Is today VAQI Day?
Posted by Mike O on September 20, 2007
Well, it may be today marks the day that goes down in history a ‘VAQI’ day (Victory over Al-Qaeda in Iraq). The newly released tape by al-Zawahri makes it clear that the U.S. is ‘defeated’ in Iraq and Afghanistan, then spends a great deal of time going after Pakistan. Note the past tense; it is important. (Bin Laden audio?? Yeah, right. My guess is he’s been dead for at least 2 years and neither side wants to say so. Too good of a ‘boogey man’) This would suggest- in a ‘Baghdad Bob’ kind of way- that AQ will not be committing any additional resources to those two theaters; they are lost causes to them. Why would they come to that conclusion at this juncture? Because they realize that their second front in this war- the one in Washington D.C.- can’t hand them the victory they haven’t earned on the battlefield.
It was obvious that they needed to stage a Tet-like offensive operation prior to Petraeus’s report; when they proved incapable of doing that, they needed a poor performance by the Petraeus and Co. or effective Democrat-led counter-surge political gambits to have any hope of continuing. They got neither; their allies in D.C. could not deliver on their end any better than they could on theirs. Fatalities are down in the capital (indications here and here), some previously horrible areas in Iraq like Ramadi have gotten shockingly peaceful and Petraeus came off very well , blocking further erosion of support for the mission. The final straw on the camel’s back was the vote on Webb’s backdoor drawdown not pulling over a single additional vote over to the ‘lose-the-war’ side. So today, AQI ran up the white flag in doublespeak. They’ll take what’s left of their show on the road. If this is true, bombings, especially the suicide variety, should continue to decline markedly in Iraq.
Does this mean Iraq is won? Not yet. There are four elements that have had to be dealt with in Iraq: 1) AQI 2) Baathist insurgents 3) Iranian-supplied Shia militias 4) Criminal gangs. The Baathists insurgents- for a large part- have been addressed with the Anbar Awakening. Indeed, many have switched sides like the 1920 Revolution Brigade and are helping us kill off Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Without support in the Sunni community, AQI’s resources are limited and they won’t be allowed to ‘play in the space’ of the Shia militias (blowing up the Golden Mosque burned that bridge).
The Shia militias are next to the plate. However, the Shia tribal leaders have seen that the Sunni tribal leaders have used the opportunity to regain the authority that had for thousands of years pre-Sadaam and are wanting in on the action. Iran will push hard to stop this, but they’re on the edge with their own people (their president is mocked openly in the streets of Tehran) so how far they can go is questionable. The scumbag Al-Sadr will do what it takes to survive and- if he’s the only central target left- he may just decide to go back to the healthier political route. There, he’ll hope (or arrange) for something bad to happen to Sistani so he can be the sole ‘moral authority’. However, he won’t be able to challenge the Shia tribal leadership, if we get them rolling in their own ‘Anbar Awakening’. Our political clout needs to push this and use the tribal leadership (likely their younger sons, since their elder sons will be the next tribal leaders) to replace enough Iraqi Parliamentarians to get their legislature to be at least three times more effective than our own (won’t take much). The final result? The return of Arabic tribal leadership running things through a democratic ‘front-end’.
The criminal gangs, which have made most of their living on kidnappings and serving as paid mercenaries for AQI, will keep Baghdad dangerous as a 1920’s Chicago-type environment for awhile yet. But if ‘Mookie’ goes political and Iran gets cut out, even that will get some serious attention.
Probable end game? A qualified win for Iraq and America and a qualified loss for Islamic terrorism and deranged Bush-haters.