Tue. Feb 10, 2004
Killing the Infidels, One Muslim at A Time
Reporter Dexter Filkins was given the chance to examine a captured document allegedly on its way out of Iraq to Al Qaeda leadership, and writes about it in the New York Times: “American officials here have obtained a detailed proposal that they conclude was written by an operative in Iraq to senior leaders of Al Qaeda, asking for help to wage a ‘sectarian war’ in Iraq in the next months. The Americans say they believe that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian who has long been under scrutiny by the United States for suspected ties to Al Qaeda, wrote the undated 17-page document.”
In the portions revealed so far, there’s a couple of notable quotes (emphasis mine): “‘So the solution, and only God knows, is that we need to bring the Shia into the battle,’ the writer of the document said. ‘It is the only way to prolong the duration of the fight between the infidels and us. If we succeed in dragging them into a sectarian war, this will awaken the sleepy Sunnis who are fearful of destruction and death at the hands’ of Shiites [...] ‘So if you agree with it, and are convinced of the idea of killing the perverse sects, we stand ready as an army for you to work under your guidance and yield to your command.’”
For those who believe this is a larger religious war between Islam and the West, as well as for those Muslims who think Al Qaeda fights The Good Fight for all of them, this letter makes clear the cold truth. In order to continue their “Islamic Jihad,” Al Qaeda intends to make Muslims kill each other. The ones in “the perverse sects,” i.e., not Wahhabis. To them, the Sunnis and Shia are only slightly better than Western infidels, and both sects are mere pawns to be used in their “Greater Quest.” Plus, they think their best strategy is to escalate terror attacks designed cause a civil war between fellow Muslims. Their new motto ought to be, “Al Qaeda, killing the infidels one Muslim at a time.”
But the other notable quote indicates things aren’t going so well for the terrorist insurgency: “America, however, has no intention of leaving, no matter how many wounded nor how bloody it becomes [...] We can pack up and leave and look for another land, just like what has happened in so many lands of jihad. Our enemy is growing stronger day after day, and its intelligence information increases. By God, this is suffocation!”
When the “jihad” devolves into killing mostly Muslims, because that’s the “best” you can do, it is indeed time to pack it in. But for me, this is a bit like a sleeping aid. It’s another chunk on the big pile of evidence that Al Qaeda has the strategic smarts of your average prepubescent girl. Though they’ve had tactical success (in decreasing amounts), they’ve never been able to harness those abilities towards any greater strategy. This results in relatively random mayhem, that does nothing to improve their strategic position, and often degrades it.
And it makes me sleep just a bit better at night to see they’ve yet to purchase a strategic clue.