Iraqi journalist Nibras Kazimi has been surveying jihadist web sites and came across an amazing thing: an admission by an al Qaeda sympathizer on an al Qaeda-aligned web site that the jihad is suffering a strategic defeat in Iraq — that it has lost:
A prolific jihadist sympathizer has posted an ‘explosive’ study on one of the main jihadist websites in which he laments the dire situation that the mujaheddin find themselves in Iraq by citing the steep drop in the number of insurgent operations conducted by the various jihadist groups, most notably Al-Qaeda’s 94 percent decline in operational ability over the last 12 months when only a year and half ago Al-Qaeda accounted for 60 percent of all jihadist activity!
The author, writing under the pseudonym ‘Dir’a limen wehhed’ [‘A Shield for the Monotheist’], posted his ‘Brief Study on the Consequences of the Division [Among] the [Jihadist] Groups on the Cause of Jihad in Iraq’ on May 12 and it is being displayed by the administration of the Al-Ekhlaas website—one of Al-Qaeda’s chief media outlets—among its more prominent recent posts. He’s considered one of Al-Ekhlaas’s "esteemed" writers.
The author tallies up and compares the numbers of operations claimed by each insurgent group under four categories: a year and half ago (November 2006), a year ago (May 2007), six months ago (November 2007) and now (May 2008). He demonstrated that while Al-Qaeda’s Islamic State of Iraq could claim 334 operations in Nov. 06 and 292 in May 07, their violent output dropped to 25 in Nov. 07 and 16 so far in May 08. Keep in mind that these assessments are based on Al-Qaeda’s own numbers.
Be sure to read the whole thing. It’s fascinating, particularly Kazimi’s analysis that al Qaeda made a crucial mistake by declaring a caliphate too soon. Restoration of the Islamic caliphate is at the core of the jihadist movement, but playing that card now and seeing it trumped by the surge is a disaster for al Qaeda. This war is as much ideological as it is physical, and the growing defeat of al Qaeda in Iraq is showing their ideology to be fatally flawed, something that won’t be missed in the region. (Indeed, the turning of the Sunnis of Iraq against al Qaeda and the formation of various "Awakening" movements indicates it hasn’t been missed.)
This isn’t the time to throw victory parties, of course; the situation is still delicate enough that things could easily go wrong. Still, when your enemy is saying "we’ve lost," that’s a good sign.
Someone should tell Harry "Copperhead" Reid.
(hat tip: Richard Miniter)
LINKS: America’s ambassador in Iraq, Ryan Crocker, agrees with Mr. Wehhed.