Dan over at Effect wrote in with some additional info on the item I posted yesterday regarding al Qaeda making contact with Islamist Kurds:
“The Ansar al-Islam connection was discussed in some detail as a small part of the Jeffrey Goldberg article on the gas attacks in Halabja, which is probably where the CSM guy is working from: [link]
This isn’t really a *shocking* revelation, not if you’ve been keeping up with all the little nodes like Fred at Rantburg [link]. And frankly, just about every little “cell” of unemployed hookah-smokers has had *some* contact with *somebody* that you can parse as an al Qaeda connection.
This is really just another example of how they glom onto every little flowering of conflict, or each flowering gravitates toward the al Qaeda blob (see Tim Blair). And how Saddam will cynically ally with anyone in order to fuck with his enemies. As a casus belli it’s pretty weak.”
Well, I’m not suggesting it’s cause to immediately freak out: I agree with Dan that it is not surprising that al Qaeda is attempting to slime their way into any possible conflict area. But the Kurds strike me as a particularly dangerous group to allow to fall into the Islamist orbit. They’ve been fighting for their own homeland for ages, and have already been screwed over by the United States at least once in recent memory (when they rose up against Saddam in the early 90’s at end of the Gulf War, and got squashed, mistakenly assuming that we were actually going to help them).
Miraculously, though, my understanding is that the main groups of Iraqi Kurds still are pretty positive towards the United States (even if they will be somewhat more cautious trusting us the next time around). And so I think a group like Ansar al-Islam bears close scrutiny. If “Kurdistan” (i.e., Northern Iraq those pieces of Turkey, Iran & Syria that the Kurds claim) were to go Islamofascist (not likely, but certainly conceivable ), that would certainly give al Qaeda another very nice base of operations.
And I think we’d all agree that would, well, suck.