Al Qaeda stretched too thin?

Bin Laden’s Iraq Plans

Newsweek has a story about an alleged meeting between al Qaeda and Taliban leaders in a remote area of Afghanistan. Apparently, bin Laden’s men told the Taliban’s men that fighters and money would be diverted from the Afghanistan battle to the Iraq battle.

Al Qaeda would be diverting a large number of fighters from the anti-U.S. insurgency in Afghanistan to Iraq. Al Qaeda also planned to reduce by half its $3 million monthly contribution to Afghan jihadi outfits.
All this was on the orders of bin Laden himself, the sources said. Why? Because the terror chieftain and his top lieutenants see a great opportunity for killing Americans and their allies in Iraq and neighboring countries such as Turkey, according to Taliban sources who complain that their own movement will suffer.

In typical Newsweek fashion, this is portrayed as a disaster for the Americans.

They point out

Until now, the attacks on Americans and other Coalition members have come mainly from local Saddam loyalists rather than an influx of foreign jihadists.

Now, I thought that anti-Bush writers claimed that this was going on this past summer. The administration and the Pentagon both claimed foreign fighters were in Iraq before and during the initial Allied invasion. When Iraq folded quickly and foreign reinforcements rushed to fill the gaps in the lines, anti-Bushites were quick to point out that the plan hadn’t taken these foreign insurgents into account. Maureen Dowd, you’ll recall, made a big deal about it last summer, and I called her on it then. Now, as ranks of foreign fighters are wiped out by our professional soldiers and al Qaeda scrambles to stay in the fight, Newsweek thinks it’s on to something when it notes that foreigners may be present in Iraq.


Despite bin Laden’s apparently fresh interest in Iraq, sources in the region say there remains scant evidence that he had links to Saddam before the war.

That’s all they say about that subject, though. Pretty flimsy denial of what seems to be more and more obvious as time goes by.

Newsweek also notes several times how easily al Qaeda and Taliban members are able to move around.

Even Mullah Omar himself, who has been sought by U.S. forces for two years, may be operating inside Pakistan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai told NEWSWEEK in an interview on Nov. 28. “Mullah Omar was spotted praying in a mosque in Quetta 10 days ago,” Karzai said. “This is the first time I have said this publicly.”

You know what? President Bush was seen about 10 days ago SERVING TURKEY to US troops in Baghdad.

Newsweek also notes

The New York Times reported Saturday that Qaeda operatives are also heading to Iraq from Europe.

Why is this being hailed as a good strategic move? Where can terrorists and irregular fighters cause more damage? In crowded cities bombing women and children in restaurants and at bus stops, or in Iraq attacking tanks and Marines with pick-up trucks and homemade bombs?

It appears that bin Laden sees Iraq as the central front of this war. If he does, that’s in our favor. The Newsweek article notes that the Bush administration would like to be able to show a great deal of progress in Iraq between now and the elections in November. If these additional foriegn fighters are able to stretch the battle out long enough, Bush may suffer politically.

Has it occurred to anyone that maybe this is EXACTLY why bin Laden is doing what he’s doing? Perhaps bin Laden realizes that he cannot win as long as Bush remains in the White House. Perhaps he thinks it’s worth throwing away countless men in an effort to get Bush defeated in an election.

Who appears more desperate here?