* The Iraqi military and security forces had become painfully effective, paralyzing terrorist efforts in parts of Iraq where they'd previously moved freely.But still, we have "Jihad Johnmy" Murtha...
* Losses due to U.S. and Iraqi strikes had badly sapped terrorist strength - and they were having grave difficulty gathering new recruits. Guess not everybody wants a Saturday-nighter with the virgins of paradise.
* While elements in our own media continued to claim that the terrorists couldn't be defeated, the terrorists themselves felt that the Iraqi media's reporting on terrorist atrocities had badly undercut their base of support.
* The terrorists were suffering from the loss of financial resources, as well as a shortage of weapons - old allies were bailing out on them, while their dwindling assets were being seized by Coalition and Iraqi-government forces.
* In the terrorists' view, regional and world opinion had moved behind the Coalition and the elected Iraqi government.
Desperate, Zarqawi's butchers laid out a program to try to regain the initiative they'd lost. Here's what the terrorists hoped to do:
* In their own words, "use the media for spreading an effective and creative image of the resistance." That is, exploit the prejudices of the Western media, the terrorists' last allies.
* Infiltrate Iraq's army, which was pinning them to the mat (if you can't beat 'em, join 'em).
* Unify the resistance - which was falling to pieces amid squabbles over tactics, over turf and even over who was the real enemy.
* Most ambitious, the terrorists hoped to spark a war between the United States and Iran, to "create a second front" that would take pressure off them. To that end, they planned to implicate Iran in staged terrorist events and to provide disinformation about Tehran's having ties to terrorist groups targeted by the United States.
* Just in case that didn't work, the terrorists also hoped to ignite civil wars between Sunni and Shia, Americans and Shia, Shia and Shia, Kurds and Shia - and even between different Sunni factions. A Vietnam-era U.S. officer was ridiculed for saying, "We had to destroy the village in order to save it," but al Qaeda is willing to destroy all of Iraq in order to save it for a fanatical vision.
The internal document portrayed the terrorists as lying on the ropes, speaking of their "current bleak situation." Their self-evaluation was wildly at odds with the interpretation of events foisted upon the American people by left-wing elements in our media and by the leadership of the Democratic Party. Those who called for us to quit Iraq would have handed a broken terrorist movement a strategic victory.
For patriotic Americans and freedom lovers everywhere, for the enemies of terror and the friends of tolerance, for the people of Iraq and of the United States, the captured terrorist documents contained nothing but great news - confirmation that we're winning, that terror is being defeated and that Iraq is on the road to recovery.
(Filed under Murtha Must Go!, Iraq, Heroes)