so terrorist attacks of all kinds are as normal in Iraq as thunderstorms are in Austrian summers. So reading this I was kinda startled:
Yaman Mukhaddab, a popular contributor to al-Hesbah (the most exclusive Jihadi forum), wrote an essay on July 21 in which he expressed alarm at the low morale and pessimism of some of his fellow forum members on account of al-Qaeda setbacks in Iraq.
One brother, he notes, said that the jihad in Iraq is ending like the jihad in Algeria (badly).
Another brother criticized Mukhaddab for being optimistic about Iraq.
A third said the situation is out of control and the outcome is already known.
Mukhaddab responds that such pessimism is unwarranted. As scripture says, victory will come after severe testing. And things can turn around at any time. If AQ is able to strike the U.S. or if the U.S. strikes Iran, the mujahids in Iraq will benefit greatly (he doesn’t explain why).
Mukhaddab ends by reminding his readers that there was a similar level of despondency after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan but things turned out well in the end.
Despite his optimism, the fact that Mukhaddab would admit that other Jihadis on al-Hesbah–where the most influential pundits hold court–are souring on Iraq means that al-Qaeda is truly almost done there and that foreign fighters will be looking for greener pastures.
[also see Arabic original text: 7-21-08-ekhlaas-yaman-mukhaddab-criticizes-pessimism-about-iraq]
Even more just a couple of posts above the same author added:
[…] the Washington Post gives us further evidence that Iraq is a sinking ship for al-Qaeda and Afghanistan is the lifeboat, at least for the senior leadership. Amit Paley has written a well-sourced articleon the departure of Abu Ayyub al-Masri (aka Abu Hamza al-Muhajer), the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq, for Afghanistan. […]
I mean I would wish this to the people of Iraq who have suffered so much because of all the attacks and the US’ response and I’d also wish this to the families of and US American soldiers who are caught in that hell of a place called “Iraq” that used to be a 1001 nights paradise back then.
A failing of al Quaida terrorism in Iraq could (!) mean there would finally be hope for peace and Iraqis returning to some kind of a normal life where the US American troops with their guns and strange culture wouldn’t be needed anymore and could finally leave. And of course the thousands of Iraqi refugees in Syrian and Jordanian exile could finally return. A scenario which has seemed to be nearly impossible lately. Who knows what hope Iraq finding its way back to normality could cast even outside Iraq? Would people get the message that “Jihad” isn’t the sole answer?
Yet what does it mean for Afghanistan? Do the allied troops stationed there have a change to stand enforced Taliban / al Quaida on the long run if the emphasis of al Quaida operations was moved to Afghanistan? And is the country just a couple of years after the war and with half of it still in Taliban hands strong enough to preserve the freedom it built up in the northern cities in that scenario? I hope so … really do.