The news of Fallujah and Ramadi falling partially back into al-Qaeda hands this week has brought a great deal of
reflection throughout the blogosphere on the American blood and treasure lost as a result. Michael Ledeen at PJ Media sums it up perfectly: (video below)
Al-Qaeda is back in Fallujah and Ramadi, where we defeated them in the recent past. Everyone in the Middle East knew it, and they all knew al-Qaeda was on the ropes. Recruitment was more difficult, fund-raising likewise, and the cult of bin Laden was decidedly wobbly.
That’s what happens when a messianic mass movement — like Islamism — loses. People start asking all sorts of annoying questions. If your past victories were due to Allah’s support, a demonstration of His recognition that you were the sole practitioners of the right sort of Islam, what are we to make of your defeat? Has Allah abandoned you? Has he joined the Marines?
In the ebb and flow of the global war in which we are so reluctantly engaged, that was a moment to be seized. Instead, our new leaders judged it was the perfect time to walk away. They have been walking away ever since. And they had plenty of support, from deep within American tradition, from that oft-fatal conviction that peace is normal and war is an aberration, when the opposite defines human history. So we walked away, abandoning those who had staked their future to America’s commitment to freedom, and giving hope and time to our enemies, who regrouped and attacked again. Thus, Iraq, where the slaughter often exceeds the death toll in Syria. Thus, Syria itself. And Lebanon.
Al-Qaeda, and others like them, can now say, “You see, Allah is indeed with us. We are stronger than ever. Much stronger. We used to have bands of terrorists, but today we have armies. The Americans have run away from Iraq, where our flag now flies, and they are running away from Afghanistan, where the Taliban are preparing to impose God’s will. The future is clear. We will win. Join us, or perish.”
That is the meaning of Fallujah. And everyone in the Middle East knows it. These Americans can win some battles, but they do not have the stomach to win the war….
Here in Washington, some pundits are saying that things are actually going well, since radical Sunnis and Shi’ites are killing one another. The problem with this cheery outlook is that eventually one of them will win, and the winner won’t be good for us. Moreover, Sunnis and Shi’ites have demonstrated they can work well together when the mission is killing Americans.
They can do that even when they’re killing one another. Just wait. Read more here.
In March 2004, four American contractors were delivering food to American caterers. They where captured, mutilated, murdered, their bodies burned, dragged through the city streets (a foot hung here, a leg there) and then hung from a Fallujah bridge on the Euphrates River. In the video below posted in 2011, you’ll hear that Fallujah residents believed al-Qaeda could not take over Fallujah again.
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