More Lessons in Unpredictability (from Iraq)
a 36-year-old Jordanian who called himself â€œthe Strangerâ€ slipped into the suburbs of Baghdad armed with a few weapons, bags of cash and an audacious plan for starting a war he hoped would unite Sunni Muslims across the Middle East. The tattooed ex-convict and high school dropout had few followers and scant ties to the local population. (Washington Post)
Ranged against this one extremist was the military, financial, and diplomatic weight of the world’s chief superpower. Though there were many reasons to doubt that the US would be successful from the beginning, it is still striking that “the stranger” — Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — is arguably winning at this point, despite his death, as the Washington Post article details.
That may change, as the Sunni “caliphate” is at odds with many regional forces, but it is for now a remarkable example of a vision successfully executed against dire odds.