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How Did We Come To This?
In Iraq, Al-Qaeda’s Surge-Protector Malfunctions
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In Iraq, Al-Qaeda’s
July 15, 2008
This is the story of how Al-Qaeda "invested” in a surge protector that had a near total meltdown. Of course, we’ve all invested in equipment that we trusted would last for years – and then had it malfunction. This is what happened to Al-Qaeda in Iraq when the terrorist group thought that its latest brainchild would insure that Iraq would revert to its terrorist-state status. To this patriot’s horror, Al Qaeda almost succeeded – but didn’t!
Let’s travel back to the beginning of the story. On April 9, 2003, Baghdad fell to U.S. forces, and the butchering days of Saddam Hussein, widely acknowledged as The Butcher of Baghdad, came to an end. Shortly after, thanks to the equally effective forces of the U.S. military, Saddam’s sons, Qusay and Uday, were forced to give up their rape rooms and other accoutrements of power.
Then began the discovery of the mass graves and "show and tell” of citizens who had missing limbs to show for their lack of the proper fealty to the B.O.B. Most of the world rejoiced. I know I did, if for no other reason than an aversion to rape rooms, and my fellow human beings having their tongues cut out at the whim of a despot. I did not get overly distracted by the dispassionate discussions of weapons of mass destruction or lack thereof. For me, it was the butchery, stupid. That an entire country could be rescued from the clutches of a cruel despot was sufficient reason for celebrating. As far as I was concerned, the real "weapons of mass destruction” numbered at least three…Saddam, Qusay and Uday.
Almost four years went by and the war became unpopular and the "insurgents” became bolder. Al-Qaeda set up shop, and received cooperation from locals, as long as the ones being killed were American and Coalition soldiers. But a funny thing happened on the way to the establishment of another terrorist state. Al-Qaeda extended its killing sprees to the locals, including children. Realizing that the "Frankenstein” they had cultivated, if not created, had begun "eating” them alive, the locals began turning their allegiance away from Al-Qaeda and looking to the survival of their kids. The tips to the U.S. protectors "surged” from a slow trickle to a flood!
The President and his advisors came up with their own Surge strategy to hopefully turn things around. The plan would be to send in another 30,000 troops to overwhelm the "insurgents” with even more force. Some politicians decided, as usual, to hedge their bets, as they did at the beginning of the War in Iraq. Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama declared that the Surge was not going to work. He was quite firm in his contention. However, he was apparently not sufficiently acquainted with General David Petreaus and his penchant for slaying "Goliaths!” Some other politicians joined the pack. Sen. House leader Harry Reid pronounced the Surge "a failure.”
But the Surge did not allow for the usual waffles on the political grill. It did not seem to behave with the usual ebb and flow of these campaigns. It began like a giant wave and those soldier dudes rode that wave! What the heck was going on here? Our troops and their leaders were making it very difficult for the wafflers to come up with the usual political "nuances” in the prosecution of military campaigns. Even Al-Qaeda was convinced that it was working! They had the dead bodies of their comrades as bloody proof.
Yet another funny thing happened with the Surge. The news blackouts began. It seemed as if the media had their own surge protector malfunction! The mantra appeared to be: We cannot report all the good things, so we will report nothing, nothing, nothing! Somehow this unspoken "oath” did not get out to the foreign press. So we have the UK’s Times Online reporting on the great success of the Surge. Their July 6, 2008 headline says it all: "Iraqis Lead Final Purge of Al-Qaeda.” The story details how the once 12,000 strong force of Al-Qaeda had been reduced to about 1,200 – running for their lives! The gratifying part of that story is the "teach a man to fish” aspect. We trained those Iraqi soldiers to fish for Al-Qaeda. They are now fishing and bagging the catch.
Right here on our doorsteps, we have a heroic example of the "fishing and bagging the catch strategy.” The Dallas Morning News recently profiled Army Specialist Razan Saied under the headline: "Ex-Iraqi says she felt called to serve the U.S. Army.” Specialist Saied, a wife and mother, formerly of Kurdistan, wanted to show her gratitude to the country that took her in after she fled Saddam’s Iraq. I am impressed with Specialist Saied because she could have found a less hazardous vehicle to show her gratitude. She could have done volunteer work at a hospital, even a military hospital. She chose to serve her new country by joining the U.S. Army. She was wounded in battle and is still recovering from her injuries. She is unwavering in her choice. Thank you, Specialist Saied for your service and inspiration. Your story made a nice addition to my July 4 celebrations.
So, can we conclude that the war in Iraq has been won? Are we there yet? No, we cannot, and no we are not. The enemy that our troops face still has many supporters and willing accomplices, some even inside the U.S., likely in the form of those sleeper cells, waiting to break their hibernation and travel to Iraq. Our troops in the war theater have done and continue to do their part. On July 4, in the rotunda of the Al Faw Palace in Baghdad, there was the largest reenlistment ceremony in the history of the U.S. Military. Ironically, this palace is one of the 99 palaces that the late and not dearly departed Saddam Hussein built on the backs of his people. Apparently it was one of the places where his "enforcers” used to hang out and relax. It must have been hard work orchestrating and supervising those mass graves. Saddam could have told Al-Qaeda about the surge protector malfunction that he too experienced. He is probably having a reunion with his former enforcers in the place where no surge protectors are for purchase.
While our troops are over there in Iraq creating one massive malfunction of the Al-Qaeda Surge "protector,” many of the politicians, safe here at home, are busy playing "gotcha” politics, when they are not busy leading false charges against those same troops, for doing the job that they were sent to do. I seem to recall a recent case. What’s the name again? Got it. Haditha, thy name translates to: Persecute Marines for doing their jobs too well. Politicos, with their "gotcha,” and "persecutorial” tendencies, should be directing their animus towards the terrorists, the common enemy. I am challenging the safe-at-home politicians to allay my persistent fear that somehow, some way, they will find a way to rewrite this achievement of the Surge.
Sirs and Madames, you love to talk about "bi-partisanship” on the Hill. Let us see a practical application. In the past, some of you have been quick to hold news conferences to berate our Military. Change your tune for the next news conference, and announce the spectacular achievements of our troops! I know…you want to know what’s in it for you. I can almost guarantee that one helluva news conference exalting the accomplishments of our troops will raise your 9% public approval rating! And in case you are wondering about the "missing in inaction” press vis-à-vis the success of the Surge, if you hold a news conference, they will come. Who knows, maybe a representative of the Times of London will be able to make it. That will at least ensure that your news gets out! I dare you. Show that you are not September 10 politicians. I am getting the confetti ready.