Baghdad Battles

After Tal Afar, al Qaeda strikes in its predictable and brutal fashion: suicide bombs and terror. In Baghdad, a suicide bomber lures in Shiite day-laborers, blows up his truck. Reports indicate 114 killled and 156 wounded in this single incident. Mohammed at Iraq the Model states eleven separate explosions in Baghdad ocurred in today. According to Zarqawi today’s attacks are revenge for al Qaeda’s losses at Tal Afar, and the beginning of “all out war against the Shiites”.

Zarqawi’s terror campaign achieves its desired effect. Coalition successes in northern and westerner Iraq are overshadowed by the gruesome images of mass casualty assaults. Suicide bombs are a show of force, but not a measure of al Qaeda’s power. al Qaeda has neither the popular support, the skill nor the means to govern in Iraq. Its real power lies in the ability to create fear. But the Iraqi people have not given in to fear, rendering al Qaeda’s only weapon ineffective.

As the Iraqi government is not ready to provide for its own security, it is dependent on the United States for vital assistance. Therefore, al Qaeda’s only hope of success in Iraq is to destroy the will of the American public and create the conditions for a hasty withdrawal. They are deftly manipulating our own media in an attempt to accomplish this goal. Zarqawi depends on the fact that the Western media will give his terrorist attacks top billing while regulating successful Coalition operations such as Tal Afar to the back pages, or support the cause by subtlely portraying American soldiers as criminals or thugs.

The terrorists continue to lose ground to the Coalition, and despite the inaccurate reports of terrorists “melting away” as opposed to fighting in Tal Afar, they have suffered serious casualties. Col. Robert B. Brown, commander of the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division’s Stryker Brigade Combat Team, states that al Qaeda has been seriously degraded in northern Iraq. Eighty percent of the network has been killed or captured. Sixty to seventy percent of the terrorist killed were foreigners. Most terrorists are now in their mid-teens, and inexperienced. Mortar attacks are down from three hundred a month to six.

But while al Qaeda has taken losses over the summer, they still have the capacity to inflict mass casualty attacks in the heart of the country. Today’s attacks in Baghdad demonstrate this fact.

Zarqawi has threatened to conduct a “great Ramadan offensive” this October in an attempt to deter the referendum on the Iraqi constitution. Flash back to January of 2005, when al Qaeda also threatened to thwart the historic election of the Iraqi assembly. al Qaeda made the same threats, the Iraqi people raised purple thumbs in defiance, and al Qaeda’s vaunted attack failed to materialize until months after the election.

The Iraqi people will go to the polls and vote again, dealing yet another ideological blow to the jihadis and their fascist allies. And the Coalition will continue the hunt.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.


  • hamidreza says:

    The debate between reactionary Stalinist Gorgeous George Galloway and pro-Iraq Christopher Hitchens is about to start.
    Catch the Audio or the Video. Will start in a few minutes. Should be massively interesting.

  • Justin Capone says:

    The Iraqi insurgency merges together into one
    A TERRORIST mastermind has united insurgent groups in Baghdad to target the Iraqi Shia Muslim community with the aim of bringing civil war to Iraq, The Times has learnt.
    According to US military intelligence sources, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the man responsible for the bloodiest acts of terror in Iraq over the past two years, now commands thousands of fighters from various rival groups and is set to order further waves of bombings.
    Last night the threat was being taken seriously by US and Iraqi officials, who have offered a $25 million reward for his capture. “We have got reason to believe that al-Zarqawi has now been given tactical command in the city over groups that have had to merge under him for the sake of survival,”

  • Frank says:

    I think we are in for some really violent months ahead, but I think it will ultimately lead to the end of the insurgency. With the borders closing. It is going to be hard for them to get resupply. It’s obvious that the taking of Tal Afar is important or AZ would not have been has angry as he is. He and the other insurgent groups feel the noose tightening.

  • The Honest Liberal says:

    Allow me to introduce myself. I am a liberal, some would call me a leftist, but with one main difference from others of my ilk – I am honest about my goals, which are the goals of my ideological bretheren.
    We seek to either a) turn the US into a socialist Marxist state, or b) weaken the US to the extent that it no longer can obstruct the socialist revolution.
    Why do we want another socialist/Marxist state? Because some of us who are leaders of the movement will be at the top of the ruling order, which would be a great position to be in, just like it was in the Kremlin or in the Chinese CP.
    We oppose the Iraq War because it spreads capitalism and democracy to the region. We oppose Bush because he is an easy target to rally the world against (and thus to our cause by default). We managed to turn Hurricane Kartina into a racial issue so that we could heap more world hatred onto the right-wing of America (which we did successfully get away with). We make excuses for the actions of Al-Qaeda because, well, the enemy of our enemy is our friend. Thus, we oppose the Patriot Act, Iraq War, Afghan War, etc.
    So why am I honest about the liberal agenda and other liberals are not, still pretending to stand for ‘peace’, ‘social justice’, ‘racial equality’, etc. For long, this veil worked, and many naive worker bees joined our cause.
    But the time has come to take the movement to the next level, and attract a much larger global following. This can be achieved by being open about our goals. We have already maginalized George Bush to the extent that anything he does can be easily spun to the negative. Imagine, we have trained the public to be more outraged over Abu Ghraib and Halliburton than the London subway bombings or the decrees of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
    I thus advocate dropping the veil and being totally honest about our goals.
    The leaders of our movement are the two Georges (Soros and Galloway), Michael Moore, many prominent Hollywood Stars, the media, the courts, and the universities.
    The pieces are in place, and the time is now.

  • plantrunner says:

    “They are deftly manipulating our own media”
    MSM are the manipulators not al Qaeda.

  • Mixed Humor says:

    The game plan for Zarqawi is to win the war in the streets of America. Anything he can do to further that agenda will be looked upon favorably, whether it’s releasing propaganda that a western media monster consumes and amplifies, carrying out sensational car bombings, beheading people, killing children, or whatever. The more horrifying they think the act is, the more likely they are to carry it out. Their hatred knows no bounds.
    One can only think the American public opinion polls are emboldening them, despite being dealt serious losses on a military level. The message from a good percentage of the American people is “we are horrified, can’t take the losses, and want out.” The drop in support for the war only validates the effectiveness of the campaign of terror al Qaeda is waging.
    Zarqawi has been trying to foment Civil War in Iraq for over a year and a half now, since his letter was intercepted requesting help from Bin Laden in achieving that goal.

  • leaddog2 says:

    Honest Liberal,
    I suppose we can treat your writing as Satire, if we so choose! However, you state the core beliefs of the Stalinists, the Mediacratic party and all of their terrorist supporters.
    Let me also take off my mask! I am a FREE MAN! I can never be defeated or destroyed. I stand for Liberty! I oppose all who stand for the Hell of complacency and Demoncratic nihilism. I stand for Truth, Justice and Decency. Some of us may also stand in humble reverance of God and all of the blessings he has bestowed on his children. I DO!
    Your kind of Satanic Evil will never succeed! You see, for now, I have several guns. So do millions like me! I also have the knowlege that No Free Man can ever be conquered by Evil beings.
    We also have a higher power on the side of Liberty. In addition, the ending of all Satanic beings is Foretold. The Islamofascists and your kind LOSE! Enjoy your defeat! It will not be easy.

  • The Honest Liberal says:

    Note that we control the media, the courts, and the universities. Despite the loss of only 1900 troops and a successful election in January, we have managed to turn the majority opinion against the Iraq War. Most of the world perceives it as a failure, and the US as the villain in this story.
    We managed to get away with putting Abu Ghraib everywhere, and the progress that the US makes no-where. That this blog never made it into the mainstream spotlight, despite actually reporting truthful facts that reflect favorably on the US, is proof of this.
    We managed to literally ruin the international credibility of the United States over a non-violent incident at Abu Ghraib, while shielding Zarqawi from similar scorn, for his violent activities.
    We managed to make the US appear racist and inept over a natural disaster. This is our biggest coup yet.
    We are winning. If we weren’t, you would not even be here, fighting desperately in a losing battle.

  • Matthew says:

    If the spike in violence is a retaliation for the assault into Tal Afar, wouldn’t it be prudent to put the capital and other strategic locations under a lockdown for the duration of the offensive whereby vehicular movement is strongly restricted like during the election in January. However, I can’t see how this will stop a suicide bomb attack like yesterday’s and it might clue the insurgents to an imminent offensive.
    If it is to grab attention, then the insurgents have a tremendous advantage, in that they only have to get lucky once, whereas the MNF,IA and IP have to block every single attempt.

  • hamidreza says:

    The silver lining that I see is this dastardly truckbombing act will create even a wider chasm between the non-Islamist Sunnis who want to participate in the elections (presumably to shoot down the Constituiton, as the MSM puts it), and the Zarqawi Salafists.
    It is time for US to put massive pressure on SCIRI and the Kurds and force them to make the Constitution Sunni friendly, before it is too late. It would be a mistake if the Constitution sneaks by and is adopted against the will of the Sunnis. Better that it be shot down as Justin has said. I am afraid the Talafar operation has put Jaafari in a position where he may be able to sneak the Constitution in.
    May those 160 poor laborers, have their soul rest in peace. And Galloway and his reactionary leftists cohorts tonight were supporting the murderous “resistance” and refusing to condemn this atrocity. They have blood on their hands. Shame on leftism which is hell bent on destroying civilization, as we know it, and at any cost, and has stooped to such a low in history, as the Honest Liberal so aptly puts it.
    George Orwell: A leftist is a power worshipper without power.

  • Captain Video says:

    “I am a liberal, some would call me a leftist, but with one main difference from others of my ilk – I am honest about my goals, which are the goals of my ideological bretheren.”
    Horsepucky. You are a ringer.

  • Captain Video says:

    “Coalition successes in northern and westerner Iraq”
    Since the U.S. does not have enough forces available to leave permanent bastions behind in these areas, as soon as the U.S. forces leave, the insurgents will return. Some success.

  • Captain Video says:

    “al Qaeda has been seriously degraded in northern Iraq. Eighty percent of the network has been killed or captured.”
    For those of us who are old enough to remember the body counts given out during the Vietman war, it’s deja vu all over again. Terrorists are a renewable resource.
    Suppose there are 10 terrorists and you kill 5, how many terrorists will there be? In spite of all the evidence to the contrary, supporters of the war keep thinking the answer is 5.

  • Sirkowski says:

    Where the hell do you see fascists? All I see is Arab wingnuts.

  • hamidreza says:

    Captian Video – pick up the news. 6,000 Iraqi soldiers participated in the operation and thousands of them will be left behind to enforce security in Talafar.
    And then this is not a popular insurgency. A power hungry minority (Islamist) of a minority (Sunnis) – a total of about a few percent, have decided to fight it out, against a majority that wish to see ceivil society established. How this compares to Vietnam, really beats me. The non-jihadi Sunnis have decided to participate in the elections. Like saying the VietCong has decided to switch sides from the Soviets to the Americans in Vietnam.
    Big difference.

  • The Honest Liberal says:

    Yes, we on the left hae been able to persuade the majority of the US population, and the vast majority of the European population, that the Iraq War is a similar situation as Vietnam (which was our greatest victory).
    Even though the Iraq War has seen only 1900 US troop deaths and a free election, our control of the media has managed to portray this war to the general public in a very negative light, so that the majority now wants to give up and leave.
    Zarqawi knows that the will of the US public is weak, and simply needs to continue what he is doing. Then, the US will withdraw and a huge victory for liberals will ensue.

  • Rookie says:

    Troll it came, troll it goes…
    Lucky for everyone, us in “New Europe” we kick communist butt 🙂

  • Nicholas says:

    That’s not civil war. It’s religious war!
    Am I the only one who thinks that this is a milestone? They’ve finally admitted to their real goal all along – to murder Shiites, plain and simple.
    “Insurgency” my ass.

  • tristero says:

    “The terrorists continue to lose ground to the Coalition…”
    At the rate the terrorists are currently losing ground, it seems likely they will overrun and capture Baghdad within weeks.
    It seems very odd to me that conservatives continue to defend this miserable failure of an administration and their utterly catastrophic, pointless war. Especially by claiming that the more innocent Iraqis and American soldiers get killed, the more the “Coalition” is winning.

  • The Honest Liberal says:

    Yes, they have admitted their true goals, just as I have admitted the true goals of the Western Left. I believe that being honest about our goals is the way to increase our following. George Galloway also agrees.
    What liberals like tristero and I seek to achieve is to demoralize the American public so much that America loses the will to fight, even if Iraq has had free elections and just 1900 troops have died. With approval of the war at under 40%, we are succeeding.
    Slowly, the power of America will erode completely, and socialism will sweep the world.

  • Rookie says:

    “Honest” liberal:
    I cannot realize if you’re a sarcastic idiot or just an idiot. You and other buddies can go live in Cuba, to get a whiff of socialism, if you like.
    Stay on du and kos and don’t infest this board with your buddies. I know I will not go on tristero blog, so you can stay on your part of the fence too. You don’t like information here, you’re free to go.

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    IMHO Whenever an AlQueda cell becomes compromised, it is followed by a rash of suicide bombings. Basically, a use it or lose it strategy. The TalAfar operation surely yielded a motherload of intelligience information.
    Zarqawi doesn’t have a choice but to wage the “Final Battle” now. Qaim and Haditha may still be safe havens, but the frequency of JDAM’s appearing whenever there is a “group meeting” makes Qaim and Haditha less than “safe” for him and his fighters.

  • The Honest Liberal says:

    I never said that I did not like the information here. I am the first to admit that it is true (remember, I am honest). But I do point out that the truth on this blog is very easy for us liberals to drown out with repetitive Abu Ghraib coverage or spinning Hurricane Katrina into a story about America being a racist society.
    Remember, the winners write the history, and with the Iraq War approval at only 40%, despite elections and only 1900 troops killed, we are winning in our goal to undermine America.
    In VietNam, people only got fed up with the war after 50,000 were killed, and we were able to make America fail then.
    This time, we are making America fail after only 1900 deaths, and even despite free elections. We are that much more powerful now.

  • leaddog2 says:

    Honest Liberal,
    I will take out Galloway personally, if it ever becomes necessary. However, that will not happen because cowards like Galloway always whine and die of fear. So do all Socialists! As for Iraq, we are winning the battle and there is no county in the world that would ever choose Socialism.
    Socialists are all TOTAL LOSERS in every way. History has proven that. Socialists hate themselves so much that they commit sucide quickly. Why don’t you join them, Honest Liberal? (Ha)!
    That would be your greatest gift to humanity!

  • Rookie says:

    “Remember, the winners write the history”
    Exactly… Lenin mausoleum is now a place to piss on, I can indicate for you Ceausescu’s tomb we shot in 1989, if you want :). And also, don’t you want to buy my Romanian Communist Youth booklet? It’s genuine, with Party stamp and all – always I knew that keeping it will make me some profit.. Mmm?
    The only good thing about socialism is, once is victorius in one country, the top dog starts so fast to kill every old supporter and “comrade” it had that after first 5 years there are no one in doubt that they were mistaken :))
    Hurry up making America a socialist country, let see what you will do about China: you know, RAW, RUTHLESS capitalism, with no human rights, where millions are working in factories for 100$/month he.. he.. he.. history is a bitch, no?

  • Civilian Murder & Fascistic Executions: More of the Same from Al Qaeda in Iraq

    In a continuation of violence following yesterday’s murderous events and Zarqawi’s declaration of war on Shi’ites & Iraqi troops, al Qaeda in Iraq has continued along its path of violent destruction. In a series of Baghdad car bombings, 31 have been ki…

  • GJ says:

    In some ways I hope this “Honest Liberal” isn’t putting forth a joke. His delusional mind says it all. Keep thinking all you write. Liberals are getting desperate and HL is showing how true it is. No doubt he is a big fan of the Stalin regime, the epitome of Socialist control. In order for a Socialist State to maintain itself it HAS to exert total control over the individual. Stalin maintained this. Once an opportunity for the people to rebel they WILL choose to overthrow such a regime. Socialism “sounds” good but never works in practice. It never lasts much past a single generation. The Socialist expects a Utopian society, but Utopia is a myth. Evidently those who want such don’t understand ‘mythology’. So HL go ahead and live in your dreamland and keep using those drugs you are on.

  • The Honest Liberal says:

    You people did not read my message :
    ‘Why do we want another socialist/Marxist state? Because some of us who are leaders of the movement will be at the top of the ruling order, which would be a great position to be in, just like it was in the Kremlin or in the Chinese CP.’
    That is why we liberals have the cause that we have.
    Don’t single me out for condemnation among liberals. At least I am totally honest about the left-wing agenda…..

  • hamidreza says:

    Honest Liberal – your tongue-in-cheek is better suited for DailyKos. Have you tried over there? What is the point of preaching to the convert, if you are as sincere as you try to project?
    The forum here is to discuss military, counterinsurgncy and nation building matters that do not appear elsewhere. And remember, you are never as right, as when you win. Winning will settle arguments and will buy hearts and minds, here and in Iraq. Nothing speaks louder than success.
    And we are witness to this happening today in Iraq, and that is why we are here. And the less the MSM talks about it, the sweeter it is going to be when the Islamofascists are all in cages or in coffins, and the western reactionary left cries WTF?.

  • BigRed says:

    “Zarqawi doesn’t have a choice but to wage the “Final Battle” now”

    “And the less the MSM talks about it, the sweeter it is going to be when the Islamofascists are all in cages or in coffins, and the western reactionary left cries WTF?”

    Oh boy oh boy… You guys should be saying WTF by now. WOW. Pass me whatever it is you are smoking!

  • AMac says:

    Regular 4th Rail commenters:

    This is a low-quality thread.

    Trolls are unfortunately able to contribute to open comments whenever it pleases them. Please remember: don’t feed them.

    Others who veer off-track can often be cajoled into returning to the subject of the post.


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