Iraq War Broke Back of US Counter-Terrorism: Experts
Fresh bombings and assassinations, and the discovery of 18 bodies brought the death toll in Iraq on Thursday to some 34.
A new poll of counter-terrorism and national security experts finds that 84 percent of them believe the US is not winning the war on terror, and they see the Iraq War as the reason why.
‘ One participant in the survey, a former CIA official who described himself as a conservative Republican, said the war in Iraq has provided global terrorist groups with a recruiting bonanza, a valuable training ground and a strategic beachhead at the crossroads of the oil-rich Persian Gulf and Turkey, the traditional land bridge linking the Middle East to Europe. “The war in Iraq broke our back in the war on terror,” said the former official, Michael Scheuer, the author of Imperial Hubris, a popular book highly critical of the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism efforts. “It has made everything more difficult and the threat more existential.” ‘
Let’s list those results of the Iraq War again:
1. Recruiting bonanza for Qutbist terrorists
I.e. it was getting hard to get people to sign up for al-Qaeda-type operations after the Afghanistan War and the disruption of the organization. But what with Abu Ghraib and Fallujah, a lot of red-blooded Muslim young men are so angry that it is much easier to get their blood boiling. Hence Madrid and London.
2. Valuable training ground (and experience fighting the most sophisticated army in the world)
3. strategic beachhead at crossroads of Persian Gulf and Turkey (not so far from Europe and in the vicinity of 2/3s of the world’s proven petroleum reserves).
The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point has a new translation of a key al-Qaeda text outlining the Qutbists plans for America. The CTC is doing excellent work and should be supported by everyone who cares about the security of our country.
The Supreme Court ruling on Guantanamo addresses the key problem I saw with Bush administration policy toward those it has captured. Many of them are really bad characters, but it only compounds the mistake to deny them basic American rights.
If we go in that direction, we put at risk all that is most distinctive about the United States of America. The Declaration of Independence says, ” We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights . . .” It doesn’t say “some men.”