politics, history and the war on terror
Friday, July 09, 2004
The Magnet 

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi released an hour-long propaganda video that documents his rise to stardom in the jihad community and provides a look into the minds of the foot soldiers willing to sacrifice themselves for their sick cause. The video also includes footage of suicide attacks on American, Coalition and Iraqi forces and civilians. This is but a taste of the depravity of our enemy:

The tape contains many chilling scenes. When the chairman of the U.S. appointed Iraqi Governing Council, Izzedine Salam, then the country's highest Iraqi official, was assassinated last month in a car bomb Zarqawi quickly claimed credit. Now he shows the act, in graphic footage shot from a parked car: A convoy of white SUVs disappears down a Baghdad street, followed a moment later by a ball of flame and explosion so intense the windscreen through which the cameraman films cracks before your eyes.

When a suicide car bomber intercepted a convoy of security personnel for General Electric in the heart of Baghdad on June 14 Zarqawi's information unit was there, ready and waiting. The three-vehicle convoy enters the screen and is followed down a crowded little street. As the lens zooms in the vehicles erupt in a blistering ball of flame. Three bystanders are seen turning their backs from the blast, attempting to cover their heads. In contrast to other videos of insurgent attacks, the cameraman does not flee. Instead he holds his position and zooms in on the burning suicide vehicle and the flaming SUVs. Survivors can be seen moving from the vehicles and attempting to take cover.
Not just satisfied with murdering their victims, terrorist revel in taping their murders for recruiting purposes. The video also documents the makeup of Zarqawi's organization in Iraq, which is almost wholly made of foreigners.

One thing the video makes clear is that foreign fighters have developed a sophisticated organization in Iraq. Interviews on the tape, and living wills made by suicide bombers, show how Muslim men have been brought to the country through well-defined and clearly funded channels. Appearances are made by Saudis, Algerians, Libyans, Jordanians and others; the video even claims that one bomber had lived in Italy and played hockey for a premier club.
Nothing threatens radical Islamists more than free governments; they are the antithesis to the jihadi's way of life. For them, the only form of government permissible is a Taliban style government, one that forces its perverted laws on an unwilling population under the pain of mutilation or death. Because of this, Iraq has become a magnet for terror. Al Qaeda and other terror organizations are directing their fighters to Iraq to destroy the hope of democracy in the Middle East. While the foreign terrorists are very dangerous to the citizens and do complicate the task of establishing a stable democracy, this does force al Qaeda to commit to Iraq and flushes its operatives into the open.

Al Qaeda is diverting valuable resources such as money, arms, training and other organizational support assets to Iraq that could be used in the United States and Europe. These resources are not infinite. And once there, al Qaeda is meeting the combined weight of American power, assisted by local Iraqi intelligence and security services.

Establishing democracy in Iraq under these conditions is fraught with risk, but in war, all bold moves are. But the payoff for winning is huge. We have the opportunity to defeat terrorists on their home turf while establishing a democracy in one of the most intolerant regions of the world. We have the chance to provide hope for a people that have known nothing but despair, corruption and oppression.

Posted by bill roggio @ 12:05 AM