WEEK 19: Al Qaeda terrorists try to block the political process by interfering with voting and attempting assassinations against non-supportive Sunni politicians.
“It is time for those who want to steal the smiles from the Iraqi people and turn its women into mourners to be silenced,”
– Salam al Zuba’i, Deputy Prime Minister and acting Minister of Defense
The waffle iron that is Baghdad is suddenly overheating. This week, Al Qaeda insiders attempted to kill Salam al Zuba’i. Al Qaeda wants Sunni leaders dead as they are now enemies. While many of his Sunni political peers supported Al Qaeda’s existence in Iraq for the past three to four years, Mr. Zuba’i may not be one who was close to Al Qaeda.
Unfortunately, Al Qaeda was much closer to him than he knew. One of his bodyguards committed suicide and killed the Deputy Prime Minister’s sister and several bodyguards. If Mr. Zuba’i recovers, one can only wonder what he will do politically. Will he press ahead with supporting Fardh al Qanoon and Reconciliation? Will he be the same politician that would occasionally side with the Sadrists? Will he be like the other Sunni leaders and retreat to the waffling of simultaneously hammering the government while denouncing violence? Will he leave the country?
I don’t know if it matters. Al Qaeda is so desperate it is attacking the community that supported it. More than thirty killed in Ramadi by a car bomb. Car bomb attacks on Sunnis, Shia and everyone else in a market. Using children to serve as decoy to pass through security and then leaving them in there to die when the car explodes.
Al Qaeda is fighting for its life by trying to destroy the Sunni will and recruiting more fanatics to support its twisted cause. Those who don’t support Al Qaeda realize they will be dead anyway under an Al Qaeda regime. Underneath the modesty of their faith, many Iraqis still want to enjoy the freedom of wearing what they choose, driving what they want and sharing an occasional indulgence. Under Al Qaeda, two things in life are certain: beards for men and beatings for women.
I believe Mr. Zuba’i will hop back in the saddle and support the charge. He cannot go to Syria. He cannot go to Jordan. He knows by leaving his country the country will be lost. He knows by supporting Al Qaeda, he will be dead even if he lives in their Taliban like world. The variable is whether Al Qaeda can get to his family again.
If there is any good part of the attack on Mr. Zuba’i, it may be Al Qaeda is making the information exploitation job easy. The terrorist organization and its parent organization, the Islamic State of Iraq, are taking credit for everything they do to the populace. Everybody knows who did it and everybody knows Al Qaeda is trying to provoke a civil war. Nobody is biting on it.
I almost don’t have to take any time to identify the culprit and tell the populace not to support them. The better approach at this point may be to share the disbelief with the populace. Can you believe what Al Qaeda is trying to do this great country? Together, we will stand to fight this demon.