Arabs attack Arabs… and it works

So now the insurgents terrorists of Iraq are going after Arab diplomats to get them to leave the country… and, sadly, it’s working.

Gunmen ambushed the top Bahraini and Pakistani diplomats in separate attacks as they drove through the capital today, spurring Pakistan to announce the withdrawal of its ambassador from Iraq.

The Bahraini diplomat, Hassan Malallah al-Ansari, was struck in the right arm by a bullet and taken to a hospital. The Pakistani ambassador, Muhammad Yunis Khan, escaped unharmed, though a car in his convoy was raked by bullets. The ambushes came three days after the top Egyptian diplomat here was kidnapped as he drove alone through western Baghdad. Insurgents appear to have begun an organized campaign to drive Muslim diplomats out of Iraq as the American and Iraqi governments are pressing Arab countries to send ambassadors here and upgrade their diplomatic ties.

You’d think, you’d hope that the proper response among Arab brethren would be to denouce the attacks with defiance and vow to stay. You’d think.

: Later: Says Captains Quarter:

The Arabic world has now gotten a taste of al-Qaeda diplomacy over the past week, as Iraq-AQ ringleader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has changed tactics. Instead of just blowing up Iraqis in an attempt to demoralize the populace — a strategy that clearly has backfired — he has now turned his guns and bombs on diplomats posted to Iraq from neighboring Middle East countries….

It’s difficult to devise a dumber strategy than this, and it reeks of desperation. Some of these countries have significant sympathy in their population for AQ’s goals in the region. However, these attacks not only risk alienating their less-lunatic enables in the Middle East, they threaten to turn Arabic governments from positions of benign neglect to active and deadly opposition to AQ and its supporters. No government will blithely allow its envoys to become targets for Islamists, no matter how sympathetic they might be.

Zarqawi must know this — he’s crazy, but so far we’ve seen no evidence that he’s stupid. To go out of his way to antagonize countries like Egypt and Bahrain, he must realize that all other options have run their course and have failed. He risks accomplishing what George Bush has tried for years: uniting Arabs in the Middle East to fight terrorism and to support democracy, specifically in Iraq.

We can only hope.