Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Al Qaeda Remains Trapped in a Vietnam Fantasy

Al Qaeda is desperately trying to create a "Tet Offensive" type attack in Iraq. It would seem that Al Qaeda bekieves the media generated lie, that the Tet offensive was a major victory for the viet cong and North Vietnamese. The truth is that the Tet Offensive was a major defeat for them. In fact, according to the North's General Giap, it was a devistating defeat for his forces. But Walter Cronkite declared it a victory for Giap's forces and so it is believed, the facts be damned. It could be that Al Qaeda is looking for the same type of reporting. The old media refuses to report on the positive things happening in Iraq, and in so doing, plays right into the hands of Abu Musab al Zarqawi and his ilk. Austin Bay details how Zarqawi has attempted to repeat the "Tet offensive" in Iraq.

"On April 2 and again on April 4, the terror gang led by Al Qaeda's Iraq commander, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, launched "military-style attacks" on the Abu Ghraib prison complex in Baghdad. In the April 4 assault, U.S. forces took 44 casualties (most of them minor wounds). The terrorist gang, however, took 50 casualties, out of a force estimated at 60 gunmen.

On April 11, the gang attacked a Marine compound at Husaybah near the Syrian border. As I write, terrorist casualties are unconfirmed, but the assault flopped."
Al Qaeda is taking heavy casualities in these attacks. They cannot successfully engage US forces in platoon size and larger engagments. They will be defeated every time by a better equiped, trained and motivated soldier. Al Qaeda has increasingly targeted Iraqi forces and civilians because of this.
"While bomb attacks on unarmed Iraqi civilians continue (particularly against Shiites), public opinion now matters in Iraq, and the thugs' public slaughters have killed too many Iraqi innocents. January's election dramatically lifted public morale and changed the media focus -- suddenly, democracy looks possible, and an Arab Muslim democracy is Al Qaeda's worst nightmare.

Hence the "Tet gamble." Bombs haven't cowed the Iraqi people -- but perhaps the American people will lose heart and buckle if Al Qaeda concocts a military surprise.

US forces, however, are "hard targets" -- unlike civilians standing in line to vote, US troops shoot back. Since 9-11, Al Qaeda has never won a military engagement at the platoon level (30 men) or higher. Coalition forward operating bases are heavily fortified."
Austin Bay goes on to explain, as I did, why Tet was a major defeat for the communists.
"But the Tet fantasy is so compelling. Though Tet was by most measures a disaster for the communists, as a media and hence political event, Tet snuffed "the light at the end of the tunnel." The Johnson administration had told the American public Vietnam had reached a turning point -- "the light" -- but Tet demonstrated that North Vietnamese Army (NVA) regulars and Viet Cong (VC) guerrillas were still capable of potent action.

NVA General Vo Nguyen Giap planned for maximum psychological and political impact. Communist forces simultaneously hit cities and military bases throughout the south. Though they took huge casualties, Giap's real target was President Johnson. Communist attackers managed to break into the US embassy compound in Saigon. The assault was repelled, but the moral damage -- and dramatic photos -- energized Sen Eugene McCarthy's "peace candidacy." Political support for LBJ and the Vietnam War withered."
This may be what Al Qaeda is trying to accomplish. The way the old media is reporting on Iraq, can do nothing but encourage this type of activity. What the old media and Zarqawi cannot seem to understand, is that Iraq is not Vietnam.
"Iraq, however, is no Vietnam. The Vietnam War was strategic defense, a bitter Cold War "battle of containment." The War on Terror is a strategic political and military offensive directed at the dictators and theocrats who rule by death squad and export terror -- and it's a war we are winning."
You would not know that we are winning this global war on terrorism by reading and watching the reporting from the MSM. - Sailor

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