October 12, 2005


al-Qaida No. 2: U.S. 'Ran' From Vietnam (KATHERINE SHRADER, Associated Press)

In a letter to his top deputy in Iraq, al-Qaida's No. 2 leader said the United States "ran and left their agents" in Vietnam and the jihadists must have a plan ready to fill the void if the Americans suddenly leave Iraq.

"Things may develop faster than we imagine," Ayman al-Zawahri wrote in a letter to his top deputy in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. "The aftermath of the collapse of American power in Vietnam — and how they ran and left their agents — is noteworthy. ... We must be ready starting now."

Fortunately, Democrats don't control Congress anymore, so this time we'll continue to supply the air cover that is all our allies really require after we withdraw our troops.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 12, 2005 12:56 PM

Thus it is that the peace creeps of the '70's bear guilt for the victims of 9-11.

Posted by: Lou Gots at October 12, 2005 1:37 PM

After another year or two. Suggesting any sooner gives succor to the Caliphascists.

Posted by: Genecis at October 12, 2005 2:11 PM

Sounds like it was written by a Rove agent rather than by Al Zaharoui.

Posted by: ed at October 12, 2005 2:12 PM

al-Zawahri sounds like he's been in hiding with his computer listening to the streaming audio of Air America for a little too long.

Posted by: John at October 12, 2005 2:27 PM

OJ: you have this mystical belief in the power of airplanes that baffles me. The US just handed a big base to the Germans after 60 years.

US advisors will be in combat with the Iraqi army for the next decade or two, and we will have bases in Iraq, well outside of urban areas, one in the south-east between Iran and the Shi'ite holy cities one in the north-west between the rivers, and a naval base on the Gulf. Our grandchildren will debate whether those bases should be closed.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 12, 2005 3:13 PM

Airpower is overrated as a strategic weapon despite the victory in Kosova, but it is absolutely vital as a force multiplier which is what OJ suggests is needed. I tend to agree. A handful of advisors combined with tactical air support and intelligence sharing should be the only thing indigenous Iraqi forces need to win.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at October 12, 2005 4:59 PM

In Vietnam the use of airpower would have been a difference maker, since it would have prevented the North from invading. But there's no prospect for an invasion of anything like an army in Iraq, so the Air Force is much less directly applicable to the most situations in Iraq.

Posted by: b at October 12, 2005 6:49 PM


Exactly. It's an unlosable war because the foe can never congregate, let alone assume power.

Posted by: oj at October 12, 2005 9:15 PM

"It's an unlosable war because the foe can never congregate, let alone assume power."

How are we gauranteed that Shia in power is a win for us?

Posted by: Perry at October 13, 2005 10:14 PM

We aren't.

Posted by: oj at October 13, 2005 11:11 PM

So your point about "unlosable" is lost on me, sorry

Posted by: Perry at October 14, 2005 8:40 AM

The war isn't against the Shi'a, but the Sunni.

Posted by: oj at October 14, 2005 9:01 AM

So if the Shia are no better than the Sunni, we still won by your definition of win?

Do you have a link for a past discussion of this on your site? I am interested in why we think backing the Shia in Iraq is good policy. I am assuming it is more than just the fact they aren't
Sunnis. Thanks

Posted by: Perry at October 14, 2005 10:03 AM



However, even if the Shi'a turn out no better than the Sunni, it's obviously helpful to us to have divided Islam in two so we can stoke a Civil War and turn their attention to each other instead of us.

Posted by: oj at October 14, 2005 11:12 AM