Symptoms of Victory
I think we're making progress in the War on Terror -- both in Iraq and in the rest of the world. Here is my evidence for tonight.
There are signs that the global Islamic jihad movement is splitting apart, in what would be a tremendous achievement for American strategy. The center of the action is in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the very territory which is thought to harbor Usama, and from which Al Qaeda was able to launch 9/11. Capitalizing on existing splits, a trap was set and closed, and the benefits have only begun to be evident.
There were already signs of a split, but recent events strengthen that trend. In March and again in May of this year I reviewed relevant South Asian media reporting to predict that the global Islamic jihad movement was cracking up. That theory focused on a split between the leadership of al Qaeda and the jihad groups that secure them in Pakistan such as the Taliban.
He is probably the most responsible for turning the Taliban -- which he had a significant hand in creating -- against al Qaeda. Which means, believe it or not, on some level he may be working with the Pakistani government and possibly the US government, since he is purely an opportunist. No doubt he will not advertise that fact to his jihadists buddies.
This cannot be overstated: it is the most crucial development since the capture of Khalid Sheik Mohammed. Cutting al Qaeda's support in Pakistan has been a massive coup, of which our media has no clue of right now. It is the exact sort of thing that the Democrats and their media accomplices always complain that we are not doing and then completely ignore when we do it.
Next up, casualties in Iraq have been falling sharply lately -- both civilian and military. The media is doing their best to ignore it, Senator Clinton is doing her best to deny it, but it's happening.
Engram, at the Back Talk blog, has been crunching the numbers for the past week or more.
As you can see, deaths caused by Shiite militias in Baghdad dropped instantaneously when the troop surge began to unfold. This occurred because Muqtada al Sadr cooperated with US efforts by pulling his fighters off the streets as the new troops began to arrive. Up until that time, his Mahdi Army was eradicating Sunni males in an effort to quash al Qaeda suicide bombings against Shiite civilians. Note that there were other deaths occurring in Baghdad over this period, but this chart shows the number attributable just to Shiite death squads.
The next amazing chart shows the number of people killed by suicide bombers in Iraq. The IBC database has a field that describes "weapons," and the first word of the weapons description is almost always "suicide" when a suicide bomber is involved. I used that fact to identify casualties due to suicide bombers. If you don't know who the suicide bombers of Iraq are, then you don't much about this conflict (and you should not have strong opinions about the war). The suicide bombers are almost all foreigners that al Qaeda brings into Iraq (mostly through Syria) to indiscriminately slaughter Shiite civilians in an effort to incite civil war (read more about them here). They are not participants in that civil war, contrary to what clueless reporters would have you believe when they preposterously refer to these wretched terrorists as "insurgents."
As you can see from this chart, the suicide bombing campaign reached a peak in August, just before General Petraeus testified before Congress. It was a desperate ploy, and I say so because the victims were among the widely despised Yazidis. Killing 500 Yazidis did nothing to advance al Qaeda's goal of goading the Shiite militias back into the fight. All it did was provide fodder for the anti-Petraeus elements in America. They needed those casualties in order to have any hope of convincing Americans that the troop surge was a failure. But it did not work. And I know what this chart is going to look like when IBC updates its database to include results from September (because ICCC has recorded all known suicide bombings for that month already). It is going to look something like this:
Hit the link to view the astounding charts. I'm very much encouraged by this news.
Finally, we've been killing off a lot of the top leaders of Al Qaeda in Iraq. Some of our recent kills are shedding light on who, exactly, is leading the group.
In a press conference today, Major General Kevin Bergner, the spokesman for Multinational Forces Iraq, provided further evidence of al Qaeda in Iraq's foreign influence. Bergner highlighted the killing "Muthanna," al Qaeda's the emir of the Iraq/Syrian border. "During this operation, we also captured multiple documents and electronic files that provided insight into al Qaeda's foreign terrorist operations, not only in Iraq but throughout the region," Bergner said. "They detail the larger al-Qaeda effort to organize, coordinate, and transport foreign terrorists into Iraq and other places."
"Muthanna was the emir of Iraq and Syrian border area and he was a key facility of the movement of foreign terrorists once they crossed into Iraq from Syria," Bergner said. "He worked closely with Syrian-based al Qaeda foreign terrorist facilitators."
Bergner said several documents were found in Muthanna's custody, including a list of 500 al Qaeda fighters from "a range of foreign countries that included Libya, Morocco, Syria, Algeria, Oman, Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom."
Muthanna's capture in early September is but one of 29 al Qaeda high value targets killed or detained by Task Force 88, Multinational Forces Iraq's hunter-killer teams assigned to target senior al Qaeda leaders and operatives. Five al Qaeda operatives have been killed and 24 captured. 5 Emirs at the city level or higher in the AQI leadership structure. 9 geographical or functional cell leaders. * 11 facilitators who supported foreign terrorist and weapons movements.
Four of the senior al Qaeda leaders killed during the month of September include: Abu Usama al Tunisi: The Tunisian born leader who is believed to be the successor to Abu Ayyub al Masri. Yaqub al Masri: The Egyptian-born leader who was in the inner circle with Zarqawi and then also in the inner circle of Abu Ayyub al Masri. He was a close associate of Ayman al Zawahiri. Muhammad al Afari: The Emir of Sinjar, who led the barbaric bombings of the Yazidis in northern Iraq. Abu Taghrid: The Emir of the Rusafa car bomb network.
Have no doubt about it, we are making progress.