Since 2001 we have been embroiled in a war against Al Qaeda. Now as the conventional military forces wind down in Afghanistan, there is an ominous warning sign that we are about to lose the entire Middle East.
When we left Iraq I made the speculation that Iraq was going to fall apart within just a few years and now we are seeing that come to pass. Fallujah, the town made famous by the epic battle between US Marines and insurgent forces, is now under the control of those same insurgents. Many brave Marines lost their lives taking that city and now Al Qaeda flags proudly fly over it.
Just yesterday, Sunni militants captured part of another smaller town in Anbar province. An Iraqi official did confirm that civilians were caught up in the fight and some were injured. The fighting in Anbar has slowly increased in the last year and it looks as though the Iraqi government is in danger of losing the province to radical Al Qaeda linked Sunni militia groups. As it is in all wars, civilians are suffering the most in Iraq since the last US troops left the country. According to ABC news and the United Nations, an estimated 8,868 Iraqis were killed in the fighting last year. That is the most since the sectarian violence of 2007. Simply put the US mission in Iraq looks as though it will never see fruition.
More startling still is the level of hostility and lack of cooperation coming from the Afghani government. This week the United States slammed Kabul after the government made a decision to release 65 prisoners. These prisoners had been linked to terrorist activities and had taken part in attacks on US and coalition forces. The US Military released a statement out lining four of the now released prisoners and what they had done.
Mohammad Wali is suspected of being a Taliban bomb expert and reportedly target ANSF and coalition forces. He was biometrical linked and fingerprint matches to explosive fragments found at IED blasts. Also when he was captured his clothes tested positive for several types of explosive residues.
Nek Mohammad was arrested for planning and facilitating rocket attacks on coalition installations. He was caught with several artillery rounds, mortars and IED making materials including twenty-five pounds of a homemade explosive.
Mohammadullah is accused of being an IED expert. He is also believed to be a member of Afghanistan’s infamous Haqqani network. He is believed to have built placed and detonated IEDs in attacks on coalition forces. When he was detained his personal items including the clothes he was wearing tested positive for four types of explosives.
Ehsanullah is a suspect high ranking commander of the Haqqani network and was captured at the same time as Mohammadullah. He plans high level IED attacks and was biometrical linked to a radio controlled IED and also tested positive for two types of explosive residue.
All four of these men, as well as the rest of the released prisoners, are considered extremely dangerous by the US government. The one thing all four of these men have in common is that they were all basically caught red handed. However the reason for their release was that the Afghani Attorney General’s office concluded that there was insufficient evidence against them.
This is part of a disturbing trend in Afghanistan where it is beginning to appear that some Islamic militants are getting a free ride from the Kabul government for their crimes.
What does this mean for the United States? The breakdown of civilized life in many of the Middle Eastern countries is something I have been closely monitoring and studying for the past several years. What you are seeing is the slow, steady toppling of secular leaders in the entire region. Mubarak, Hussein, Gaddafi and in the near future Assad all had several things in common. The most important being that they were the secular non-Islamist pillars of the Middle East. They may have been brutal and in many ways evil but they held the region back from the brink that we are seeing today.
Radical Islam is going to engulf the entire region like a firestorm. When this happens it will only be a matter of time before the US homeland is attacked again and we will reenter the region just like in 2001, back to the starting line. Barrack Obama may feel like we killed Osama bin Laden and somehow this has decapitated Al Qaeda, but they haven’t seemed to have gotten that message. While we are thinking our war is over our enemy views it as just beginning.
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