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Murtha’s Probably Right

February 14, 2007

I was perusing the blogs after work today and noticed this video clip over at hot air: Video: Murtha rips Howard, says Iraqis will rout AQ “the minute we’re gone” . Allahpundit states:

From the mind that brought you an over-the-horizon redeployment to Okinawa comes this latest exercise in magic and wonder, in which a Sunni population threatened with ethnic cleansing chooses to fight the Sunni jihadis in its midst instead of coopting them for battle against the Shiites. Or am I misunderstanding Murtha and what he really means is that the Shiites themselves will “get rid” of Al Qaeda in the course of massacring pretty much every last Sunni in the country?

I made an entry about Howard’s remarks the other day, so I thought I’d chime in on it again. That, and the fact that Allahpundit seems to be a bit more intellectually honest than your average ‘pundit’, so I figured I’d roll with it. ….

First of all, al Qaeda isn’t very popular in Iraq, even among the Sunnis.  According to WPO:

Overall 94 percent have an unfavorable view of al Qaeda, with 82 percent expressing a very unfavorable view. Of all organizations and individuals assessed in this poll, it received the most negative ratings. The Shias and Kurds show similarly intense levels of opposition, with 95 percent and 93 percent respectively saying they have very unfavorable views. The Sunnis are also quite negative, but with less intensity. Seventy-seven percent express an unfavorable view, but only 38 percent are very unfavorable. Twenty-three percent express a favorable view (5% very).

You almost have to ask yourself (with a straight face) if al Qaeda would get a 94% unfavorable rating in any country.   If US forces weren’t occupying Iraq, it would seem to me that al Qaeda would struggle to gain popular support.

I think that Murtha’s scenario is a lot more plausible than the idea that a group of a few thousand (many of them foreigners) will be able to do all this (as Howard would have you believe):

…. The stated goals of JTJ are to force a withdrawal of U.S-led forces from Iraq, topple the Iraqi interim government and assassinate collaborators with the “occupation,” marginalize the Shiite Muslim population and defeat its militias, and to subsequently establish a pure Sunni Islamic state. Presumably, if and when those goals are achieved, the global jihad would continue to establish a pan-Islamic state and remove Western influence from the Muslim world.

Yea, I think they’ve got a long way to go there.  Remember that their situation there was so bleak that they were trying to start a war (any war) and even thought about provoking a U.S./Iran conflict?  Anti-American sentiment is what fuels them.  It’s not that far out there to suggest that, if our troops left, their little movement would sputter and die.   That’s what Murtha meant, and he’s probably right.

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