September 5, 2005

"I wish there was a country called al-Qaedia that we could have invaded, but there wasn't."

Dennis Miller likes to say. But now isn't there a city called al-Qaedia?

UPDATE: Just so I don't get any more messages trying to correct my "typo," please try to understand Dennis Miller's joke. No wonder he went off the air! I think it's funny...


Sloanasaurus said...

Al Queda dreams to defeat the U.S. as they did the Russians in Afghanistan. The Russian defeat was the beginning of the rise of Al Queda. The IRaq war is the beginning of the end.

If Al Queda loses in Iraq, the movement dies. They will have no recent victory to point to showing that their way can be successful.

I'm sorry, but a successful suicide bombing is not a victory. It is only something that can assist in leading to victory (such as the Spanish Election, which remains (since the Russian defeat) the only victory for Al Queda.

Events like Qaim show weakness in the terrorists more than anything else. Everyone knows that Al Queda is successful in Qaim for only the moment because no troops are there. As soon as the troops arrive it is certain that the terrorists will not fight (unlike in Afghanistan where they achieved tactical victories).

A victory for Al Queda would be for America to abandon Iraq (which a lot of people on this board support).

RiverRat said...

Later today you will hear these attacks called the Al Qaeda "Tet Offensive" The LSM will come gravely in perfect Walter Chronkite mode announcing; The War is Lost! The War is Lost!

Any one with a brain to can see this is timed to break the will of America as it suffers the agony of a disaster being (or that will be) proclaimed the result of: "Bush Lied, New Orleans Died"

The Left and, more importantly, the LSM will be screaming from every front page and every television screen; "Bring our troops home to protect the poor".

Mark my words, it will be the beginning of the end of our "Grand Experiment" if, "we the people (The Greys and the Sheepdogs)" let the Pinks be stampeded by the Wolves and their own fears.

Paul said...

Well, if I were in charge of the military in Iraq, I wouldn't given much (any) credence to the Washington Post.
It may very well be true, or partly true, but letting that paper plan my operations, or hype me into what they think should be done, is suicidal for my career and perhaps, for my troops.
They are worthless and have demonstrated themselves more interested in defeating President Bush than Al-Qaedia.
I guess I'd have to check the information as coming from a hostile source.
Is there any definitive spelling of Al-Qaedia?

Too Many Jims said...

I don't support abadoning Iraq, but if Qaim shows weakness in the terrorists because they will leave when American forces get around to it, it also shows coalition weakness. When the terrorists leave Qaim, as they undoubtedly will when (or before) they are faced with coalition forces, they will find another city in that region which the coalition forces do not have enough forces to secure.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm not an expert in military operations, but isn't there away to attack the city so that they don't have time to escape?

Sloanasaurus said...

"....they will find another city in that region which the coalition forces do not have enough forces to secure....."

Maybe, but time seems to be running against the terrorists. The Iraqi Army continues to grow, while the terrorist army does not. The terrorists are not occupying towns to provide food and medicine to the locals. They are terrorizing the locals. Eventually, people will start to stand up for themselves also.

It is starting to become clear that there will be no victory in Iraq as there was in Afghanistan for Osama's group. Afghanistan attracted some 100,000 Jihadi fighters from all over the arab world. You need victories to keep the taps of volunteers flowing. The terrorists have no victories.

The election showed that the Iraqi government has popular support. The terrorists are doomed. The defeat in Iraq for the terrorists will be an end to the jihadi movement. They will never recover from this defeat.

Too Many Jims said...


I am no military expert either but i think the reasons the military can't just take the city before the insurgents slip away are much the same as were faced in Fallujah. Namely, the high number of civilian casualties that would occur. I would note that the insurgents have exerted some level of control over the city since at least April.


I hope you are right, but I a not sure I share your certainty that a defeat in Iraq will mean a defeat of jihadism.

Al Maviva said...

I don’t know if this is what is happening in Qaim… but here’s what I would be thinking if I was the U.S. commander. (Caveat: there is nothing unique or new in my thoughts... it's basic tactics 101.)

1) The problem with fighting Al Qaida anywhere, is that they are illegal combatants. They hide in the civilian population and are hard to find when so hiding. Very rarely do they stand up, coalesce in one spot, and allow us to hit them hard. They seem to want to take over a city, lock stock and barrel. Give them this isolated border town. Let them stand up. We will destroy them root and branch if they manage to win the (costly) fight to take the city. This could be a blessing, allowing us to damage their western Iraq base of operations, and giving us an excuse to shut down a route of ingress into Iraq from Syria, a major supply line for AQ in Iraq.

2) A couple Iraqi tribes in a notoriously hard to control border area – neither of them great friends of the U.S. or the distant government in Baghdad - are dukeing it out, one on behalf of AQ, the other on behalf of its own tribal regional interests. While any war is a human tragedy, it doesn’t hurt the long term interest of stability in the region, to have a couple dubiously loyal tribes attritting each other. In the end it will wipe out or weaken the enemies of peace, or it may hone their appetite for peace and the rule of law.

3) If the Iraqi security forces want to step in, let them. They need to continue to build expertise and strength; they will have to know how to deal with this kind of problem (endemic to the remote regions of Iraq) after the U.S. leaves or draws way, way down. If they don’t take care of it, we can do it, albeit at a serious financial cost and non-trivial cost in U.S. soldiers’ lives.

4. We will not allow the AQ to escape into Syria and use that barely controlled frontier as a refuge, with a wink from Assad. We will fight a battle of encirclement, with a line of troops on the west, and push AQ to stand and fight in the town, or to run westward into our line of troops in a hammer & anvil operation. We cannot allow them to fortify the town, however; the battle for Fallujah was costly in part because we allowed the Ba’athists and AQ over a year to build up the defenses there and turn the city into a honeycomb of bunkers and booby-trapped houses. And who knows… maybe the striped pants set can secure some assistance from Assad himself. Although he allows AQ to operate in Syria, the lack of border security and his tenuous grip on his own border towns are troubling to him. But once those negotiations start, we should keep watch over that western escape route with drones, and keep a couple B-52’s orbiting on standby, just in case the negotiations are a bit leaky…