That’s the title of a post by hamzacom on the Faloja forum.  In it, he draws an analogy with Afghanistan just after the U.S. invasion.  It was a time of defeat for the mujahids but now they are resurging.  The same will happen in Iraq.

Other forum members are predictably annoyed by hamzacom’s pessimistic title.  Abu `Umar al-Masri retorts that it is merely “a knight’s stumble,” not a loss.  Qannas al-Dawla al-Islamiyya (“The Islamic State’s Hunter”) is even more optimistic: “We will never lose the war as long as God is with us.”

Others share hamzacom’s pessimism but are nonchalant.  “If al-Qaeda has lost the war, what’s the problem?” Shabab Lubnan (“Youth of Lebanon”) states blithely.  “There really isn’t a problem.  There are a number of Jihadi groups that possess the idea of al-Qaeda even if they do not aid (the organization) publicly.  It is possible for these groups to launch a new war and to undertake the duty of jihad if al-Qaeda loses the war.”

The most sober commentator is Abu al-Fadl Madi, whose work we’ve been reading.  Abu Fadl believes the insurgency was largely comprised of members of the Iraqi army that the U.S. disbanded and left without a livelihood.  Now that the U.S. has started paying them off, they have stopped fighting and the insurgency has ended.  The only true resistance to the occupation was Zarqawi and his men; everything else was limited and spontaneous.  “The resistance will not return to Iraq,” Abu al-Fadl remarks, “until al-Qaeda returns to the theater of jihad.  But that won’t happen until after careful study of the lessons (learned).”

Document (Arabic): 9-4-08-faloja-member-believes-aq-is-losing-war-in-iraq

  1. The Caliph says:

    I would disagree and say that he is actually trying to lift spirits and say that what is happening in Iraq is not a failure for the jihadis. While it might have seemed to everyone after the fall of Kabul that the jihadis had lost, they in fact were just gathering their strength and preparing for what we are seeing in Afghanistan now.
    My reading of this is that it’s a very optimistic (probably delusional) view of the situation in Iraq.

  2. Will McCants says:

    Hi Caliph,

    He’s certainly optimistic about the long term, but he describes the current situation bleakly.

  3. The commotion amongst such “thinkers” is predictable. It is in their interests to look at the “bright side of life” as is said in the LIFE OF BRIAN and it’s very possible that any discussion about the lessons learned from their failures in Iraq might result in future successes elsewheres. However, what strikes me the most is how many of these jihadis’ back-and-forth discussions tend to remind me of the rivalry between Reinhardt Heydrich and Werner Best in regards to how to go about administering Nazi-occupied Europe. Both were absolutely committed to exterminating the Jews but at loggerheads as to how to treat the rest of the subhumans. Unlike the online dagawandists they just didn’t get the chance to have lively debates about what lessons they could draw from being defeated in WWII.

  4. [...] Jihadica: Demoralization among jihadists over the current prospects of the Islamic State of Iraq. [...]