Monday, July 02, 2007

Culling the herd

Given the spectacular failure of the car bomb attack on the Glasgow airport last Saturday, Michael Ledeen notes that the average jihadi is a dope, and is being played for a fool by his leaders. He also discusses some good news from the Middle East. Some excerpts:

. . . Al Qaeda is not the SAS, their fighters wouldn’t pass the physical, and they’d probably be rejected on the grounds that they’re not very good at thinking clearly under pressure and can’t adapt to changing circumstances. And as for Iran, there seems to be a shortage of high I.Q. atop the mullahcracy, doesn’t there? Only a totally incompetent leadership could have so thoroughly wrecked the country. Gasoline shortages in a country with all that petroleum? Breathtaking stupidity. The suicide terrorists’ competitive advantages to date have been basically two: there’s lots of them, so even if many of them fail, a few succeed and kill lots of people. Second, they’ve got a great theme song, and their brand has sold well.

There are other reasons for their ongoing failures, of which the most important is undoubtedly their declining success in Iraq. Lots of believers raced to join the jihad when it looked like the winning horse, but no one this side of Big John Murtha believes they’re on top in either Iraq or Afghanistan. They announced a big Spring offensive in Afghanistan, and instead they’ve lost hundreds of men. Their ranks have been decimated in Iraq, and they’ve lost Anbar Province, which deprives them of a comfortable environment in the Euphrates Valley, through which they have long infiltrated their killers from Syrian bases. And they’ve lost a lot of their top personnel. Some have been killed or captured, others — including Revolutionary Guards officers — have defected. Their main man in Iraq, Moqtada al Sadr, just denounced Iran — his source of money and prestige — for supporting al Qaeda. Most likely they fired him and he’s trying to remake himself as a thoughtful patriot instead of a foreign-supported crazy man, but his Mahdi army is not the menace it used to be, and one will get you eight that lots of his guys aren’t reupping.

No comments: