Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 27, 2007 / 12 Menachem-Av, 5767

Al-Qaida in Iraq?

By Robert Robb

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | According to President Bush, al-Qaida regards Iraq as its central front. That's probably true.


However, simply because Iraq is a central front for al-Qaida does not necessarily mean that it is, or should be, a central front for the United States in the effort to protect the country against terrorist attacks.


The current al-Qaida strategy in Iraq appears to be to foment sectarian violence leading to a situation in which it can establish an expansionary caliphate for its vision of militant Islam.


There was, at one point, doubt about the strategy, if not the goal.


Attacking Shiites as the primary strategy was outlined in an appeal for help from al-Qaida by Jordanian jihadist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi before he formally pledged loyalty to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida.


A subsequent letter from al-Qaida's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, seemed to take issue with this tactic, suggesting instead that an alliance should be sought with the Shia against the Americans.


After Zarqawi's death, al-Qaida loyalists were sent in to run things.


Foreign jihadists are responsible for the overwhelming majority of suicide bombings aimed at mass killings, targeted virtually exclusively at the Shia. So, it is fair to assume that al-Qaida's senior leadership has fully accepted Zarqawi's strategy.


In a speech Tuesday, Bush attempted to demonstrate that the al-Qaida the United States is fighting in Iraq is the same al-Qaida that attacked the United States on 9/11.


That wasn't initially true. However, it is a fair description of the situation today.


Bush then goes on to say that if the United States withdraws in Iraq, al-Qaida will succeed in its goal of establishing a safe haven from which it can launch attacks against the United States.


That is highly unlikely.


Bush talks about Iraq as though it is a fight only between the United States and al-Qaida. If we leave, in Bush's limited view, al-Qaida wins.


There are, however, 26 million Iraqis who have a stake in the outcome as well.


There are a few thousand al-Qaida fighters in Iraq, at most. The Shia-dominated Iraqi government has 353,000 armed troops and security forces. The most lethal indigenous fighting forces remain the Shiite and Kurdish militias.


If Iraq were to become a free-for-all, the Shia would pursue al-Qaida with a vengeance, since its principal activity has been to kill as many Shiite civilians as possible.


With the current configuration of forces, the assumption has to be that the Shia and the Kurds, whose relative independence al-Qaida also threatens, would prevail in the event of an armed fight for power.


Even the Sunni Baathist revanchists have no enduring natural alliance with their co-religionists among the al-Qaida foreign jihadists. Their goal is a return to control of the nation's spoils, not a jihadist caliphate.


In his speech, Bush stressed the foreign nature of the leadership of al-Qaida in Iraq to strengthen the case that it is, indeed, an affiliate of the al-Qaida that attacked the United States. That, however, undermines his assertion that, absent U.S. forces, al-Qaida wins in Iraq. There is no local force of any substance that wants to live under a foreign-led strict Sunni caliphate. Unlike in Afghanistan with the Taliban, al-Qaida has no natural indigenous allies in Iraq.


Now, it should be U.S. policy that there are to be no safe havens for al-Qaida or other terrorist organizations that target the United States.


And in the unlikely event that Iraq were to become one, the United States would need to intervene once again and clear it out.


However, the lesson of Afghanistan and Iraq is that the U.S. military is highly effective and efficient in doing that. What the United States is not particularly good at is policing and managing the internal politics of other countries, which is what we are principally now doing in Iraq.


There is al-Qaida in Iraq. However, there are better ways of protecting the United States against terrorist attack than having 160,000 American troops chasing after a thousand or so foreign jihadists in a country the size of Iraq at a cost of $10 billion a month.


The current surge, having been undertaken, should be given a chance to work through next spring or summer. It increases the odds of more stable governance in Iraq, which is in the best interest of the United States and consistent with the moral obligation taken on when we assumed responsibility for post-war reconstruction.


After that, it's time to clear out and leave Iraq to the Iraqis.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Robert Robb is a columnist for The Arizona Republic. Comment by clicking here.

Robert Robb Archives

© 2007, The Arizona Republic

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles