StrategyPage says that “the Arab-American marine held by Iraqi terrorists, and threatened with death, had apparently deserted and was attempting to return to family members still living in Lebanon.” He sought assistance from Iraqis working on the base, but they betrayed (or sold) him to the terrorists. If true, it’s kind of unnerving to think that Iraqis working on our base are collaborating with terrorists.
StrategyPage also claims that the Iraqi terrorists are learning that their beheading routine is counterproductive because it turns local Muslim populations against them. I agree that it is counterproductive — minimum carnage, maximum repulsion. Whether the terrorists view it this way remains to be seen.
StrategyPage then argues that, in fact, “al Qaeda, and their predecessor, the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt, have turned Arab populations against them whenever they practiced their terror tactics ‘at home.'” It finds that the war against terrorrism has succeeded in “forc[ing] al Qaeda back to its homelands, and concentrated them in Iraq. There, al Qaeda is becoming as hated as it already is in the West. This hatred led to the Moslem Brotherhood’s defeat, and expulsion from Egypt over a decade ago. The same thing is happening again in Saudi Arabia and Iraq.” All of this seems plausible, even if StrategyPage’s conclusion — that “Iraq is rapidly becoming al Qaeda’s graveyard” — sounds overly optimistic.
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