Ayman al-Zawahri, number two man in al-Qaida, released a new tape yesterday in which he sneeringly told President Bush that his options were not very pleasant and most probably there would be war in Iraq to hand over to the next American leader. “The truth is that if Bush keeps all his forces in Iraq until doomsday and until they enter hell, they will only see crisis and defeat by the wll of God. “Their alternative is “if the Americans leave they will lose everything. And if they stay, they will bleed to death.” It is apparent al-Qaida leaders have ben keen observers of recent testimony by General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker before Congress.
Al Zawahri commented: “Bush declared that he will grant Petraeus all the time he needs, a ridiculous show to cover up the failure in Iraq and to allow Bush to evade the decison to withdraw the forces, which is an admission of the failure of the crusader invasion of Iraq by passing the problem on to the next president.” In an interesting aside, the al-Qaida leader mocked militant Shiite cleric al-Sadr for seeking a cease fire and termed him “the laughingstock of the world”.
There is nothing unusual in the tape, it reflects the continuing belief of al-Qaida they are embarked in a long-term fight to drive out the Americans. It is but another symptom of the need for American to organize political of forces in Iraq to combat terrorism.