Monday, May 28

Incompetents Masquerading as Eagles

The Bush administration (that may be an oxymoron) would have you believe that we're in Iraq to damp down terrorism, that they are the soaring eagles with their watchful eye. When you get down to the details, however, it doesn't quite work like that. Years ago, my students asked me what I thought of the invasion of Iraq, shortly after it begun. I told them that from my point of view, it was a "strategic blunder" and that it would lead to a major groundswell in support in the Mideast for terrorist causes and it would, in the long run, do us much more harm than good.

Sometimes, I really hate being right. Per The New York Times:
Militants Widen Reach as Terror Seeps Out of Iraq
The Iraq war, which for years has drawn militants from around the world, is beginning to export fighters and the tactics they have honed in the insurgency to neighboring countries and beyond, according to American, European and Middle Eastern government officials and interviews with militant leaders in Lebanon, Jordan and London.
Last week, the Lebanese Army found itself in a furious battle against a militant group, Fatah al Islam, whose ranks included as many as 50 veterans of the war in Iraq, according to General Rifi. More than 30 Lebanese soldiers were killed fighting the group at a refugee camp near Tripoli.
Militant leaders warn that the situation in Lebanon is indicative of the spread of fighters. “You have 50 fighters from Iraq in Lebanon now, but with good caution I can say there are a hundred times that many, 5,000 or higher, who are just waiting for the right moment to act,” Dr. Mohammad al-Massari, a Saudi dissident in Britain who runs the jihadist Internet forum,, said in an interview on Friday. “The flow of fighters is already going back and forth, and the fight will be everywhere until the United States is willing to cease and desist.”
In an April 17 report written for the United States government, Dennis Pluchinsky, a former senior intelligence analyst at the State Department, said battle-hardened militants from Iraq posed a greater threat to the West than extremists who trained in Afghanistan because Iraq had become a laboratory for urban guerrilla tactics.

“There are some operational parallels between the urban terrorist activity in Iraq and the urban environments in Europe and the United States,” Mr. Pluchinsky wrote. “More relevant terrorist skills are transferable from Iraq to Europe than from Afghanistan to Europe,” he went on, citing the use of safe houses, surveillance, bomb making and mortars.

A top American military official who tracks terrorism in Iraq and the surrounding region, and who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the topic, said: “Do I think in the future the jihad will be fueled from the battlefield of Iraq? Yes. More so than the battlefield of Afghanistan.”
Way to go! We've got ourselves a training ground.

No comments: