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Chemical warfare costing Al Qaeda support

Posted by Stephen on April 7, 2007

Al Qaeda is helping the American military win hearts and minds in Iraq.

Fox News is reporting that for the ninth time in Iraq Al Qaeda has set off a chemical weapon killing at least 27 and wounding dozens. A homicide bomber crashed a truck loaded with TNT and Chlorine into a police check point in western Ramadi on Friday.

Al Qaeda’s cowardice use of chemicals may not be having the desired effect. According to the Fox report, many Anbar tribes have switched allegiance, with large numbers of military-age men joining the police force and Iraqi army in a bid to expel al-Qaida in Iraq fighters. Suicide bombings are an Al Qaeda trademark, and peace loving citizens of Iraq are fed up.

The move by tribal members could mark a decided change in the tide, tone, attitude, and results of the war in Iraq. As citizens recognize that Al Qaeda represents the same terror and oppression they felt under the former dictator of Iraq, Saddam Hussein. Pride, patriotism, and the basic desire for the ability to live in peace will be the driving force behind Iraq’s future.

It is important, therefore, that the American military be placed in a position to succeed so that the Iraqi people, military, and political leaders can establish a sovereign nation.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government is doing their part to bring his nation together. It has decreed that men who held senior rank in the armed forces under Saddam Hussein be granted pensions and requested that those who had served in lower ranks rejoin the military as part of a sectarian reconciliation plan, according to a government statement issued Friday.

According to Fox News the al-Maliki statement said that any former officer above the rank of major would be given a pension equal to that of officers now retiring. Former officers above major who wanted to rejoin the army were encouraged to check with the military command to learn if they were acceptable in the Iraqi army that is being rebuilt by American forces.

Maliki is hopeful that this gesture will help bridge sectarian divisions that have created communication barriers for his government and the people of Iraq.

It is clear from military leaders that the process is a long way from complete, but it may be headed in the right direction. One comment is being heard in a more consistent fashion. Defense Secretary Gates stated that the time frame for success may be at a point where it can be measured in months instead of years.

Stephen Winslow is the executive editor of Conservative Viewpoints.

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