Thursday, June 08, 2006

Ah Yes: We Have Turned Another Corner--NOT

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is dead and we have given Osama Bin Laden exactly what he wanted.

Someone really needs to tell the American people (and for that matter the Bush Regime) that Osama Bin Laden and Al Quaida proper represent a second generation of Islamic terrorists--and if they thought Bin Laden was a butcher, just wait--there's a third generation of Islamic terrorists and they're even more angry, more violent, and more fanatical than their Koran-thumping elders.

Contrary to popular belief, there have been significant tensions between second and third generation Islamic terrorists, most of which stem from the fact that the second generation disapproves of the third generation's tactics, al-Zarqawi being a case in point. This after all was the blood-thirsty thug who had himself video taped while he was sawing off the heads of innocent civilians. More important, he triggered a sectarian civil war between Iraqi Sunnis and Shias. Indeed, one of his last "accomplishments" was a recorded "sermon" in which he condemned those who had called for an end to the sectarian strife in Iraq, essentially demanding an all out war against Shias, Iranians, and secularists. Killing western "infidels" was one thing, but al-Zarqawi was attacking and killing fellow Muslims, which clearly put him at odds with the likes of Osama Bin Laden and Al Quaida proper.

Translated into the every day vernacular, al- Zarqawi had become a threat and an embarrassment to Al Quaida, which (unlike President Bush) clearly understands that this is a battle for the hearts and loyalties of Muslims across the face of the earth. And now, in a single swoop, two 500 pound bombs, have eliminated one of Osama's political embarrassments.

Now the bad news.

Our own military has determined that less than five percent of the Iraqi insurgency comes from outside of Iraq. That means that at least 95 percent of the insurgents are home grown Iraqis, that al-Zarqawi's death is virtually less than useless. Or at the very best a very small and temporary victory in the overall invasion of Iraq.

On the other hand, al-Zarqawi has already been treated as a fallen martyr, and as we all know, a fallen martyr can be a lot more dangerous than a living opponent. How exactly does one fight the dead? Mark my words. At some point in the near future, you, my dear reader, will click on your favorite news outlet, or open your morning paper, or turn on your beloved boob tube, and learn that al-Zarqawi's martyrdom was a theological shot in the arm, an inspiration for young, hot-headed zealots who want to avenge al-Zarqawi's death and martyr themselves in the process.

Ultimately this is an all too familiar rerun of the day we captured Saddam Hussein. At the time we were told that we had turned another corner--and then the insurgency expanded at a seemingly exponential rate while the pridefully aggressive Bush Regime watched on in bewildered confusion.

Bush will get a temporary boost in the polls, the insurgency will rage mercilessly on, more troops will die, more Iraqi civilians will die, and the Regime in Washington will again be left in a state of dishonor and bewilderment.

How do I know this? I know this because al-Zarqawi is dead and twelve Iraqis have already been killed in a market place bombing. Reports of car bombings are already filtering into our corporate, mainstream press. I know this because even as the violence continues, Bush and the Pentagon are again telling us that we have turned another corner. And anyone with an IQ of at least 60 knows that if you keep turning enough of those right hand corners you will eventually end up at the place from which you started.

For more information please read Journey of the Jihadist: Inside Muslim Militancy by Fawaz A. Gerges. For a brief review of the book please click on Journey of the Jihadist or, better yet, go to Wisconsin Public Radio. This should take you to the menu for May 8, 2006. Once there, click on the 9:00 a.m. hour with Kathleen Dunn. This should take you to a 55 minute interview with the author.

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