Wednesday, August 20, 2003

The New Terrorist Pesthole: Iraq

Something many opponents of Operation Iraqi "Freedom" emphasized was that a) the government of Saddam Hussein, disgusting as it undoubtedly was, had no real contacts with al Qaeda, and b) the invasion, far from bringing cheering Iraqis into the streets to greet our soldiers with flowers and kisses, was going to turn Iraq into a pesthole of terrorism. Yep, right on both counts. In the NYT this morning we have Jessica Stern:

As bad as the situation inside Iraq may be, the effect that the war has had on terrorist recruitment around the globe may be even more worrisome. Even before the coalition troops invaded, a senior United States counterterrorism official told reporters that "an American invasion of Iraq is already being used as a recruitment tool by Al Qaeda and other groups." Intelligence officials in the United States, Europe and Africa say that the recruits they are seeing now are younger than in the past. Television images of American soldiers and tanks in Baghdad are deeply humiliating to Muslims, even those who didn't like Saddam Hussein, explained Saad al-Faqih, head of Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia, a Saudi dissident group in London. He told me that some 3,000 young Saudis have entered Iraq in recent months, and called the war "a gift to Osama bin Laden."

And we have John S. Burnett...

It was bound to happen. Those of us who spent time in the United Nations compound in Baghdad predicted it would happen and nervously joked that it was just a matter of time. It was such a soft target — a former hotel in an isolated part of town. Our only solace was the thought: who would want to hurt the United Nations?

Who indeed? And, last but certainly not least, we have Maureen Dowd:

Since America began its occupation, Iraq has become the mecca for every angry, hate-crazed Arab extremist who wants to liberate the Middle East from the "despoiling" grasp of the infidels.

"Increasing numbers of Saudi Arabian Islamists are crossing the border into Iraq, in preparation for a jihad, or holy war, against U.S. and U.K. forces, security and Islamist sources have warned," The Financial Times said yesterday, quoting a Saudi dissident who noted that Saudi authorities are concerned that "up to 3,000 Saudi men have gone `missing' in the kingdom in two months."

And, as Dowd concludes, at this point we just can't leave, we have to slug it out. Pretty damn hard on our troops, not that the neo-cons care, since none of them ever go and got shot at....

But I'm not Just Hard on the Right

As George Orwell pointed out during WWII, the left's love of Stalin was disgusting. Today's tendency for the left to make excuses for Islam is just as disgusting. Islam has two choices: reform, or go away. It's not the tenth century anymore, guys, and it has to come from within.

Web Still a Disaster Area this Morning

Still unable to send or receive email and half the sites I try to reach are "server not found." Thanks, hackers.


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