Captain's Quarters Blog

« Are The Liberals Buying Their Survival? | Main | 25 Years Ago: Operation Nimrod And The First Saddam Test »

May 3, 2005
And The Jihadis Would Like A Better Vision Plan, Too

The American military has seized a letter intended for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi which chastises the terrorist leader of the Iraqi "insurgency" for huge failures and plummeting morale of the jihadis. The letter, written by another al-Qaeda figure, starts by greeting Zarqawi respectfully but quickly dresses him down for poor performance:

The letter -- which never refers to al-Zarqawi by name -- is written to Sheik Abu Ahmad, a name not known to be used by the militant leader or his followers. But supporters often call al-Zarqawi the Sheik or Sheik Abu Musab in letters and on Web sites.

"What has happened to myself and my brothers is an unforgivable crime, but God will punish the oppressor," the letter reads. "I swear by God that you will be asked about what happened to us because you have not asked about the situation of the migrants. Morale is down and there is fatigue among mujahedeen ranks.

"There is discrimination by some of the brethren emirs. God would not accept such actions, and a simple mistake delays victory, so what about big mistakes and gross guilts? Many underestimate them and are lenient toward them."

The letter is dated April 27, the military said.

The author of the letter also "admonishes 'the Sheik' for abandoning his followers" after last year's U.S. siege on Falluja, west of Baghdad.

It appears that all is not well among the fanatics, who have the same issues of esprit de corps that any other unit has. The fact that such criticism exists within a notoriously top-down organization speaks volumes about the effectiveness of the counterinsurgency in Iraq. The brazenness of correcting Zarqawi by letter shows that his credibility among the lunatics of AQ may already be seriously damaged.

Zarqawi's retreat from Fallujah represented a major defeat for the insurgency, even if Western news agencies were slow to recognize it. The terrorists had staked their reputation on defending what they called the City of Mosques, practically daring the Americans to drive them off. Their prestige soared when the Americans backed off an offensive last spring designed to free the city, instead agreeing to allow Fallujah to operate autonomously with a militia ostensibly loyal to the interim Iraqi government. It quickly became apparent that the city remained in control of Zarqawi's lieutenants and became a base of operation for terrorist missions throughout Iraq.

In November, a joint Iraqi-American task force made mince meat of the terrorist bands controlling Fallujah in a few days. Instead of holding out to the last man as promised, Zarqawi fled the City of Mosques and saved his own hide while hundreds, if not thousands, of his followers wound up dead or captured. That humiliation presaged the decline of the overall insurgency, which led to the need to scold Zarqawi for his poor performance as an AQ mastermind.

Under the circumstances, it's easy to see why military sources have become more confident that they will capture or kill Zarqawi soon. Arabs understand and respect power, but they won't abide a coward or incompetent, and so far it looks like Zarqawi qualifies as both. He's killing Iraqis and Arabs instead of so-called infidels, and even the terrorists know that will spell certain doom for their efforts and themselves, and sooner rather than later. It won't be long before someone tips the Iraqis off to where he can be captured, or before someone simply puts a bullet into the back of his head to end the misery immediately.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 3, 2005 3:01 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry is

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference And The Jihadis Would Like A Better Vision Plan, Too:

» Letter to Zarqawi Captured from The Indepundit
"We are tired and we have suffered a lot" CAPTAIN ED analyzes a captured letter which appears to harshly criticize terrorist leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi. Ed predicts that Zarqawi won't be able to hold out much longer. Arabs understand... [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2005 4:46 PM

» Smarmy AP story on Zarqawi Letter from Brutally Honest
Citizen Smash has the text of the letter to al-Zarqawi that's making the rounds, something that Captain Ed has an excellent analysis of. But get a load of the AP's Thomas Wagner and his smarmy reporting of this same letter [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2005 8:49 PM

» Low morale from Don Singleton
I can't imagine them having any reason to have a high morale [Read More]

Tracked on May 4, 2005 9:47 AM

Design & Skinning by:
m2 web studios

blog advertising


Proud Ex-Pat Member of the Bear Flag League!