Custom Search

Friday, April 27, 2007

Iraq: al-Qaeda, Iran and General Petraeus

Going through the news this morning, there is quite a bit about each of the subjects in the title.

Starting with al-Qaeda, it looks like the man that was supposed to take over the al-Qaeda operations in Iraq has been captured on his way TO Iraq, but of COURSE, as per Nancy The Damascus Diva, al-Qaeda isn't a problem in Iraq right? There are also others that like to deny that al-Qaeda is in Iraq, despite all the documents and proof to the contrary.

The United States has taken into custody a top al-Qaeda operative who plotted to assassinate Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf and other officials, a Pentagon spokesman said Friday.

Abd al Hadi al-Iraqi, who was taken to the US navy prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba about a week ago, was intercepted while trying to reach Iraq to take over Al-Qaeda operations and to plot attacks from there against western targets outside Iraq, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.

He is "one of Al-Qaeda's highest ranking and senior operatives at the time of his detention. He is associated with leaders of extremist groups allied with Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and including the Taliban," Whitman said.

Of course he was captured a while ago, no guess as to exactly when, but we are learning about it now.

"Abd al-Hadi (al-Iraqi) was trying to return to his native country, Iraq, to manage al-Qaida's affairs and possibly focus on operations outside Iraq against Western targets," Whitman said, adding that the terror suspect met with al-Qaida members in
Iran. He said he did not know when al-Iraqi was in Iran.

In Pakistan, Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao described the arrest of al-Iraqi as a "welcome development" but gave no indication that Pakistan played a role in it.

More on that when the news comes out, but since we have already gotten to Iran in this post, let me show you a couple things that General Petraeus had to say, in answer to a few questions. (Text of General Petraeus from the DoD news briefing)

This is from the end of his news briefing:

Q But there is a connection between that group and the Iranians?

GEN. PETRAEUS: Oh, there's no question that the Qazali network is directly connected to the Iranian Qods Force, received money, training, arms, ammunition, and at some points in time even advice and assistance and direction. So --

Q And they're the ones who carried out the Karbala attack?

GEN. PETRAEUS: Yes. That network's members did carry out that.

Thanks. Great to see you all again.

Q Thank you.

Q Thank you, General.

Big surprise there ....NOT.

More from General Petraeus on al-Qaeda in Iraq:

The situation is, in short, exceedingly challenging, though as I will briefly explain, there has been progress in several areas in recent months despite the sensational attacks by al Qaeda, which have, of course, been significant blows to our effort and which cause psychological damage that is typically even greater than their physical damage.

Iraq is, in fact, the central front of al Qaeda's global campaign and we devote considerable resources to the fight against al Qaeda Iraq.

We have achieved some notable successes in the past two months, killing the security emir of eastern Anbar province, detaining a number of key network leaders, discovering how various elements of al Qaeda Iraq operate, taking apart a car bomb network that had killed 650 citizens of Baghdad, and destroying several significant car bomb factories. Nonetheless, al Qaeda Iraq remains a formidable foe with considerable resilience and a capability to produce horrific attacks, but a group whose ideology and methods have increasingly alienated many in Iraq.

This group's activities must be significantly disrupted, at the least, for the new Iraq to succeed, and it has been heartening to see Sunni Arabs in Anbar province and several other areas turning against al Qaeda and joining the Iraqi security forces to fight against it. That has been a very significant development.

For those that understand that the only way to get the facts of the conditions on the ground in Iraq is from those ON THE GROUND IN IRAQ, go read his whole statement, it is quite enlightening and Petraeus is not and never has been accused of being scared of telling it like it is, the bad and the good.

Mudville Gazette does a great job in going through the statement, paragraph by paragraph, so head on over and take a look.

RedState brings us interviews with the troops in Iraq.

“There's not a single one of my soldiers who doesn’t look at the neighborhood we’re in, look at the children there, and not want to do whatever they can to give these kids as bright a future as possible. We want to finish this job, and we know we can do it.

I am going to show one more teaser from the RedState interviews with multiple soldiers, then if you want to see the rest, you have to go read it all yourself.

“The sense I get when talking to the other soldiers,” said a public affairs soldier, “is that the worst thing possible would be to give a date when we’re leaving, period. We all want to win, and to accomplish our mission, especially since we’ve put so much into doing it so far. To just up and leave would be terrible.” I asked what effect such statements as Harry Reid’s “the war is lost,” and Nancy Pelosi’s “the war on terror is not in Iraq” have on the troops’ morale and opinions of their mission, and also pointed out the relevance of John Kerry’s 1971 statement to Congress that nobody wants to be “the last man to die for a lost cause,” and asked how that – and the fact that Congress had just passed resolutions mandating troop pullouts in five months – and asked about that affect, as well. The response was, “It’s terrible. I mean, I understand political posturing and all that but it really is terrible. If the war is lost and we need to go home, then why do we need to stay here five more months, when I could die or my friends could die before we go home? The war is either over or it isn’t; this just doesn’t make sense.” The Specialist continued, “What we want is to keep helping the people here. The people at home who say these things, they don’t understand that these are people who have to live here after we leave, whatever the situation is. These people and the things that happen here aren’t real to them, and they can’t understand unless they’ve been here and seen it.”

At least our soldiers have the heart to care about the people they are trying to help, our soldiers have the humanity to understand the ramifications of withdrawal. They are not just there because they were ordered there, many of these men and women enlisted and re-enlisted knowing they would be going to Iraq and they did so for one reason.

They believe in thier mission 100%.

Read the whole thing.

Hot Air has a great video up with Jon Voight, it is not often an actor actually makes any sense when talking about Iraq, they do not often show any original thoughts, usually they just spew the partyline, so Voight's words show analysis of the complexities on the ground in Iraq, deep thought and, once again, humanity.

Jules Crittenden has a great piece called the March of the Morons, it is quite entertaining.

Yesterday there was quite a bit of talk in the blogosphere about the new poll where Bush's approval ratings were down, but we didn't see much mentioned about the other numbers in those polls. (Hat Tip to Don Surber)

This just in: Cheney is more popular than Reid.

Reported the Wall Street Journal: “Among other individuals included in the poll, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) saw her approval rating fall to 30% in April from 38% in February, shortly after her swearing-in as the first female House speaker. Approval for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) slipped to 22%, from 23% in February but up from 19% a year ago.”

Cheney’s approval rate? 25%.

Don’t hand me that disapproval jazz either. Reid said approval rating.

Thanks for pointing that out Don, I guess the Damascus Diva's game of footsie with al-Assad wasn't very popular as well as Baghdad Reid's words to encourage our enemies.

Last but not least in todays roundup on Iraq we have NewsBusters which points this out:

Left-wing blogs loved it when CNN’s Michael Ware rebuked Senator John McCain a few weeks ago, after McCain suggested he could safely walk through areas of Baghdad. But this morning on CNN, Ware took dead aim at Democratic schemes for pulling out of Iraq, saying that debating a U.S. troop withdrawal was “delusional” and such a step would amount to “giving Iraq to Iran...and al Qaeda. That’s who would own it.”

Ware also provided an interesting insight into how the battle in Iraq has shifted from Anbar province and Baghdad, areas where the U.S. has built up troop levels, to Diyala province, which he described as “the new frontline against al Qaeda.” Video: Real (2 MB) or Windows (2.5 MB), plus MP3 (392 KB)

Apparently Ware has no doubt that al Qaeda has made Iraq a central front in their battle against the U.S., and that the U.S. pulling out would hand al Qaeda a huge victory.

Some people "get it" and some people never will because they cannot see beyond their political ideology long enough to grasp the realities on the ground of Iraq nor the complexities of the different factions in Iraq.

To some, if something gets difficult and they are forced to watch it on their news at night, then of course we should just quit, tuck our tail and run home like babies.

To others, keeping our word to 12 million Iraqi's that voted for freedom, means something. To some, helping create conditions, no matter how hard it gets, for children to grow up knowing what it is to be free, is worth it. To some, honor still has meaning and keeping our promises is the honorable thing to do.

Thank god our President and our soldiers fall into the latter category.

They are not willing to turn their back on these children.

Are you?

[Update] Another article that fits with this post. As well as the TimesOnline piece about "the American's catching the one responsible for the 7/7 bombings".