Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Yet another al Qaeda leader bites the dust: well, maybe

Let's see, what's leading today's news?

4th anniversary of Mission Accomplished? Nope.

US military death toll in Iraq in April tops 100 marking the deadliest Friedman Unit of this war? Nu-huh.

Figures for Iraqi civilian casualties? Are you kidding?

Terror attacks up by 29%? Nah, that's so two days ago.

In a piece of news from Iraq ideally timed, it would seem, to bolster BushCorp's claims of success in Iraq as he sets himself to veto a funding resolution which sets benchmarks for withdrawal from Iraq, the Iraqi "government" claims that the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq has been killed.

Clearly the big news of the day. So that means we can start bringing our troops home even sooner now this devilish character has been laid to dust?

Not so much.

First of all he may not be actually dead. As the AP story points out such claims in the past have been, as they so delicately inform us, "inaccurate".

Secondly, al Qaeda has found such fertile ground in an Iraq seething in the chaos of the US invasion that the death of any individual is irrelevant sez

Peter R. Neumann, head of the Defence Studies Department at King's College London.

``Al-Qaeda in Iraq has established itself to such a degree it doesn't need one person alone,'' Neumann said in a telephone interview. ``Someone else will take over. They have semiautonomous factions and it will not make a big difference to them.''

And finally al-Masri's death, even if it did happen, was not the result of US or Iraqi government activity, but the result of internecine squabbling between the various Sunni militias, and perhaps even a struggle within al Qaeda itself which, apparently adopts the Klingon model for advancement: if you can kill your superior you can take his place.

Which last makes me wonder if it's only the US' presence that keeps these people from killing each other as they focus on their greater enemy: us. Note that this was a fight between Sunni factions, not the typical Sunni/Shia fighting more typical of this civil war.

Wouldn't it then be best for us then to get out of the way and let them get on with it?

Without the US as a common enemy doesn't it make sense that the Iraqi Sunnis would then go after the other foreigners in their midst, al Qaeda?

Why yes, I think it does.

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