< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://davejustus.com/" >

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Signifigant captures in Iraq


U.S.-led coalition forces have captured two alleged leaders of the insurgent group al Qaeda in Iraq, including a man suspected in the death of an Egyptian envoy, an American military spokesman said Thursday. Troops caught Khamis Farhan Khalaf abd al Fahdawi, also known as Abu Seba, on Saturday in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, after intelligence led them there. Abu Seba reportedly is a senior lieutenant for Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and is suspected in this month's attacks on Bahraini and Pakistani diplomats and the killing of Ihab al-Sherif, who came to Iraq to be Egypt's ambassador.
Hopefully, we are not far from capturing Zarqawi either. It seems to me that popular opinion in Iraq has signifgantly shifted against the terrorists or resistance if you prefer that term (in my world, a resistance doesn't blow up kids.) This will have two likely effects. First off, without public support Zarqawi's forces face constantly greater operational challenges. With sufficient money they can probably overcome some of this disadvantage and remain a dangerous threat but it will be consistantly harder, and more expensive to mount operations. At some point it seems likely that their logistical capabilities will be overwhelmed and they will effectively collapse. The second effect, is that a major Arab nation is in the process of rejecting the Jihadist mindset. While certainly other nations, Egypt for example, have confronted and defeated Islamist radicals before, in the past this has always been a battle with the official authorities on one side and the jihadists on the other and the people largely being neutral observers, perhaps with a preference for one side or the other, but not integral to the confrontation. In Iraq, as we see all too often, the people are on the front lines of the battle. For the first time they also stand to benefit by winning this battle, as they are fighting for their own freedom, the right to determine the course of their nation by votes, not violence. For the first time in this conflict, civilians in the Arab world are being forced to choose for themselves what they value, and to evaluate the nature of the Jihadists. They are taking responsibility for themselves and, as bin Laden and Zarqawi both know, this change is absolute poison to the Islamist goals.


Post a Comment

<< Home