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"Martyrdom" seems to be losing its appeal
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, June 11, 2008

That is if the sharply declining number of suicide bombers in Iraq are any indication:
The United States is seeing a sharp drop in the number of foreigners entering Iraq to become al Qaeda suicide bombers, according to intelligence and Bush administration sources.

An administration official and a military adviser to Iraqi commanders attribute the decline to a fairly new phenomenon: Al Qaeda's call for mass killings in the name of Islam is losing some of its appeal with young Arabs in North Africa and Saudi Arabia, where most of the bombers originate.
Part of that is due to renewed debate on whether it is indeed "martyrdom" when Muslims kill Muslims. One of the main objections to this style of fighting and killing is the fact that it has been aimed at Muslim civilians in an effort to start a civil war. The vast majority of Muslim opinion seems to find that unacceptable (to include the Muslim population of Iraq - which is why AQI is failing there).
In the current edition of the New Republic magazine, terrorism experts Paul Cruickshank and Peter Bergen, who has written a biography of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, document what they think is a pronounced shift by Muslims away from al Qaeda.

"Why have clerics and militants once considered allies by Al Qaeda's leaders turned against them?" the two writers ask.

"To a large extent, it is because Al Qaeda and its affiliates have increasingly adopted the doctrine of takfir, by which they claim the right to decide who is a 'true' Muslim," they write.
That, of course, doesn't sit well with the Muslim population they're deciding to kill.

Of course the other part of that decline has to do with the success of the surge, the awakening and the disruption of AQI networks through which these bombers move.
This source said al Qaeda operated three main routes: ferrying recruits from Syria into Mosul in the north, into Baghdad in the heart of the country, and into Anbar province in the west.

The senior intelligence official said that "the al Qaeda in Iraq network that would have supported bringing these people in, [is] a shadow of what it once was. They lost a lot of their key people."


Today, the U.S. thinks the last al Qaeda bastion is greater Mosul, where Iraqi and American troops have been conducting counterterrorism strikes since the winter.

"I think they have been operationally defeated since the end of 2007," said retired Army Gen. Jack Keane, an adviser to top commanders in Iraq who toured the country in March.
We'll see ... but indications are the war is beginning to wind down. The fact that the military is talking about September withdrawals of combat brigades over and above the surge brigades makes the point as well as anything. Now the sausage-factory work of reconciliation and governing within the Iraqi population as a whole must continue and make progress, but all-in-all, it appears Iraq is at least headed in the right direction.

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Previous Comments to this Post 

so engaging terrorists by killing them rather than talking to them works better.

Who knew :)
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
There’s still time for Obama to reverse this horrible trend.

Actually, by Jan. ’09 it might go either way if we withdraw. The kicker is that if it turns out good, the Left will credit the withdrawal. Its why there’s only a trickle about Iraq in the news. So they can re-write history when the time comes in 2009 or 2010.
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
You mouf-breath’n wingnuts keep drinkin’ this Koolaid, that the war in Iraq is winnable...where oh where is Ott Scerb when we need him?

Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Want to hear a confession from someone no one here knows or will ever hear from again? I think this war was a terrible idea, but every time I see news that it’s going well and that we’re going to win it, my heart feels a little lighter. I wonder how many other people who are against this war also feel very relieved that we’re winning it? Probably not very many. "My country, right or wrong". Maybe I was even wrong not to support the war in the first place. No matter how I feel about the initial reasons for going, I am so very, very happy that we’re not getting our butts handed to us!
Written By: Cognidisogirl
URL: http://
There’s this show called "Mosaic" on Link TV that shows news broadcasts from around the middle east, and occasionally Sudan or other, Muslim nation.

The Syrian broadcast has been much harder on the "American Occupation Forces" (Not to be confused with the Zionist Occupation Forced) lately.

I wonder if it’s because of this.
Written By: Veeshir
URL: http://
Here we go again. Some pro-war hacks at the conservative-dominated Washington Times says things might be going well, and all of a sudden you dense righties forget all that I’ve told you over the last couple of years, all of which has ironclad support from brilliant objective analysts such as Juan Cole. Look, for the millionth time, let me tell you the true story of Iraq.

Nothing good can ever come out of Iraq, or will ever come out of Iraq. With my godlike powers of political science, I can filter the news to find the bigger trend, which is that the violence is going up, Sadr won over Maliki (and don’t start up with thousands of Sadr troops being killed, you hear me, just don’t start!), and our very presence is causing terrorist fighters to materialize from a magic funnel in the Iraqi desert. We need to send Jimmy Carter over there right now to broker an immediate withdrawal.

I gave a public talk recently, in which I explained how war is unhealthy for children and other living things. I passionately argued for our withdrawal from Iraq, even though as an objective political scientist, I am always open to other opinions. Stop laughing! I am too open to other opinions!! Just because I speak in public about this with rhetoric so passionate that some of the audience falls to their knees in admiration, I’m still open to opposing viewpoints. Except, of course, any that indicate that Iraq might be anything other than a total failure.

No one can justify this war. No one. I decree it. Stop laughing, I said!! You sound like Woody Woodpecker!
Written By: Ott Scerb
I wonder how many other people who are against this war also feel very relieved that we’re winning it?
Cognidisogirl — Good for you! (Is your handle a reference to "cognitive dissonance"?)

I’ve only met one person who opposed the war but said if it could be won, he would like that for the sake of the Iraqi people.

Most other anti-war folks I know are so dug into their position that they practically radiate gloom whenever something good happens in Iraq.

According to a recent poll, more Americans want to leave Iraq than win it. That could change if more Americans became aware that we are winning and are actually getting close to victory — knock on wood.
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
I wonder how many other people who are against this war also feel very relieved that we’re winning it? Probably not very many.
Based on what I’ve seen on various discussion areas, far too few. The two reactions I see much more commonly from those who opposed the war from the beginning are (1) denial - refusal to recognize any good news, and (2) sullen silence until something that can be spun as negative comes up.

Thanks for your openness on this. We are where we are in Iraq, and we have no time machine to go back and uninvade. Therefore we all ought to be happy about good news, though far too many are not.
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
The idea that we’re "winning" in Iraq is laughable.
Prof. Erb — In case your still lurking... That’s your quote from the previous thread and that’s been your standard "LOL" response throughout. It would be one thing to say the success in Iraq is debatable; it’s another to persist with response that success in Iraq is laughable.

All the casualty and attack curves have dropped substantially. Al-Qaeda is consistently on the run and has lost support not just in Iraq but throughout the Muslim world. The Iraqis themselves are taking more and more responsibility for protecting themselves and routing out their enemies. If we’re not winning, what are we doing ... losing?

Of course, wars are uncertain and the Middle East too, so no, we aren’t home and dry yet. And of course, there are always problems in Iraq and there always will be.

Just so you know, I consider your continued insistence in the face of evidence that winning in Iraq is laughable to be, well, laughable. I do think you left this forum because you were losing the debate. Your story about a "commitment" not to pursue debate here because of the host or a concern for the group, while hawking links to advertise yourself, seems like just more dishonesty.
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
My country, right or wrong".

One can reasonably debate the merits of going to war, but in an intrinsic sense this country is right. And must prevail.

Over the last 200 years or so, the world has been a much better place due to the success of anglo-American culture; first the Royal Navy took the lead at policing the world’s oceans, protecting latin America, etc., then sometime around 1940 or so that task switched to USN ships.

The world is a much better place because of us, much more so than most people realize.

Perhaps the decision to go to war with Saddam was wrong. But even then, it wasn’t morally wrong, at worst it was simply a bad decision.

Written By: Don
URL: http://
I thought Iraq created more terrorism. What gives?
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
Just so you know, I consider your continued insistence in the face of evidence that winning in Iraq is laughable to be, well, laughable. I do think you left this forum because you were losing the debate. Your story about a "commitment" not to pursue debate here because of the host or a concern for the group, while hawking links to advertise yourself, seems like just more dishonesty.
Erb is just conducting a tactical retreat. He’s setting to ambush us . . .

Either that, or he’s going to surrender and declare victory . . .
Written By: Don
URL: http://
kicker is that if it turns out good, the Left will credit the withdrawal - jpm100
Boy, aint that the truth. In addition, the housing market will probably bottom out by then, people will start buying houses and investing in real estate again and therefore the hyperinflated price of oil will come down as investors pull their money out. The economy will continue to grow because President Obama will not actually do the things he says he will do, such as make significant changes to free-trade agreements, create a "patriotic corporations" list, enact winfall profits taxes ect...

So when the economy recovers naturally due to the resiliance of the American people, Obama will take all the credit for that too, naturally. Get ready for 8 years of BHO - maybe it wont be that bad after all. Perhaps he really is an empty suit - its the best we can hope for.
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
Declare victory, withdraw. Erb 101.

I think the situation in Iraq has forced his withdrawal because, let’s face it, after spending a lot of time telling us what a wiz he was at geopolitical understanding to have Iraq turn out something along the lines of 180 degrees from his thinking demonstrates his wizness isn’t so hot.
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I think you underestimate the power of denial. Erb & Co. will simply insist that it’s all a cunning Iranian plot and merely playing into sooper-genius Ahminajad’s hands. Iraq could become a veritable paradise and there is no amount evidence that will convince him otherwise. Because that would mean George Bush accomplished something good and that simply. cannot. be.
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://
It’s all a cunning Iranian plot. You guys are playing into Ahminajad’s hands. You can read all about it on my blog.

But I’m not trying to boost traffic over there, oh, no. My writing is so compelling that half the users of the Internet will be flocking over there to read my writing and write gracious, appreciative comments. Any day now. You just wait.

And if you talk bad about me, I’ll come here and post. And post and post and post. Even though I’m not wanted and I said I wouldn’t. Only dense righties would talk bad about me, and such people deserve to be exposed to my compulsion to post. See how I’ve set up a win-win for me? With my godlike powers of political science, I can always outthink you thick righties. I knew you guys would talk about me that way, though I don’t for the life of me understand why, so I just use that as an excuse to indulge my posting compulsion.
Written By: Ott Scerb
Yes, I was surprised by Erb’s immoderate doubling and redoubling of his bets against Iraq. He didn’t leave himself any wiggle room if the Iraq War failed to fail. Likewise the Democratic Party, Obama, Reid, Pelosi and the rest of the Pink crowd.

It is possible to oppose the Iraq War in an honest, principled way. However, the anti-war movement shifted all its efforts to a full-out propaganda effort to persuade Americans that the war had failed by sheer repetition of the failure mantra and the ceaseless harping on any and all bad news coming out of Iraq.

Now they are in a corner. Unless some disastrous turn of events in Iraq surfaces to save them—at the mere cost of immense suffering in Iraq, a large blow to American effectiveness in the world, and a substantial boon to Islamic terrorists everywhere—the anti-war forces have lost much of their credibility and can only hope that by keeping quiet, their poor and self-serving judgments will be forgotten.

Sad to say, they may succeed.

Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Perhaps it has occurred to the prospective martyrs that, at 72 virgins per martyr, most if not all of the desireable virgins have been taken, and that what with the lessened competition here on Earth, their odds are better here.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

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