Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

According to CNN, we've managed to intercept a letter purportedly intended for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Read the whole thing, and let it sink in.

Now, some points to ponder:

First, is this genuine? It seems reasonable that it would be. It's dangerous to fake something like this. When it comes out (and it's always when, not if), it's like handing ammunition to your enemy. Rather like, oh, those bogus National Guard memos from the campaign last year. It's only out of the kindness of his heart that Kerry hasn't put out a hit on the people responsible for that goat-rope. No, it's probably genuine. We snagged his laptop not too long ago, and have his entire electronic rolodex. We know who he's been making contact with lately, and have been rolling them up as fast as we can. This letter is fallout from that seizure.

Second, there's evidence of a bit of blowback for Cap'n Z for having decamped so expeditiously from Fallujah. This sort of thing never plays well. To this day, there are people who refer to General MacArthur as "Dugout Doug" for having bailed out of the Phillippines. He managed to salvage his reputation -- victory covers a multitude of sins. However, when all you can see of your Fearless Leaders are butts and heels, even fanatics can hit a bit of a slump. One of the functions of leadership is rallying the troops, and it's rarely so important as when your side is suffering a reversal of fortunes. This letter seems to indicate that al-Qaeda in Iraq is falling short on leadership.

Third, despite the continued bombings and violence, it's clear who has the momentum. And it's not Zarqawi. In any struggle, you can generally tell who has the momentum. They're the ones who are acting. Mind you, the terrorists had the initiative at one point, due to the fact that the post-invasion planning was so lackadaisical. The Coalition forces were reacting to the insurgency, not the other way around. They moved around the country at will, and had many safe areas. This included entire cities. We managed to get our act together, though, and things began to shift in Summer 2004. The momentum shifted decisively in Fallujah, during November 2004. That was a key tipping point, because it set up the environment that was necessary for the January elections to succeed. Having seized the momentum, we're keeping it. The new Iraq is taking firmer and firmer shape all the time, with new milestones seen almost daily. Today, for instance, we saw the installation of the new cabinet. With each passing day, the government gains power and legitimacy, while the terrorists gain more and more enemies. And their response? More bombings, more violence.

Didn't someone say once that a good definition for insanity was doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result?

All this adds up to an insurgency that's on its desperate last legs. And since the ex-Baathists threw in with Zarqawi, this might well pertain to them, as well.

There will probably be low-level violence for years. But a point will come when terrorist action becomes indistinguishable from garden-variety criminality. And I don't expect to have to wait all that long for that.

No, not all that long at all.

Especially with the opposition's leaders cowering under bridges, for fear of being seen in clear daylight.

No comments: