A high-stakes game, al-Zarqawi gambled the farm. Unable to meet the Marines in open conflict, increasingly harried and stretched, the Jihadis turned on the only target they could tackle with any real success: they declared war on the Iraqi people.With this latest Iraqi election result, the victory over tyranny and terror in Iraq is firming by the day. So, I’ll go out on a limb here. I predict that the insurgency will taper off significantly from here on in. That’s because Al Qaeda, al-Zarqawi, and the ex-Saddamites, have lost in Iraq. The fact is, they lost on November 3, 2004. With the recent correspondence to al-Zarqawi from Al Qaeda’s number two man, al-Zawahiri, it’s clear they are begining to realise it.
The strategy was an obvious one. By upping the hardship suffered by the people themselves, they knew they could rely on the Western media (the Vietnam example no doubt uppermost in their minds) to do exactly as they did: harangue us with images, both real and verbal, of how badly everything was going, how wrong it all was, and how unwelcome the coalition's efforts truly were. The idea, of course, was to see GWB hurled out of office, the obvious result being a steady weakening of US resolve until they finally withdrew altogether. As was widely predicted, this would have been a tremendous win for the terrorists.
However, al-Zarqawi's gamble started coming badly unstuck the moment GWB was re-elected POTUS. And what made his gamble all the more heady was that the Iraqi people themselves were beginning to realise that his real war, the one of bullets, knives, bombs and blood, was actually with them, not the coalition military.
With the US election result, Zarqawi's bid for the hearts and minds of the West had failed where it counted. However, in their desperate bid to win this all-important Western campaign, he and his crew had, as a direct consequence, already comprehensively lost the hearts and minds campaign where, given the US election result, it now counted the most: on the ground in Iraq.
Game: Western coalition.
My sincere and heartfelt thanks are two-fold:
Firstly, to the American Government, for having the resolve and the courage to step up to a bitter plate. In the face of massive opposition, external and internal, and at tremendous risk to itself, it saw what needed to be done and got on with the job.
Secondly, to the American people, who had the bravery to face the fact that a battle was underway, and had the courage and wit to understand it is one we cannot afford to lose. In the face of a relentless internal propaganda effort that bordered on irresistible, they did not flinch. Because they understood: to have done so would have sent a terminal message to those who would destroy us. The message is sent: the West still has the will to fight when it must. This will indeed make us safer. Those who have already said so were absolutely right.
This war is by no means over. This battle is the first of many. However, I say thank you for doing what had to be done, at enormous cost to yourselves, your nation.
Thank you for once again being there when it mattered most.