For years now, the American left has been arguing that the war in Iraq is a distraction from the “real” war against al Qaeda and is counter-productive because it’s “creating” new terrorists. Apparently, it never occurred to these deep-thinkers that inflicting a defeat on al-Qaeda in Iraq — a defeat made possible because a previously sympathetic population turned with our help against al Qaeda — might constitute a devastating blow to al Qaeda’s standing in the Arab world.
The idea that losing a war hurts one’s standing may be a novel one for our sophisticated liberals. But Osama bin Laden has long grasped it, famously stating years ago that “when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse.”
Our amazing progress in Iraq is demonstrating that, for now, al Qaeda rather than the U.S. is the weak horse in the very country that al Qaeda has identified as the key battleground in its struggle against us. Consequently, as Peter Wehner shows, the tide within the Islamic world is beginning to run strongly against al-Qaeda. For example, Sayyid Imam al-Sharif recently published a book — Rationalizations on Jihad in Egypt and the World — in which he argues that the use of violence to overthrow Islamic governments is religiously unlawful and practically harmful. He also recommends the formation of a special Islamic court to try bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda
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