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Fighting Al-Qaeda From Iraq To Afghanistan

In response to a post earlier today regarding Sheikh Ahmad al-Rishawi's offer to assist the US in creating a mirror anti-al-Qaeda movement in Afghanistan similar to Sahwa al-Iraq (Iraq Awakening), I added an update post that looks back at the words of al-Rishawi's late brother, Sheikh Abdul Sattar. I titled the update "Sheikh Ahmad al-Rishawi: Acting On Late Brother's Pledge," and the term 'pledge' was perhaps not the most accurate choice of words.

It is a mission in which he needs little guidance from sitting U.S. senators and traveling members of Congress. What he needs are resources. “I swear to God, if we have good weapons, if we have good vehicles, if we have good support, I can fight al Qaeda all the way to Afghanistan,” Sattar said. Naturally, there is bravado in his words. But let it be known that what he possesses is a determination equal to or greater than that of al Qaeda in Iraq.

As you can see in the pertinent quote from the original article, Sheikh Adul Sattar al-Rishawi was making a statement to demonstrate his effectiveness if only the United States would stop eyeballing him as a former Sunni insurgent (which he was not) and trust him as an effective indigenous ally against al-Qaeda. The wisdom of ultimately supporting him as such has borne itself readily evident.

However, his words that he 'could' fight al-Qaeda all the way to Afghanistan obviously should not be interpreted as a promise or commitment. By using the word 'pledge' I perhaps unintentionally implied this.

But to be sure, it should not be discounted that defeating al-Qaeda's core leadership elements where they lie was a logical ambition - capacity or not - for a man who endured so many al-Qaeda murders of men in his own immediate family, those of his tribe, his province and his country. Al-Qaeda eventually assassinated Abdul Sattar, but not before he inspired and lead a movement that has proven deeper and larger than his own leadership, splendid as it was.