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Iraq: A leading figure in the war on terror lectures his troops on avoiding the mistakes and brutality that alienate the Iraqi people. No, it's not Murtha lecturing Petraeus. It's Osama bin Laden admitting he's losing.
No one has ever accused bin Laden of being stupid. The architect of 9/11 has seen better days and has admitted as much in a tape advising al-Qaida in Iraq to avoid the "mistakes" that have united the people of Iraq, Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, against him.
"Some of you have been lax in one duty, which is to unite your ranks," Osama advises followers in a tape aired Monday on Al-Jazeera television. "I advise myself, Muslims in general and brothers in al-Qaida everywhere to avoid extremism among men and groups." Bin Laden, the voice of moderation? Who'da thunk it?
He sees, as we have seen, the uniting of Sunnis and Shiites against the mindless barbarism of al-Qaida in Iraq in the days when Anbar province was considered lost. That nihilistic violence, coupled with an American surge where U.S. and Iraqi troops came and this time stayed, have turned the tide in our favor.
A year ago, al-Qaida in Iraq had declared Baqouba the capital of the Islamic State in Iraq, and claimed to control both Anbar and Diyala. As recently as Jan. 30, CNN's Michael Ware, in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, described Ramadi, Anbar's capital, as "the true al-Qaida national headquarters."
That was then. This is now. Anbar was most recently the site of a press conference by the president of the United States.
Suicide bombings have been cut in half since January, and AQI's capabilities have been "degraded" 60% to 70%, reckons Gen. Raymond Odierno, the second-ranking U.S. commander in Iraq. Civilian deaths, excluding natural causes, have plunged 45% in Iraq since December, 70% in Baghdad.
Testifying before Congress, Ambassador Ryan Crocker noted that local tribes in Anbar and elsewhere were rejecting AQI's methods and message, which included "beheading school children or cutting off people's fingers for smoking."
U.S. forces have captured the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, killed or captured almost 100 other terrorist leaders, and killed or captured some 2,500 AQI fighters over the past nine months.
One of those leaders, Abu Osama al-Tunisi, was once a key member of AQI's rapidly dwindling inner circle. Al-Tunisi was responsible for bringing foreign al-Qaida recruits to Iraq and placing them in operational cells. That effort was dealt a significant blow when "Muthanna," the AQI emir for the Iraq-Syria border region, was killed in early September.
Al-Tunisi was involved in a meeting with two al-Qaida operatives in Musayyib, a town about 40 miles south of Baghdad, on Sept. 25, when a motion to adjourn was made and seconded by an American F-16. Later retrieved from the rubble was a copy of a letter that Al-Tunisi had written to al-Qaida chieftains in which he said, "We are desperate for your help."
Sorry, but help is not on the way. We are winning. They are losing. Not even a cut-and-run Democratic Congress or biased and distorted media accounts can help anymore. Al-Qaida has made many mistakes, but its first and greatest was underestimating the resolve of one George W. Bush.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Plans to kick Western tuckas and establish the United Islamic Caliphate of The World are sucking wind and none other than cave fearless leader Osama bin Laden is now lecturing the Orc troops to stop eating their own. The voice of Mr. Kill them all and Let God sort them out is now preaching moderation in extremism. The IBD has the choice must read editorial.