The Therapy Sessions
Friday, November 18, 2005
It's so disheartening.
At the same time that Congress is wetting its pants in fear over Iraq, there are several promising things going on there.
And few are paying attention to them.
First, the turnout for next month's election look likes its going to huge, this time with Sunnis participating in high numbers.
Oh, how boring. Iraqis risking bombs to vote. Yawn. Change the channel.
If it's boring it shouldn't be. This will create the first democratically-elected constitutional Arab republic - one with political participation from all the country's ethnicities. It makes it less likely that there will be anything like a civil war - our enemy's main goal.
We are working with the most liberal people in the Arab World in Iraq. And messily, they are building a democracy that will begin addressing their problems instead of blaming them on Jews and Americans.
Would somebody please explain to me how abandoning these people to the tender mercies of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his Al Qaeda thugs would make America safer?
If this young government falls to the next round of Arab tyrants, who can honestly believe that we will be protected across the sea?
I don't see any way around this: if we abandon Iraq now, we will only be fighting more - and more dangerous - wars in Arab lands in the future. And they will probably involve nuclear weapons.
The second reason for optimism: Zarqawi is practically admitting the confusion and desperation his organization is in.
The Amman hotel bombing that his group was boasting about just last week has put him on the defensive.
Now he says that Al Qaeda did not intend to bomb a wedding party, and that it has no intention of killing fellow Muslims.
Zarqawi has known for quite some time that attacking Americans is hard. Sure, a bombing here or there takes a toll. But al Qaeda can't hold territory, and they aren't safe anywhere in the country.
And for every American killed, al Qaeda is losing dozens.
As attrition took its toll, Zarqawi's strategy changed. Because the Americans were staying in Iraq, Zarqawi couldn't win unless he was able to do one thing: create a real civil war between the Sunnis and the Shiites.
He needed to inflame the Shiites by bombing soft targets: Shiite mosques, meeting areas and markets. and he needed the Shiites to strike back against the Sunnis with such ferocity that there could be no hope that they could work together.
And it is not working.
Instead, this made him about as popular as Saddam with the vast majortiy of Iraqis. This strategy has started an important debate in the Arab world about such terrorism.
The bombing in Jordan was a public relations nightmare for Al Qaeda. Jordanians once dreamed of being part of a Caliphate administered by Osama bin Laden. Now they are marching in the streets of Amman calling for Al Qaeda to be destroyed.
Sheltered Muslims - Jordanians, Egyptians and Saudis - are realizing if they want war, they can have it. But it will be on their lands - not ours - and they will be its victims. Many - particularly in Jordan - were comfortabe giving money to Al Qaeda so that it could kill Americans.
But with Al Qaeda targetting their cities, they aren't so sure.
Zarqawi is losing the war because he is losing his most fervent supporters.
Our goal is not to make Arabs love Americans, though that would be nice.
Our goal is to make Arabs hate Al Qaeda so much that they eradicate it in their own lands. Al Qaeda is its own worst enemy in that respect.
This is how you fight a War on Terror.
Somebody tell Congress that we are winning it before they go and surrender already.