From a recently-intercepted letter, believed to be from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to the micron-thin corpse of Osama bin Laden:
”The space of movement is starting to get smaller,” it said. ”The grip is starting to be tightened on the holy warriors’ necks and, with the spread of soldiers and police, the future is becoming frightening.”
The statement says the militant movement in Iraq is racing against time to form battalions that can take control of the country ”four months before the formation of the promised Iraqi government, hoping to spoil their plan.” It appears to refer to the government that would take office after the elections scheduled for January 2005.
If the militants fail to take over Iraq, ”we will have to leave for another land to uphold the (Islamic) banner, or until God chooses us as martyrs,” the statement says.
The statement puts the Iraqi militants’ enemies into four categories: the Americans, the Kurds, Iraqi police and soldiers; and the Shiites. Of the Shiites, it says: ”If we succeed in dragging them into sectarian war, we could wake up the Sunnis.”
Rhetorical questions: Why isn’t this the lead story for every American network and newspaper this morning? Isn’t it just a tad more important than Bill Clinton’s book?
UPDATE: According to a detailed and persuasive review by the inestimable Lt. Smash, it’s not the top story because this letter is probably just a re-translation of the earlier al-Zaquari letter. Thanks to Smash for the correction; brickbrats to the AP for mis-identifying the “new” letter in their story.