Boles Guest Editorial: the Qaedization of Iraq
Dr. David Boles writes:
|I am becoming alarmed that no one is highlighting what appears to be a new and quite bald propaganda push to “Al-Qaida”-ize Iraq. Within the last week we have seen the following claims:
WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 (UPI) — U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Tuesday said she believes al-Qaida spends “every hour of every day” plotting against the United States. (UPI, 2/27)
KUWAIT CITY, Feb. 27 (UPI) — Kuwaiti news reports say al-Qaida is preparing to carry out its threat to launch attacks against the country and other Gulf states. (UPI, 2/27)
WASHINGTON — The U.S. military faces three wars in Iraq simultaneously according to a report which recommends a strategy of targeted U.S. strikes on Al Qaida death squads. (World Tribune, 2/28)
WASHINGTON — The United States has determined that Iraq deployed far fewer troops than promised for the current offensive against Al Qaida in Baghdad. (World Tribune, 3/2)
Earlier, the military said coalition forces killed eight militants Thursday in a raid near Baghdad targeting al-Qaida in Iraq. A military statement said the raid took place in the Salman Pak region. (VOA, 3/2)
Day by day, Iraq’s map is being redrawn along Sunni-Shiite lines. Gangs from both sides — including Shiite death squads and al-Qaida inspired Sunni radicals — have waged a nasty war-within-a-war for territory they can call their own. (AP, 3/2)
During his visit to Pakistan, Cheney expressed concern to President Gen. Pervez Musharraf over al-Qaida’s regrouping inside Pakistan’s tribal regions and an expected Taliban spring offensive in neighboring Afghanistan.
“If our coalition withdrew before Iraqis could defend themselves, radical factions would battle for dominance. The violence would likely spread throughout the country and be very difficult to contain. Having tasted victory in Iraq, the (militants) would look for new missions. Many would head for Afghanistan to fight alongside the Taliban,” Cheney said.
He said others would head for capitals across the Middle East and work to undermine moderate governments. “Still others would find their targets and victims in other countries on other continents. Such chaos and mounting danger does not have to occur. It is, however, the enemy’s objective,” Cheney said.
“In these circumstances, it’s worth reminding ourselves that, like it or not, the enemy we face in the war on terror has made Iraq the primary front in that war,” he added. Then, to laughter and applause, Cheney said, “To use a popular phrase, this is an inconvenient truth.” (AP, 3/2)
The bodies of 14 policemen were found Friday northeast of Baghdad after an al-Qaida-affiliated Sunni group said it abducted members of a government security force in retaliation for the rape of a Sunni woman by members of the Shiite-dominated police. (AP, 3/3)
In a separate raid in the Taji area on Saturday, nine suspected insurgents were captured, including two believed to be responsible for recruiting and helping foreign militants join the insurgency in Baghdad, the U.S. military said. The suspects were also accused of harboring al- Qaida in Iraq leaders, it said. (AP, 3/3)
Fallujah police, meanwhile, reportedly arrested three Al-Qaida members, including one suspected of attacking the Saqlawiyah Police Station, KUNA said. (UPI, 3/3)
In other developments, the U.S. military says coalition forces Saturday detained nine suspected terrorists in a raid targeting al-Qaida in Iraq just north of Baghdad near Taji.
American officials also say coalition airstrikes Friday near the same area targeted an al-Qaida in Iraq network responsible for threats against coalition aircraft. The military says it believes the airstrikes killed several key insurgent leaders and destroyed anti-aircraft weapons. Insurgents have shot down eight coalition helicopters since January 20.
Also Friday, Iraqi security forces found the bodies of 14 policemen in Diyala province. An al-Qaida-linked Sunni group said it abducted the men to avenge the alleged rape of a woman last month. (VOA, 3/3)
Regardless of what one thinks of the extent of Al-Qaida involvement in Iraq, it seems transparent that the administration and its allies are attempting to shift justification for continuing war in Iraq onto Al- Qaida. This is a dangerous trend that needs to be publicly highlighted.