Information operations

Baghdad Ten Years Ago: 25 Feb 07


WEEK 15 – 25 Feb 07: I’m a little late because I was on the road and wanted to post the Iraqi cartoon which I couldn’t access.  It depicts the last Al Qaeda terrorist wearing a bomb vest chasing down the last Iraqi to kill ironically leaving the Caliphate without any citizens.  Not much has changed in the last decade.  The wanton violence remains a problem.

Straight Out of Hell

“One Man’s Terrorist is Another Man’s Freedom Fighter” – Anonymous

What kind of Freedom Fighter ties an old man’s hands to a steering wheel and forces the old man to drive a truck laden with explosives into a crowded market?  Whose Freedom Fighter detonates the explosives on this truck killing Sunni, Shia, and Kurd, men, women, and children?  Which Freedom Fighter organization blows up chlorine gas tanks to kill Muslim women and children?  Al Qaeda.  Mujihadeen Shura Council.

cartoon16

How can any Iraqi back up these so called Freedom Fighters, even with just words, and think that they are doing something good for Iraq?  None of the want-to-be legitimate Iraqis can do this.  That is why Vice President Tariq Hashimi and Al Zawraa owner slash exiled Council of Representatives member Misha’an Jubouri have denounced Al Qaeda, the Islamic Army of Iraq and even the Mujihadeen Shura Council.  Sorry, this is not enough.

For every time a Sunni leader denounces AQ and an affiliated movement, the key Sunni leaders denigrate the Government of Iraq and the Baghdad Security Plan three times.  According to the Sunni leadership, everybody is wrong but them.  They cannot afford to continue to talk this political line much longer.  Despite their claims, the Baghdad Security Plan is working. Violence is down even though Al Qaeda continues its car bombings.  (Looking back, Al Qaeda’s attacks would increase for the next three months yet the plan was working).

The Sunni dilemma is that Jaysh al Mahdi (JAM) – Moqtada Al Sadr’s Shia militia – has either gone to ground or left town and this is the primary reason violence is down against Sunni’s and Coalition Forces.  JAM members are no angels.  To paraphrase the commander, these guys are straight out of Hell and have a thirst for blood like nothing I have ever seen.  This applies to JAM and Al Qaeda.  For whatever reasons, fear, intimidation, self-survival or guidance from on high, JAM’s cease fire supports the Baghdad Security Plan.

The Sunni have played this ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ game with Al Qaeda for too long.  Al Qaeda has stirred a Civil War that has left the Sunni’s on their heels and on the verge of obsolescence in Baghdad.  Many weeks ago, I inferred that the Iraqis always seem to rescue themselves from the brink.  The Baghdad Security Plan can go a long way towards successful retreat from that brink, but not if the Sunni don’t completely absolve themselves of Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda affiliates while also supporting the government’s efforts to provide security.

Some Sunnis in the government are taking action to support the plan.  The key leaders like Mr. Hashimi and Council of Representatives Speaker Mahmoud Mashadani need to provide the positive message to support the plan.  One day, I see them on television touting the importance of supporting the plan, but as soon as the plan initiates, they start criticizing the effort.

Yes, this is politics, but at some point the constant whining has to stop.  This week, for instance, a Sunni woman claimed to be raped by Iraqi Security Forces.  I have seen and heard so much complaining and chicanery, I thought there was a greater than fifty-fifty chance she was threatened or paid to say it just to distract attention.  Why not?  The instinctive western reaction is to defend the rape victim and declare outrage.  The tactic worked fairly well, but I think it is the proverbial boy who cried wolf.  We don’t yet know if the claim may be valid and that is a shame (the ensuing medical report did not conclude a rape occurred).  We know, though, the real wolves are Al Qaeda and its affiliates and parts of Jaysh al Mahdi.

This brings us back to the original questions.  What kind of Freedom Fighter blows up a bomb at the entrance to a women’s health clinic?  Whose Freedom Fighter rapes women in front of their families?  Which Freedom Fighter binds their victims’ hands, drills the victims’ knee-caps, then shoots them in the head?  That is easy.  These kinds of fighters are terrorists straight out of Hell.

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