Al Qaeda out of Iraq
In a joint effort between the Iraqis and the Americans al Qaeda in Iraq has lost its last stronghold in the city of Mosul. Here, from the July 6th Edition of the (London) Times:
American and Iraqi forces are driving Al-Qaeda in Iraq out of its last redoubt in the north of the country in the culmination of one of the most spectacular victories of the war on terror.
After being forced from its strongholds in the west and centre of Iraq in the past two years, Al-Qaeda’s dwindling band of fighters has made a defiant “last stand” in the northern city of Mosul.
A huge operation to crush the 1,200 fighters who remained from a terrorist force once estimated at more than 12,000 began on May 10.
Operation Lion’s Roar, in which the Iraqi army combined forces with the Americans’ 3rd Armoured Cavalry Regiment, has already resulted in the death of Abu Khalaf, the Al-Qaeda leader, and the capture of more than 1,000 suspects.
The group has been reduced to hit-and-run attacks, including one that killed two off-duty policemen yesterday, and sporadic bombings aimed at killing large numbers of officials and civilians.
And in the Baghdad region the Iraqis have cracked down on the Shi’ites:
Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq’s prime minister, who has also led a crackdown on the Shi’ite Mahdi Army in Basra and Baghdad in recent months, claimed yesterday that his government had “defeated” terrorism.
“They were intending to besiege Baghdad and control it,” Maliki said. “But thanks to the will of the tribes, security forces, army and all Iraqis, we defeated them.”
The Iraq victory deniers in the comment section for this story predictably went to one of their favorite talking points: “al Qaeda wasn’t in Iraq before the war.”
Alright, let’s just accept this premise (even though it woefully misrepresents the facts). So what?
Al Qaeda is, I mean, was in Iraq. They were there because they knew that a failed Iraq meant a victory for them. In fact, I think it is safe to say that al Qaeda put most of their marbles into working towards a failed Iraq.
Now they’re almost completely wiped out. Gone.
And this brings me to an extremely important point. Those who have lead the vanguard against the War in Iraq hate America and wants Iraq to fail. They will never acquiesce the fact that things are improving there by always fighting old and tired battles. These men and women would rather have an Iraq ruled by a man who has tried to kill a president, taken over a neighboring country, fought a war with another, supported terrorists with money, and many, many more heinous things. They would rather have Saddam Hussein in power than a democracy that is trying its hardest to make things work.
The defeat of al Qaeda and other extremist elements in Iraq is undeniably a good thing for Iraq and its supporters. It just makes you wonder who’s side these people who continuously undermine the war effort in Iraq are really on. I’ve made up my mind, have you? BigT