The Continued Decline Of The “Insurgency”

The BBC reports on the latest anti-terrorism action in Iraq in which Iraqi special forces destroyed a terrorist training camp near Tikrit and killed 84 foreign terrorists. Major anti-terrorist actions throughout Iraq have had similar results. What is most important about this is not only the damage being done to the enemy, but the fact that the Iraqi military is beginning to lead the charge in these operations. The future of Iraq requires a strong and effective military and police force, and the Iraqis are beginning to become more effective in fighting off the terrorists in their midst.

Austin Bay also has an excellent column on why we’re continuing to win this war despite the negativity of the press:

Collect relatively isolated events in a chronological list and presto: the impression of uninterrupted, widespread violence destroying Iraq. But that was a false impression. Every day, coalition forces were moving thousands of 18-wheelers from Kuwait and Turkey into Iraq, and if the “insurgents” were lucky they blew up one. However, flash the flames of that one rig on CNN and, “Oh my God, America can’t stop these guys,” is the impression left in Boise and Beijing.

Saddam’s thugs and Zarqawi’s klan were actually weak enemies — “brittle” is the word I used to describe them at a senior planning meeting. Their local power was based on intimidation — killing by car bomb, murdering in the street. Their strategic power was based solely on selling the false impression of nationwide quagmire — selling post-Saddam Iraq as a dysfunctional failed-state, rather than an emerging democracy.

The insurgency never represented the Iraqi people any more than the Mafia or the Crips represent the American people. The “insurgency” was a combination of Ba’athist dead-enders, foreign jihadis brought in by al-Qaeda and other groups, and common thugs and criminals. The moment that they begin indescriminately killing Iraqis it became quite clear to everyone but the media that the idea that this was a popular uprising was simply untrue. A popular uprising doesn’t involve the indescriminate murder of innocents. Michael Moore’s disgusting argument that the terrorists in Iraq were “Minutemen” could not have been more odious or more wrong – Minutemen didn’t go around beheading civilian aid workers.

While the Americans and other members of the coalition were trying to provide basic services like electricity and water, the terrorists were blowing them up. When the Iraqis were trying to reach for self-sufficiency, the terrorists were trying to jam them down to the 14th Century. It doesn’t take much of an understanding of human nature to understand that isn’t the way one goes about winning “hearts and minds.”

What is shameful is the way in which the media was complicit in following the story exactly the way the terrorists hoped. The terrorists wanted to create the perception that Iraq was a “quagmire.” They were playing by the General Giap rules that had pushed the United States out of Vietnam not due to military defeat but do to defeat in the press. From their hotel rooms in the Green Zone, often using their former Ba’athist minders as “guides”, the media got exactly the story they wanted. The average Iraqi was lumped right in with the terrorist without distinction. The media sold the idea that Iraq was a living nightmare frought with ethnic tensions that would explode at any point.

Based on the majority of the reporting that has come out of Iraq in the past two years, one would almost think that the media wanted the coalition to lose. (With some members of the European press it was obvious that they did.) The majority of stories were based upon the same shared idée fixé — Iraq is a quagmire, and the facts be damned. Every car bombing was precisely timed to cement that assumption in the world press. The terrorists knew they couldn’t win militarily, so they thought they could use the press as a weapon. It is quite fortunate that the Iraqi people didn’t play along.

The violence in Iraq has been slowly tapering down as al-Qaeda realizes that Iraq is now a lost cause for them. The seeds of democracy have begun to bloom, and once that happens the cause of terrorism — such as it is — becomes irretrievably lost.

One thought on “The Continued Decline Of The “Insurgency”

  1. Pingback: Mark A. Kilmer

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