Crack up: Islamic Army in Iraq splits from Al Qaeda

posted at 11:12 pm on April 12, 2007 by Allahpundit

A ray of sunshine on an otherwise dark day. I posted about the two groups’ marital problems on Friday; they went public with their difficulties today but it sounds like it might be more of a trial separation than a divorce.

An Iraqi militant group has highlighted the split in the ranks of the Iraqi insurgency by having its spokesman give a television interview in which he accuses al-Qaida and its umbrella organization of killing its members and pursuing the wrong policies…

“We don’t recognize (the Islamic State of Iraq). It is void. There is no state under crusader occupation. There is resistance,” al-Shimmari said…

Al-Shimmari’s comments provoked a series of postings on Islamic Web sites by militant sympathizers, who said they were saddened by the split.

He said the Islamic Army used to be very close to al-Qaida in Iraq, but the two groups had increasingly diverged since al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. airstrike last June…

He seemed eager to indicate that the division was not irreconcilable. He said the Islamic Army had refrained from turning its guns on al-Qaida.

The Islamic State of Iraq is the pan-jihadi Sunni emirate declared by AQ to which various other insurgent groups have pledged allegiance. As for the bit at the end, that may simply be IAI’s way of dangling hope for a new alliance to dissuade AQ and its cronies from attacking them. Roggio thinks the split is real and seems to suggest that the group will now be joining the Sunni “awakening” or counterinsurgency, although honestly, at this point I’m starting to wonder just how significant the awakening is. How can a coalition of indigenous Sunni tribesmen and insurgents, many of whom are veterans of Saddam’s army and many more of whom are by now seasoned guerrilla warriors, have such trouble routing a group of foreign fighters like AQ operating on their home turf? I know there are parts of the Sunni population that support them, but the point of the awakening is that that population is, supposedly, dwindling by the minute. Unless AQ is receiving reinforcements faster than the Sunnis can kill them, I have to question just how much of the population has “awakened” and how much simply doesn’t care which gang is in charge so long as someone is.

On the other hand, don’t kid yourself — to the extent that it’s happening at all, the awakening is possible only because U.S. troops are still there. If we pull out, it’s Sunnis versus Shia with the former sufficiently outnumbered by the latter that they won’t have the luxury of purging the foreigners in their midst unless the Saudis come in and supply some manpower for them. They’ll need all the guns they can get, even if those guns come from AQ. That point was and presumably is still completely lost on Murtha, who thinks the surest way to defeat Al Qaeda is for us to leave. The surest way not to defeat them is for us to leave, unless, like I say, he’s expecting the Saudis to jump in and turn it into a full-scale Islamic fundamentalist proxy war with Iran. Which, if you’re an Iraqi in the middle, would be just super.

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First law of effective combat: Let’s you and him fight.

Canadian Imperialist Running Dog on April 12, 2007 at 11:29 PM

Let’s you and him fight.


Anwyn on April 13, 2007 at 12:24 AM

There is so much going on over there that the American public is not being told, it’s treasonist……

People have to make day to day decisions that will effect them and their family, in a country that was controlled by terror and fear for 30 years, they make the decision for change, to fight for freedom, looking over their shoulders all the time, “Thank God for the Americans”, maybe we can do this……….

Then we have Kerry, Pelosi, Murtha, and Kennedy…. and by the way AQ, who keep them emboldened.

Hope, Freedom, Winning…….. all good words. All good deeds. All good ideals.

When we look back on this, will the people who have hidden the truth from the “sheeple of Amercia” ever be called to answer, like Mr. Imus?

I sure hope so…….

PinkyBigglesworth on April 13, 2007 at 12:43 AM

Right on, Pinky. When the history of this war is written, we will see that it was the right thing to do, even if it was too hard for some to handle. Half the people in this country (and the West in general) are so spoiled by their easy lifestlye that they think they can just go on living that way and nobody will stop them. Well, we live this way because our Soldiers are out there keeping us free and safe. Life is hard and hard decisions have to be made. To paraphrase JFK “We will do it not because it is easy, but because it is hard.”

If we had known in 1938 what we knew by 1945, we would’ve pre-empted Hitler too. History will show that removing Saddam BEFORE he had the chance to achieve his goals did in fact save more lives than it cost, just as did the atomic bomb in WW2.

Tony737 on April 13, 2007 at 11:30 AM

Amen Tony!

Tim Burton on April 13, 2007 at 12:41 PM

The last paragraph says it all: a proxy war of Saudi Arabia vs. Iran. Less resources going toward fighting the indidels. Where’s the downside?

PRCalDude on April 13, 2007 at 1:40 PM

People have no idea of the scope of the possibilities in this thing. First of all, you would have Iraq regaining its place as the center of Shiite thought and culture. This could well moderate things in Lebanon and even Iran itself and the Iranian ayatollahs would be, in the religious heirarchy, of lower stature than the ayatollahs in Iraq. It also works to surround Syria. There is the argument that while the instability in Iraq is being fed in part from Syria, that direction might reverse at some point in the future if Syrians want a taste of free enterprise. It probably won’t come in the form of bullets, though, so much as good and eventually people wanting to engage in commerce cross the border. The dusty western desert villages could become economic boomtowns once this settles down.

But the monarchies and dictators of the region are in no hurry to see a(nother) secular elected government in the region.

crosspatch on April 13, 2007 at 2:25 PM