No Iraq Link To Al Qaida Thanks To M

No Iraq link to al-Qaida

Thanks to M.S. for his further comments.

There is also, however, no credible evidence of *indirect* Iraqi, Baathist

support for al-Qaida. The US has an enormous number of documents bearing

on funding for al-Qaida, gathered from Afghanistan and elsewhere, and no

money comes from Iraq. No training of al-Qaida fighters in Iraq. No

al-Qaida informant or defector has mentioned Iraq. That Baathist Iraq’s

ideology is secular and nationalist and virulently anti-Islamist would not

absolutely prevent some sort of shadowy cooperation with theocratic

al-Qaida, I suppose. Such cooperation is, however, unlikely and

counter-intuitive and therefore would have to be demonstrated. It has not

been demonstrated. Since the war advocates in Washington–with their

enormous resources and access to classified intelligence–have been trying

hard to make the argument for 11 months, I presume this means it cannot be

demonstrated.

There is no evidence of Saddam Hussein being willing to talk to al-Qaida,

and some to suggest that he repeatedly refused to do so.

If the US government wants to invade Iraq, I presume it can do so. There

may be reasons for doing this, though I am unable to comprehend them,

myself (as is, apparently, the international community). However, an

al-Qaida-Iraq link is not such a reason because none exists.

Many implausible things are alleged by supposed experts that fall apart if

one begins examining the available evidence. There is no evidence that

Shiite Iran was behind Wahhabi Bin Laden, as Josef Bodansky asserted, and

this idea is frankly preposterous. Yet Bodansky is a security analyst for

the U.S. Congress and gets lots of television time. In fact, Iran nearly

went to war against the Taliban regime because of its Sunni bigotry and

mistreatment of the Hazara Shiites in Afghanistan, and al-Qaida-related

groups have conducted a campaign of assassinating Shiites in Pakistan,

including Iranian attaches in Karachi. Iran recently handed 16 al-Qaida

detainees over to Saudi Arabia.

I am simply pleading for an end to argumentation from innuendo, unsupported

allegations, and vague guilt by association on this important topic. We

are historians interested in diplomatic history, which has always been

driven by solid documentation. It is not too much to ask for such

documentation when an Iraq link with al-Qaida is implied by someone.