Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s oath to fight "until Islamic rule is back on earth" will fail globally, as it will fail in Iraq.
Now is the time to watch the developments in Iraq, and yet--and this shouldn’t surprise you--I implore you to pay more attention to the strategic developments rather than the tactical ones, the numbers dying from the coordinated attacks in the Sunni triangle.
The media emphasis, of course, will be on the tactical, the seventy killed and over two hundred wounded in coordinated attacks today, for example. And this will continue, as the new Iraqi leaders will be targeted. Some of these attacks, unfortunately, have been and will continue to be successful.
Yet, the transfer of authority is going to take place as planned, the nay-sayers to the contrary notwithstanding. As the Belmont Club makes perfectly clear the U.S. is in "a curious position of strength" on the strategic issues relative to the Sunnis, Shi’ites, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon. He maintains that the real front is still the South, that is, the Shi’ites and what Iran can and may do; the Sunni Triangle, despite the violence, is the secondary front. The bad guys are sending in their best teams, and they will lose them, one by one. Also note that their targets have shifted almost enirely to Iraqis. How this will work out strategically will depend on who wins the election in election in November. But do note the shift in John Kerry’s rhetoric: He is now calling on NATO forces to send troops to Iraq. While NATO troops are not a military necessity, it would have a good diplomatic effect. This Kerry shift is substantial and shows a clearer grasp of the strategic possibilities than heretofore. In other words, Kerry recognizes that--despite the grumblings on the Left and the insane accusations of Michael Moore and Albert Gore--our Iraq policy is in place and the next administration, even a Democratic one, will have to follow through--more or less--according to the designs of the Bush administration. When the bad guys realize this, they will get even more energetic. But they will fail.