Bring ‘Em On

Instapundit has been covering the “flypaper” theory of the American occupation of Iraq acting to draw Islamist militants into conflict with our military there, rather than our civilian population over here. His coverage started back in July, and here’s some more evidence. A New York Times article describing exactly what’s going on:

Iraq luring militants eager to fight U.S.

In much the same way as the Russian invasion of Afghanistan stirred an earlier generation of young Muslims determined to fight the infidel, the U.S. presence in Iraq is prompting a rising tide of Muslim militants to slip into the country to fight, Iraqi officials and others say.

“Iraq is the nexus where many issues are coming together – Islam versus democracy, the West vs. the axis of evil, Arab nationalism vs. some different types of political culture,” said Barham Saleh, the prime minister of a Kurdish-controlled part of northern Iraq. “If the Americans succeed here, this will be a monumental blow to everything the terrorists stand for.”

That’s the idea.

Violence against U.S. troops continued Tuesday. One soldier from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment was killed and another wounded when their convoy struck three improvised explosive devices while driving near Ramadi, about 60 miles west of Baghdad.

The death brought to at least 57 the number of American servicemen killed in attacks since the end of major combat operations on May 1.

I believe, however, that these men have died doing what they volunteered for – defending their nation. At least they often get the chance to capture or kill the people trying to kill them.

Well-organized fighters

Recent intelligence suggests the militants are well-organized. One returning group of fighters from the radical Ansar al-Islam organization captured in the Kurdish region two weeks ago consisted of five Iraqis, a Palestinian and a Tunisian.

Among their possessions were five forged Italian passports for a different group of militants they were apparently supposed to join, said Dana Ahmed Majid, the director of general security for the region.

The fighters sneak over Iraq’s largely unpoliced borders in small groups, bearing instructions to go to a safe house where they can whisper one password to gain admittance and then lie low awaiting further instructions, according to Iraqi security officials.

As opposed to slipping over America’s largely unpoliced borders in small groups and doing the same thing over here, but to civilians.

Flourishing amid chaos

Iraqi officials say they expect a broad spectrum of Muslim militants to flood Iraq. They believe that Ansar al-Islam, a small fundamentalist group believed to have links with al-Qaida, forms the backbone of the underground network. The group was forced out of northern Iraq by a huge attack during the war.

“All previous experiences with the activities of the underground organizations proved that they flourish in countries with a chaotic security situation, unchecked borders and the lack of a central government – Iraq is all that,” said Muhammad Salah, an expert on militant groups and the Cairo bureau chief of the newspaper Al Hayat. “It is the perfect environment for fundamentalist groups to operate and grow.”

But for how much longer?

The extent of their activities remains cloudy. But Web sites believed linked to al-Qaida are clear enough about the envisaged fight: “The struggle with America has to be carefully managed, the ‘electric shock method’ must be applied, relentless shocks that haunt the Americans all the time everywhere, without giving them a break to regain balance or power.”

Last shocks of a dying electric eel? We’ll see. The difference between the Russians in Afghanistan and the Americans in Iraq is that we’re trying to make their lives better, and the majority of Iraqi’s seem to know this. But you wouldn’t know that from the reporting the major news media is giving us.

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