaeda in Buhriz. Speaking through LT David Wallach, a native Arabic speaker, Abu Ali said that “al Qaeda is an abomination of Islam: cutting off heads, stealing people’s money, kidnapping . . . every type of torture they have done.” The recent stories of baked children came to mind. I asked if Abu Ali had heard about children being baked. Ali said no, he had not heard such a story, but he would not be surprised if it were true because al Qaeda had done so many crimes, such as cutting off a man’s head, putting it up on a stick and parading it around town.
In the aftermath of major combat in Operation Arrowhead Ripper,
The big news on the streets today is that the people of Baqubah are generally ecstatic, although many hold in reserve a serious concern that we will abandon them again [*cough*Harry Reid whiteflag RepublicansDemocrat surrendermonkeys *cough*– ws]. For many Iraqis, we have morphed from being invaders to occupiers to members of a tribe. I call it the “al Ameriki tribe,” or “tribe America.”
Does any American deny that we are fighting evil in Iraq? Is this the fight that we want to "cut and run" from, with our tail hanging between our legs?
We need to "stay the course" in Iraq not only for America’s security- the only reason America’s military should ever be used- but because it’s the right, and noble thing to do. The only course to take. All options should remain on the table, save that which advocates for defeat and retreat.
Al Qaeda is losing in Iraq. Unless we let them win. If the battle for Iraq is lost, it will be lost back here in the States. Not on the battlefield of Iraq. Our brave military is doing its part with distinction and honor on the battlefront. Are we doing our part, back here at home?
Presidents don’t win or lose wars. Neither does the military. Nations win or lose wars. So, it begs the question: Do we win….or lose?
A former fetus, the “wordsmith from nantucket” was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968. Adopted at birth, wordsmith grew up a military brat. He achieved his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (graduating in the top 97% of his class), where he also competed rings for the UCLA mens gymnastics team. The events of 9/11 woke him from his political slumber and malaise. Currently a personal trainer and gymnastics coach.
The wordsmith has never been to Nantucket.