Zarqawi Would Rile the Shi'a, Who'd Get Rid of the Americans, then ...
An interview with al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, shortly before he was killed by a US bomb, shows he hated Iraqi Shi'ites more than Americans. Hated them so much he was willing to start a war with the Shi'ites in the hope that the resulting conflagration would burn the Americans out. "The 33-page interview, carried out some time before a U.S. fighter bomber killed al-Zarqawi in a strike on his meeting place in June 7, could not be authenticated but it was posted Friday on a Web site known to be a clearing-house for al-Qaida material," according to the AP. Zaraqwi turned his hatred of the Shia into bloody attacks but there were unintended, though wholly foreseeable consequences.
The leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, saw Iraq's Shiite Muslims as more dangerous than U.S. forces and more evil than dictator Saddam Hussein, according to an interview published on the Internet posthumously. The 33-page interview, carried out some time before a U.S. fighter bomber killed al-Zarqawi in a strike on his meeting place in June 7, could not be authenticated but it was posted Friday on a Web site known to be a clearing-house for al-Qaida material. ...
Al-Zarqawi revealed his fury about the attacks of Iraq's Shiite Muslim militiamen on the country's Sunni Muslim community. Yet it was al-Zarqawi, a Sunni from Jordan, who fomented Shiite-Sunni strife as the best way to scuttle the U.S. plans to rebuild Iraq as a democratic state after Saddam's overthrow.
The fruits of Zarqawi's efforts to provoke the Shi'a, starting with the bombing of the Samarra Golden Mosque, were described by a recent Thomas Ricks article in the Washington Post. Ricks argued that America "could no longer defeat a bloody insurgency" the Sunni bastion of Anbar because the Sunnis were too scared to stop fighting in the face of revenge attacks by Shi'ite militiamen. As usual, it was a defeat for America.
The U.S. military is no longer able to defeat a bloody insurgency in western Iraq or counter al-Qaeda's rising popularity there, according to newly disclosed details from a classified Marine Corps intelligence report that set off debate in recent months about the military's mission in Anbar province. ...
The Marines' August memo, a copy of which was shared with The Washington Post, is far bleaker than some officials suggested when they described it in late summer. The report describes Iraq's Sunni minority as "embroiled in a daily fight for survival," fearful of "pogroms" by the Shiite majority and increasingly dependent on al-Qaeda in Iraq as its only hope against growing Iranian dominance across the capital.
True or not, the memo says, "from the Sunni perspective, their greatest fears have been realized: Iran controls Baghdad and Anbaris have been marginalized." Moreover, most Sunnis now believe it would be unwise to count on or help U.S. forces because they are seen as likely to leave the country before imposing stability.
Bonus question. Is this a picture of a) Wile E. Coyote, b) Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, c) George W. Bush, d) James Baker?