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Zarqawi admitting defeat

After reading the news from Fallujah for the last 3 weeks I was shocked, just shocked to read this...

Zarqawi network appeals for help in first signals of defeat

BAGHDAD Sunni insurgents backing Abu Mussib Al Zarqawi have expressed alarm at the prospect of a defeat by the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq.

An audio tape said to be from Al Zarqawi charged Muslim clerics with letting down the insurgency "because of your silence."

On Wednesday, Al Zarqawi, with a $25 million bounty on his head, was the target of a major manhunt in the Sunni Triangle, Middle East Newsline reported. Iraqi military sources said Al Zarqawi was said to have been seen in an area south of Fallujah.

Islamic sources said that for the first time in more than a year the Tawhid and Jihad group led by Al Zarqawi appears to have lost control over many of its insurgents in the Sunni Triangle.

The sources said Iraqi and U.S. assaults on major insurgency strongholds in such cities as Baghdad, Fallujah, Mosul, Ramadi and Samara have resulted in heavy insurgency casualties and a break in the command and control structure.

Over the last few days, Al Zarqawi supporters have appealed for help from Al Qaida and related groups. The sources said Al Qaida's allies, including the Salafist Brigade for Combat and Call, have sought to increase recruitment of Muslim volunteers to fight the coalition.

The Internet has also reflected the growing concern that Islamic insurgents would be routed in Iraq. A message posted on an Islamic website appealed for help from Islamic insurgents in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Pakistan and the Palestinian Authority.

The message, posted by a purported insurgency supporter who used the name Abu Ahmed Al Baghdadi, acknowledged that the Sunni insurgency has been harmed by the U.S.-led offensive in Fallujah.

Now I'm confused. I thought we lost fallujah? The MSM as assured me that we did not "break the back" of the insurgency.

It really is amazing. The media has been harping on every negative detail they can find and have never once said that this is potentially the most successful military campaign in the history of the world. (I'm a history buff and I can't think of any more impressive? Am I missing one?)

Whatever the case, Fallujah and the actions afterward were incredibly successful. Even Zarqawi admits it. Now if only the media would...


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Comments (28)

OK, bets that this story ma... (Below threshold)

OK, bets that this story making it to the MSM press at all? I'd give it a 5% chance at best. The MSM will report the US victory in Iraq way late - kinda like when CBS gave Ohio to Bush *after* Kerry had already conceded. Maybe Fox will cover this story...

I didn't watch the evening ... (Below threshold)

I didn't watch the evening news carefully this week, so don't know how the networks played it. But I heard about this on the radio news--not just talk radio--during my commute. So the story's definitely out on the wires.

I have always thought D-Day... (Below threshold)

I have always thought D-Day was the most impressive military battle in history. I think a piece written by you comparing and contrasting the two would be more than worth the read.

I have always thought D-... (Below threshold)

I have always thought D-Day was the most impressive military battle in history.

HA! OK you got me....

I meant the most one sided victory. Guess I shoulda worded that more betterer.

Wait now... I just re-read ... (Below threshold)

Wait now... I just re-read what I wrote. I said:

"the most successful military campaign in the history of the world."

I was referring to a more impressive success. (margin of victory wise)

D-D was a bigger success in absolute terms but it was not as successful. (given that we really could have lost that one)

Get it?

Hmm... Paul, I know you wer... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Hmm... Paul, I know you were talking to Marcus about "greater" military victories, but I can't resist a good challenge. You asked about military victories with tremendous margins of victory. That got me thinking...

Germany invades, occupies France (1939)

Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (1941)

The Battle of the Phillipine Sea/The Marianas Turkey Shoot (1944)

Operation Chromite/Invasion of Inchon (1950)

The 100-hour ground campaign of Desert Storm (1991)

Operation Iranian Freedom/Battle of Bandar Abbas(2006)

Cleaning out and demilitarizing the Bekaa Valley (2007)

Of course, those are only the ones that I can think of...


Specifically I used the wor... (Below threshold)

Specifically I used the word "campaign"... traditionally defined as a series of battles to meet a strategic objective...and often defined as a series of battles that changes the outcome of a conflict.

If you want the most one-sided hunk of warfare ever, the Highway of Death was most probably it. (Unless you count the atomic bombs.) But that did not decide the outcome.. that was well known by then.

(using just one of your examples) Pearl Harbor did not decide the outcome... Hiroshima did. Though neither would be considered a campaign by war scholars I would think.

Sherman's March is, I'm pretty sure, considered a campaign by Civil War scholars. Though the outcome of the was was really a forgone conclusion by then if I recall.

As I was writing it, I was thinking of the specific definition of a campaign and the scope of this win.... That being a victory in tactical as well as strategic terms.

I'd have to ponder your list... and I might if I get a minute... But I'm not sure any of them meet all the qualifications. (I ruled out a few but I'd have to think about the rest)

The point, that I obviously did not use enough words to make, was that this campaign was not just a run away tactically but it is proving (as this article shows) that it is shaping up to be a major change the outcome of the conflict.

Ya just don't get those every day.

-- Though I guess some could make the counter argument it was not a campaign but a battle... I'll leave that debate for later. lol

In the brevity vs "complete thought" contest that occurs when you write, I guess brevity won that one. I hope I made my thought process more clear.

I really did not think anyone would even give it much thought.

I was going to mention the ... (Below threshold)

I was going to mention the Battle of New Orleans, but we only had a 29:1 casualty (fatal) ratio there. I don't know, maybe it's more one-sided. I would have to rule out Pearl Harbor from the most one-sided victory column, as that was actually a tremendous strategic catastrophie for Japan.

Dang, Paul, you're drawing ... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Dang, Paul, you're drawing very tight criteria... campaign AND overwhelming victory AND deciding point of whole war?

The closest I can come is Midway and Guadalcanal. They each meet two of the three, but Midway wasn't a campaign and Guadalcanal wasn't overwhelming.

I'm sticking with Bandar Abbas, however.


(And you're right about your primary point. It's extremely telling that the only people calling Fallujah a victory for us are the two combatant sides.)

Said another way J--<... (Below threshold)

Said another way J--

(assuming this does mark the turning point in Iraq, which I'm about 65% on)

Gimme an event where a single week of tactical dominance makes just a major turn in a long (multi year type) conflict.

I have not spent hours pondering it... and now cuz of you I might... But I'm trying to come up with one....

In a way it is an unfair question -- and what I mean by that is that we have complete tactical superiority- BUT we did not use it. The happenstance of having a group of insurgents in a long war, all clumping up to one place so we can turn the dogs lose on them is probably so unique that it's never occurred before.

Usually tactical dominance does not make a long term conflict to begin with... If we just said "screw the mosques and civilians," we could be finished in Iraq in a week. But we are fighting a PC war.

Fitting my criteria is kinda like someone breaking Tom Dempsey's record for the longest field goal. -- You have to have the unique situation where there are only a few seconds left, you trail by 2 or less, you are + 65 yards out AND you have a good kicker. There have (as I recall) only been like 2 attempts on the record because that set of conditions occurs simultaneously so rarely to begin with.

I have no idea if that makes sense to anyone but me.

Heh- Yeah, I admit I kinda ... (Below threshold)

Heh- Yeah, I admit I kinda narrowed the focus of the debate so you can't answer-- that was not my intent going in.

As the Battle of New Orleans let's remember it was actually fought AFTER the war was over.

Midway might be considered ... (Below threshold)

Midway might be considered a campaign even though it took the proper noun "battle."

I just bought a book I've been wanting for years about the war in the Pacific. Even though I'm a military aviation freak, I never learned as much about the war in the Pacific as I should have... Mostly was Dad was in Europe and that is what we tend to earn here in the states anyway.

I'll try to read the chapter on Midway in the next 24 hours... now I'm curious. I'm sure it qualified in the strategic importance metric.

I thought it was fairly close though huh?

Wow, this is an odd coincid... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Wow, this is an odd coincidence, Paul. My father was a World War II vet, also, but Army Air Force in the Pacific, so that's been my obsession -- to the detriment of my knowledge about the ETO. A Boys Life article I read when I was about 8 about the Battle Of Midway triggered the fixation.

I suppose if you defined "campaign" as "two or more battles" and included the Japanese diversionary attack on the Aleutians, you could consider Midway a campaign, but even for me that's stretching things. Besides, we ignored the attack on the Aleutians, answering the 60's question "what if they held a war and nobody came?" 20 years before it was asked.

Semi-amusing side note: we essentially ignored the Japanese occupation of the Aleutians for several years, contenting ourselves with the occasional harassing air raid. When we finally got around to invading them, we discovered the Japanese had left some time before. It really was an utterly useless and pointless incident.


Ah, I now see your point at... (Below threshold)

Ah, I now see your point at crystal clearity, Paul. The other battles/campaigns mentioned are some great ones. When talking about military battles, I always end up thinking of my beloved Hymn.

From the Halls of Montezuma
To the Shores of Tripoli

Too bad those two battles aren't as widely known as they should be.

It'll be just like the elec... (Below threshold)

It'll be just like the election; when it's done, and we've won every last battle, the liberals will still be trying to pretend that we failed... do they project much, lol?

At the very least, the Fall... (Below threshold)

At the very least, the Fallujah campaign puts to rest most conventional wisdom on how to fight an insurgency. In the past it was thought that you'd need a force structure of 10 to 1 for any counterinsurgency force to succeed.

The Fallujah campaign turns that idea on its head along with the notion that the best way to fight insurgents was through a war of attrition. Through the use of the most sophisticated battlefield technology in the history of warfare, we inflicted casualties at a rate of more than 20 to 1 on a well entrenched, well armed enemy.

The MSM is acting like the ... (Below threshold)

The MSM is acting like the political arm for the Zarqawi/Al Qaeda people. I wonder if they will, at some point in the future, look back on their deeds and actually have the capacity to feel shame. They don't have that capacity now.

Its sad.

For a read on a first hand ... (Below threshold)

For a read on a first hand account of Fallujah, check out 2Slick's friend:


Not exactly a grunt's eye view, but very descriptive of an officer's view in the action and some larger points of the conflict.

Paul:You said, if ... (Below threshold)


You said, if I may quote: "Gimme an event where a single week of tactical dominance makes just a major turn in a long (multi year type) conflict."

May I, as a military history major, offer the example of Operation Citadel, or the Kursk campaign on the Russian front in WWII? The Germans used essentially all of their armor and reserves assaulting a well-prepared Russian defense, thinking they had achieved tactical surprise; instead, after almost exactly one week (July 5th-13th, 1943), the German offensive had failed, and the Russian counter-offensive struck hard, smashing the German forces and marking the end for the Wehrmacht as an offensive fighting force in the East.

Did that work?

I think Cortez's conquest a... (Below threshold)

I think Cortez's conquest and holding of Mexico City (largest city in the world at the time) with a few hundred Spaniard soldiers against an Aztec civilization of millions was more impressive than the Iraqi campaign.

Did that work?... (Below threshold)

Did that work?

I dunno Mahan but you gave me some weekend reading!



I might do a post on this topic.

The MSM doesn't care about ... (Below threshold)

The MSM doesn't care about US military successes. They only loved one war -- Vietnam. The one we lost. It's always good to remember that the US won the Tet Offensive, but CBS News' Walter Crankcase told Americans that we lost.

Yeah Moonbat, that was damn... (Below threshold)

Yeah Moonbat, that was damn impressive.

The destruction of the Spanish Armada was pretty successful, although I don't know if it meets the criteria.

Samson kills 1,000 Philisti... (Below threshold)

Samson kills 1,000 Philistines with the jawbone of an ass for a kill ratio of 1,000:0. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

I think that a couple of ot... (Below threshold)
Lurking Observer:

I think that a couple of other campaigns come to mind:

Operation Cobra, culminating in the Falaise Gap, ultimately destroyed more of the German army than did Stalingrad (and in less time, although more than a week). It decimated the cream of German forces in the West, and resulted in the accelerated liberation of France.

The Destruction of Army Group Center. While Kursk stopped the German offensive, DAGC showed that the Soviets were no longer students but masters of maneuver warfare. And Army Group Center's destruction, like Operation Cobra, resulted in the accelerated collapse of German forces, this time on the Eastern front.

Is the '67 War a campaign? Certainly, the Sinai portion should be considered both decisive and lopsided.

The '73 War would also seem to qualify. Again, perhaps a little longer than a week, but considering the Israelis were fighting from the position of being surprised, both tactically and technologically (the effectiveness of Soviet-supplied SAMs and Shilkas was an unpleasant surprise), their bravura performances on both the northern (Syrian) and southern (Egyptian) fronts should be nominated for decisive campaigns?

The campaigns against the P... (Below threshold)
Jim Ausman:

The campaigns against the Plains Indians probably higher a higher enemy casualty to US casualty ratio and was similarly decisive.

But probably the greatest victory in modern warfare was during the Zulu wars at Khambula, where 3,000 or so British under Wood defeated 25,000 Zulu.

The Zulu took over 3000 casualties, the English 32.

Julius Caesar's victory at ... (Below threshold)

Julius Caesar's victory at Alesia, defeating Vercingetorix and capping the Roman conquest of Gaul.

Paul you said world right?<... (Below threshold)

Paul you said world right?

How about Alexander the Great's military campaign for Persia?

In just about every battle Alexander fought, his force was extremely outnumberd, and yet the Greeks routinely obliterated their Persian foes.






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