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July 5, 2005
Al-Qaeda Diplomacy

The Arabic world has now gotten a taste of al-Qaeda diplomacy over the past week, as Iraq-AQ ringleader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has changed tactics. Instead of just blowing up Iraqis in an attempt to demoralize the populace -- a strategy that clearly has backfired -- he has now turned his guns and bombs on diplomats posted to Iraq from neighboring Middle East countries:

Gunmen fired on a convoy carrying Pakistan's envoy to Iraq on Tuesday in the third attack on a senior diplomat in three days, police sources said.

The sources said two cars of gunmen fired at the convoy in the wealthy Mansour district of Baghdad but sped off after guards returned fire. Nobody was reported hurt, they said.

Earlier in the day, Islamist terrorists wounded the envoy from Bahrain in another spray of gunfire. This follows the kidnapping of the Egyptian ambassador on Saturday, demonstrating that Zarqawi has not just declared war on democracy in Iraq, but on the entire Arabic world. The lunatics intend on destabilizing Iraq, and if it can't terrorize the Iraqis themselves -- hardened by Saddam's decades of torture, rape, and murder -- then it will try cutting off the new democratic government from the global community.

It's difficult to devise a dumber strategy than this, and it reeks of desperation. Some of these countries have significant sympathy in their population for AQ's goals in the region. However, these attacks not only risk alienating their less-lunatic enables in the Middle East, they threaten to turn Arabic governments from positions of benign neglect to active and deadly opposition to AQ and its supporters. No government will blithely allow its envoys to become targets for Islamists, no matter how sympathetic they might be.

Zarqawi must know this -- he's crazy, but so far we've seen no evidence that he's stupid. To go out of his way to antagonize countries like Egypt and Bahrain, he must realize that all other options have run their course and have failed. He risks accomplishing what George Bush has tried for years: uniting Arabs in the Middle East to fight terrorism and to support democracy, specifically in Iraq.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 5, 2005 6:21 AM

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» Abu Musab al Zaraqawi's al Qaeda Claims Abduction of Egyptian Ambassador from The Jawa Report
Evan Kohlmann e-mailed and wants every one to know that al Qaeda in Iraq has claimed the kidnapping of the Egyptian ambassador Ihab Sherif. Evan's post is here. You will recall that I had speculated that Ihab Sherif's kidnapping was... [Read More]

Tracked on July 5, 2005 1:50 PM

» More of this please from Unpaid Punditry Corps
With a hat tip to Ed Morrissey for catching this, Reuters has a story out that leads with news about a rather odd new tactic by terrorists in Iraq. Gunmen attacked envoys of two Muslim states in Baghdad on Tuesday, three days after Egypt's mission ... [Read More]

Tracked on July 7, 2005 4:24 AM

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