In his May 5, 2007, radio address to the nation, Bush said this:
If radicals and terrorists emerge from this battle with control of Iraq, they would have control of a nation with massive oil reserves, which they could use to fund their dangerous ambitions and spread their influence. The al Qaeda terrorists who behead captives or order suicide bombings would not be satisfied to see America defeated and gone from Iraq. They would be emboldened by their victory, protected by their new sanctuary, eager to impose their hateful vision on surrounding countries, and eager to harm Americans.
Nice rhetoric, but Pentagon war games show an entirely different result.
If U.S. combat forces withdraw from Iraq in the near future, three developments would be likely to unfold. Majority Shiites would drive Sunnis out of ethnically mixed areas west to Anbar province. Southern Iraq would erupt in civil war between Shiite groups. And the Kurdish north would solidify its borders and invite a U.S. troop presence there. In short, Iraq would effectively become three separate nations.
That was the conclusion reached in recent "war games" exercises conducted for the U.S. military by retired Marine Col. Gary Anderson. "I honestly don't think it will be apocalyptic," said Anderson, who has served in Iraq and now works for a major defense contractor. But "it will be ugly."
Got it? The Pentagon's own war games do not predict that Al Qaeda will take over Iraq as George Bush warns. It is, in fact, completely impossible for an organization of 5,000-10,000 individuals to take over a fractious and large country of 26 million people like Iraq.
Al Qaeda is just one out of a dozen or so Sunni militant groups that operate in the Sunni areas of Iraq. They do not enjoy the allegiance of all these groups and as recent events in Anbar province demonstrated there is a lot of anti-Al Qaeda sentiment among Iraq's Sunnis. The so-called Islamic State of Iraq which is creating most of the trouble in Iraq, includes not only those who call themselves "Al Qaeda in Iraq" but also these groups:
- Conquering Army (Jeish al-Fatiheen)
- Soldiers of the Prophet Muhammad (Jund al-Sahaba)
- Brigades of Monotheism
- Katbiyan Ansar Al-Tawhid wal Sunnah
- Tenzheem Qa'adah al-Jihad
- Jeish al-Taiifa al-Mansoura
- Saray al-Jihad Group
- al-Ghuraba Brigades
- al-Ahwal Brigades
Not to mention a variety of Sunni clans. It's clear that Al Qaeda in Iraq fights alongside these groups but the fact that they felt it necessary to invent a fictional Iraqi and claim he was their leader demonstrates the vulnerability of their position.
Once Al Qaeda figures out how to subdue or wipe out all these groups, then they have the formidable Islamic Army in Iraq which is made up of former Baathists to deal with. Once they kill all the Baathists they will have to deal with the 1920 Revolution Brigades which is a Sunni insurgent group now supported by the US. After killing them off, they can concentrate on wiping out all of the Sunni tribes that have similarly allied with the US in order to eradicate Al Qaeda.
Having completed the destruction of all these groups, Al Qaeda can then turn their attention to the far larger and much more numerous Shiite militias of the Mahdi Army, Badr Brigades, the regular Iraqi army, scores of Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and, last but not least, the Kurdish peshmerga.
There are a lot of things to worry about with regard to Al Qaeda but the idea of them taking over Iraq isn't one of them. Stop lying to the American people about this Mr. President.
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