Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Jabr Claims al-Zarqawi Losing Influence

Iraqi Prime Minister Bayan Jabr claims that al-Zarqawi's influence in Iraq is rapidly diminishing. While that may sound like good news, he is quick to point out that al-Zarqawi is being replaced in Iraq by other more high level al Qaeda leaders. He also reports that al-Zarqawi is being instructed to send insurgents into other countries, presumably those that are part of the coalition. (News 24: Zarqawi influence 'diminishing').

Of significance, however, are observations Jabr makes regarding areas that are not plagued by the insurgency. As he points out, coalition forces have since left those areas because there is no need for their presence. The areas are secure. Jabr said, "Nine governorates are completely calm, as if you're in Amman. There are no coalition forces in Karbala or in Najaf, for instance, because they enjoy security and calm."

He went on to say, "I urge those who call themselves 'resistance' to work with us to bring about stability so that the coalition forces can leave their areas and governorates."

There are two very important points that cannot be overlooked. First, the easiest way for the insurgents to get US and coalition forces out of Iraq is for them to stop the insurgency. The only reason we continue to have 136,000 troops there is because of the insurgency. But that really leads to the second point. The insurgents do not WANT the US to leave.

A stable Iraq, especially under the governance of a compromise constitution, is not their goal. In fact, a stable Iraq under any government is detrimental to the cause of these terrorists. What would benefit them the most is a lawless Iraq, similar to the environment they enjoyed for years in Afghanistan. It's in that type of environment that terrorist cells are able to flourish.

That more senior al Qaeda officials are entering Iraq and replacing al-Zarqawi is actually a good sign. It shows that the situation there is becoming critical for the insurgency. They are being driven into smaller and smaller pockets of control. Yes, their attacks are increasing, but that is having a backlash in the Arab world and in Iraq.

Human Rights Watch released a report on Monday accusing militant groups like al-Qaeda in Iraq, Ansar al-Sunna and the Islamic Army in Iraq as being "the biggest perpetrators of attacks against civilians". Fortunately, the rest of the Arab world and Iraqi's in general are taking notice. While they do not support US occupation, they are coming to realize that the insurgents are their true enemy. It's a major step in the right direction.

So Bayan Jabr is correct. The best way to free Iraq from US and coalition occupation is to end the insurgency. I'm increasingly confident that this will occur with the full cooperation of the Iraqi people.


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