"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

New York

Hundreds of Insurgents Killed/Captured in Baghdad in last two weeks.

CNN, has an interesting article not for its title, "Dozens killed in suicide blast outside mosque, school", nor most of its content, but for what it writes that PM Maliki said, namely,

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said Saturday that the effort to restore order in Baghdad has yielded results and has left hundreds of insurgents arrested or dead.

So far, 426 suspected insurgents have been detained and roughly the same number killed, al-Maliki told reporters. The crackdown has reduced sectarian killings and kidnappings; dismantled terror cells; foiled terror plots; and allowed hundreds of displaced families to return home, he said.

That means in the last two weeks since the surge started, over 850 insurgents have been taken off the streets, almost half permanently. This fact coupled with the fact that dozens of tribes in Anbar have unified against the "Islamic State of Iraq" and other insurgent groups are distancing themselves from the "Islamic State of Iraq" does not bode well for the Al Qaeda.

Are we witnessing the end of the insurgency? I believe we are.


All is not well in the "Islamic State of Iraq"

The Blotter, at ABCNews reports that all is not well in the "Islamic State of Iraq" as Jahidi against Jihadi violence progresses. Ansar al-Sunnah posted a letter on a Jihadi website complaining of violence against its members from "Islamic State of Iraq" insurgent. The letter was apparently posted because the Emir of the "Islamic State of Iraq" has not responded to the Ansar al-Sunnah letter. In the letter, the leader of Ansar al-Sunnah complains of,

It claims that some AQI members kidnapped, tortured and killed members of Ansar al-Sunnah in several areas knowing fully well that they are members of this group.

The Blotter also details the same as I have written before, namely, dozens of tribal leaders in Anbar have unified against the "Islamic State of Iraq". These tribal leaders have instructed their tribesmen to enlist in the Iraqi Police.

Many of the Sheikhs had previously worked with al Qaeda but turned against the group as it waged an escalating campaign of murder and intimidation against tribal leaders and their families. The tribal leaders have instructed their followers to join the Iraqi Police and cooperate with the Americans against al Qaeda.

This fact, plus the surge in Baghdad and surrounding provinces will almost certainly bring the "Islamic State of Iraq" to its knees.

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"Tens" of insurgents killed north of Baghdad.

Even though the title of this Reuters article at Yahoo is "Iraqis protest arrest of Shi'ite leader's son", and goes on to explain,

Iraqis took to the streets of Shi'ite towns and cities on Saturday to protest over the detention by U.S. troops of the eldest son of Abdul-Aziz al- Hakim, one of Iraq's most powerful Shi'ite leaders.

What it brushes over is even more important, namely,

North of Baghdad, Iraqi troops supported by U.S. aircraft killed "tens" of militants at an insurgent base early on Saturday, the Interior Ministry said.

Ministry spokesman Brigadier Abdul-Kareem Khalaf said a large Iraqi force clashed with insurgents in a rural area of Mashahda at dawn. U.S. air strikes destroyed the base.

"Tens of people were killed in the operation ... We wiped out their base," Khalaf said.

This attack is significant as Mashahda has been the site of many significant attacks to include downing of helicopters, attacks on oil pipelines, and convoys. It is close to where Zarqawi was killed and is in the heart of the Sunni Triangle. Will report more as information becomes available.

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Jordan's Abdullah: PA gov't must adhere to Quartet conditions

Haaretz, has text of an interview with King Abdullah of Jordan which Israel's Channel 2 will air today. In it King Abdullah states,

There's international common ground - not just Western but also Arab and to an extent Muslim - that believe that there have to be certain criteria that the new government has to accept if we're going to move the process forward

He further explains,

It's not just ... the international players, but also the Arab countries are also expecting the new Palestinian government to adhere to the policies that we have set out in the Quartet, and in the Arab Quartet also

So, not only does Russia, the EU, the UN, and the US believe Palestinians must recognize Israel, renounce violence, and abide by interim peace deals, but King Abdullah is also saying that Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates expect the Palestinians adhere to these conditions too.

The Palestinians now have two major Quartets pushing for them to recognize Israel, renounce violence, and abide by interim peace deals. It will be interesting to see how this push against the Palestinians plays out now that they are being threatened by not only western governments, but also major Arab governments.

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How to deal with terrorists.

Arutz Sheva (IsraelNationalNews), has a damning article regarding how to deal with terrorists.

Top Islamic Jihad official Abu Ahmed was interviewed recently by local Arab reporters. The interview was published online, and then quickly removed. However, Israeli investigators managed to find and translate the interview, which reveals the factors that go into the terrorist leadership’s decision-making process.

Among other things, Abu Ahmed admitted in the interview that the security fence built by Israel has made it more difficult for terrorists to carry out attacks. Even more effective, he said, is the Israeli strategy of targeting terrorist leaders. He also said that Islamic Jihad often refrains from firing rockets due to fear of the possible Israeli response.

Abu Ahmed’s words provide aid to Israel’s diplomatic efforts. Israel’s critics often argue that fighting terrorism is ineffective, and that Israel must make concessions in an attempt to appease terrorists instead. The interview with Abu Ahmed shows that terrorists are discouraged by IDF operations, and that terror can be defeated using military means.

So, according to Abu Ahmed, to reduce terrorists' attacks, peaceful, democratic countries should target terrorist leadership and respond harsely against terrorist groups when they strike.

Who would have thought this tactic would work?

Surely not our Democrat lawmakers who feel if we "cut and run" when terrorists attack, they would respect us and then come to the negotiating table freely, reay to negotiate their surrender.

The question is simple, "cut and run" or "Troop surge". The answer is the same answer we all learned when dealing with bullies at school. If one continues to let the bully pick on him/her, then the bully will keep on pushing. However, if one stands up to the bully, the bully almost always retreats.

Terrorists are no different than bullies at school. That is why they hide behind women and children when they conduct vicious attacks and like Sadr, Nasrallah, and Osama, run when the going gets tough. They do not lead from the front, but instead expect their followers to die for their hopeless cause as they run away to hide in caves.

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Iraq and Imposing the Law

Iraq the Model echos the previous post regarding the security situation in Baghdad,

Not only official statements say so (Defense ministry officials said today that attacks are down by 80% in Baghdad). It’s a reality I live in nowadays, at least in my neighborhood and its surroundings. It is also what I hear from friends and relatives in other parts of the city. We are hearing fewer explosions and less gunfire now than two weeks ago and that, in Baghdad, qualifies as quiet.

Mohammed continues with a discussion of checkpoints set up in Baghdad,

The interesting thing about new checkpoints is the constant shifting of their location. One hour the checkpoint would be here and two hours later it would relocate to another position within the area.

This is one of the changes which make this surge operation different from all the rest. However, this is not just increase security, it is also increased reconstruction.

Side by side with new security efforts is a campaign to clean and redecorate many streets, circles and parks in Baghdad. New trees are planted and damaged street medians and sidewalks are being refurbished. This offers a small yet much needed breeze of hope and normalcy to the traumatized city.

And like in all democracies, people are voting with their feet.

Later reports in the local media indicate that the total number of families that returned home is as high as 130 families across the city, including several families in the, until recently, hopelessly violent district of Hay al-Adl.

And this is not only occurring in Baghdad.

Officials in the provinces of Diwaniya, Salahaddin, Wasit and Babil announced that the security forces are implementing a security plan to support and empower the ongoing operation in Baghdad, and to deal with the threat of possible infiltration by terrorists coming from Baghdad.

So there you have it. Attacks are down 80%. People are returning to Baghdad. Small but important reconstruction projects are underway. Shops are reopening. Four more provinces will soon mirror the Baghdad operation model. Even tribes in places like Ramadi are supporting the new Iraqi government and US/Coalition forces.

We are witnessing the death of the insurgency in Iraq which will deal a severe blow to Al Qaeda's jihadi operations. As the spring offensive begins in Afghanistan, expect to see large battles which result in large Taliban losses, further demoralizing Al Qaeda.

Soon we will be able to focus on other anti-US, anti-democratic forces, namely, Iranians, Syrians, and yes, sadly so, the Democratic Party in America itself.

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Something you will not see on the main stream media

The Washington Times today has an interesting article about the latest developments in Ramadi. In it, the author, Pamela Hess, states,

By a U.S. count, 12 of the Ramadi area's 21 tribes are cooperating in the security effort, six are considered neutral, and three are actively hostile. That is almost the reverse of the tribal posture last June, when three were cooperative and 12 were hostile.

She further states,

The tribes sent hundreds of young men to join the police -- more than 1,000 in December and more than that last month, a record recruiting effort for the province.

The insurgency was born in this area. We are now witnessing the death of the insurgency in this area, and soon the rest of the country.

The troop surge is coming at precisely the right time.

More and more tribal leaders are coming online with the new democratic government. What we are seeing in Ramadi is just a microcosm of what is happening in several other regions.

Sadr is on the lamb in Iran. The Iraqi government is trying to form a new coalition without his members.

Attacks in Baghdad have dropped dramatically despite not all forces being set in position yet.

Iraqi security force strength continues to grow, and they operate more and more independently everyday.

The young Iraqi government is starting to govern.

It will be interesting to see what this new democracy looks like in a year.