Wednesday, July 25, 2007

President Links Qaeda of Iraq to Qaeda of 9/11

NYT reported President Bush sharply criticized those who contend that Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia and the network responsible for the attacks on 9/11 are independent of each other.
Of course they are not independent. He is not saying that Saddam planned 9/11, but the people that did certainly have a major force in Iraq right now, and we are fighting them there, which is better than fighting them here.


Anonymous said...

Yes, creating a safe haven for al-Qaeda terrorists in Iraq through the chaos that is the result of the US invasion is just a marvellous anti-terrorism strategy. The more places you create for al-Qaida to be active and assemble support outside the United States, the less risk that they will strike against the United States! I like your logic...

Misconception: A "war" on terrorism is the only solution.
It is meaningless to say we are fighting a "war on terror". Terrorism is a particular tactic of political violence. Wars are conducted between states. Declaring a war on terror is like declaring war on serial murderers. War is what al-Qaeda wants. Such language elevates the terrorists to the level of warriors in a battle. The terrorists are criminals, not warriors, and should be treated accordingly.

Many of the real successes in combating al-Qaeda in the years since September 11 have come from treating the terrorists as criminals. International cooperation on intelligence as well as police work and domestic investigations have been particularly helpful. War - the use of military force - has been counterproductive. The invasion and occupation of Iraq, which was falsely presented as part of the "global war on terrorism," in fact served as al-Qaeda's most effective recruitment campaign.

By enshrining preventive war as a policy doctrine in the national security strategy in general and for combating terrorism in particular, the Bush administration has actually reduced rather than increased US security in several ways. It has reinforced the image of the United States as eager to use military force and willing to do so without regard for international law and legitimacy. This has led other countries to resist US foreign policy goals more broadly, including efforts to fight terrorism.

Law is ultimately a more effective method of ensnaring terrorists than military force. Osama bin Laden (assuming he´s still alive) remains at large, and military campaigns have only swelled the ranks of his followers.

Don Singleton said...

It is meaningless to say we are fighting a "war on terror". Terrorism is a particular tactic of political violence. Wars are conducted between states. Declaring a war on terror is like declaring war on serial murderers.

War on drugs. War on poverty.

But I will agree war on radical Islam is more accurate.

Anonymous said...

The examples you mention, the "war on drugs" and "war on poverty" are equally misleading and without any real meaning, except as rhetoric tools to deceive people into believing that "aggressive action" is being taken, when in fact neither the "war on terror", nor the "war on drugs" or "war on poverty" have adressed the root causes to the problems at hand. On the contrary, the measures taken in these so called "wars" have often been counterproductive.

Is there anyone who believes you can root out the use of (crack) cocaine in the US by spraying coca-fields in Colombia with pesticides? Isn´t the people in charge proponents of the free market? They act like they never heard of the most basic rules of supply and demand. If there is demand, someone is going to supply. But of course, dealing with the "demand" side of drugrunning would mean to adress the widening gap between rich and poor and why it´s getting harder and harder for someone born in poor circumstances to ever work their way up to be anything BUT poor (the possibility that was the foundation of the american dream) - and no-one in the US political mainstream today seems willing to do that. I guess far to many potential donors would be VERY upset.

On the highway to plutocracy...

Don Singleton said...

neither ... adressed the root causes to the problems at hand

and how would you address the problem of Radical Islam

Is there anyone who believes you can root out the use of (crack) cocaine in the US by spraying coca-fields in Colombia with pesticides?

Eliminating the supply is easier than eliminating the demand in a free society. If the junkies can't get their fix, they may come in for treatment.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and about we are fighting them there, which is better than fighting them here, it sounds like Bush paraphrased you in his speech at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina.

Here´s some other goodies from that speech;

Osama bin Laden says, "The war is for you or for us to win. If we win it, it means your defeat and disgrace forever." I say that there will be a big defeat in Iraq and it will be the defeat of al Qaeda. (Applause.)

Does he really believe that? You´d better hope not, because if his assessments of reality isn´t better than that, he can´t possibly be the right man to "protect the homeland". So if the US would be able to "win" the Iraq war (create a stable, US-allied state) then al-Qaeda would be defeated?

Foreign terrorists also account for most of the suicide bombings in Iraq. Our military estimates that between 80 and 90 percent of suicide attacks in Iraq are carried out by foreign-born al Qaida terrorists.

Al Qaeda in Iraq accounts for 15% of the violence in Iraq. "Anthony Cordesman, a security analyst at the Center for Strategic and International studies says, the U.S. military estimates that al-Qaeda in Iraq, a group thought to number several thousand, accounts for only about 15% of the attacks in Iraq." [Time, 7/30/07 ]

Our top commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, has said that al Qaida is "public enemy number one" in Iraq. Fellow citizens, these people have sworn allegiance to the man who ordered the death of nearly 3,000 people on our soil. Al Qaida is public enemy number one for the Iraqi people; al Qaida is public enemy number one for the American people. And that is why, for the security of our country, we will stay on the hunt, we'll deny them safe haven, and we will defeat them where they have made their stand. (Applause.)

"About 45% of all foreign militants targeting U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians and security forces are from Saudi Arabia; 15% are from Syria and Lebanon; and 10% are from North Africa, according to official U.S. military figures made available to The Times by the senior officer. Nearly half of the 135 foreigners in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq are Saudis, he said.

Fighters from Saudi Arabia are thought to have carried out more suicide bombings than those of any other nationality, said the senior U.S. officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the subject's sensitivity. It is apparently the first time a U.S. official has given such a breakdown on the role played by Saudi nationals in Iraq's Sunni Arab insurgency.

He said 50% of all Saudi fighters in Iraq come here as suicide bombers. In the last six months, such bombings have killed or injured 4,000 Iraqis.

Both the White House and State Department declined to comment for this article."

[LA Times, July 15 2007]

The invasion of Iraq has created a new focal point for recruitment, fundraising, training and indoctrination of terrorists. The Nation's 16 intelligence agencies agree: "We assess that al-Qa'ida will probably seek to leverage the contacts and capabilities of al-Qa'ida in Iraq (AQI), its most visible and capable affiliate and the only one known to have expressed a desire to attack the Homeland. In addition, we assess that its association with AQI helps al-Qa'ida to energize the broader Sunni extremist community, raise resources, and to recruit and indoctrinate operatives, including for Homeland attacks." [National Intelligence Estimate, 7/07 ]

Last year, the nation's 16 intelligence agencies concurred that Iraq is fueling global terrorism. "We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere. The Iraq conflict has become the 'cause celebre' for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of U.S. involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement." [National Intelligence Estimate, 4/06 ]

Al Qaeda had no significant foothold in Iraq before the invasion. The US presence in Iraq has provided al Qaeda new base camps, new recruits and new prestige. Pentagon resources have been diverted from Afghanistan; where the military had a real chance to hunt down al Qaeda's leadership. It alienated essential allies in the war against terrorism and drained the strength and readiness of American troops. [NY Times, 7/8/07 ]