According to US Intelligence officials and two separate reports issued by Saudi and Israeli research organizations, the Iraq war has created an
artificial front against terror, contradicting US President Bush's assertions that terrorists are being fought in Iraq so they do not have to be
fought "at home." The war, rather than reducing the number of terrorists, has increased them: the vast majority of terrorist attacks in Iraq were
committed by individuals with no history of prior terrorist activity, part of a new front which arose as a result of American activity in Iraq.
American intelligence officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, and terrorism specialists paint a similar portrait of the suicide bombers
wreaking havoc in Iraq: Prior to the Iraq war, they were not Islamic extremists seeking to attack the United States, as Al Qaeda did four years ago,
but are part of a new generation of terrorists responding to calls to defend their fellow Muslims from ''crusaders" and ''infidels."
''The president is right that Iraq is a main front in the war on terrorism, but this is a front we created," said Peter Bergen, a terrorism
specialist at the nonpartisan New America Foundation, a Washington think tank.
Obaid said in an interview from London that his Saudi study found that ''the largest group is young kids who saw the images [of the war] on TV and
are reading the stuff on the Internet. Or they see the name of a cousin on the list or a guy who belongs to their tribe, and they feel a
responsibility to go."
Other fighters, who are coming to Iraq from across the Middle East and North Africa, are older, in their late 20s or 30s, and have families, according
to the two investigations. ''The vast majority of them had nothing to do with Al Qaeda before Sept. 11th and have nothing to do with Al Qaeda
today," said Reuven Paz, author of the Israeli study. ''I am not sure the American public is really aware of the enormous influence of the war in
Iraq, not just on Islamists but the entire Arab world."
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Did we need a study to tell us this? Regardless of whether it was right or wrong, legal or illegal, for the US to invade Iraq, the Iraq war has not
made the US, the average Iraqi, or indeed the Middle East any safer. How many more deaths and studies will it take before the majority of the
American public realizes this simple fact?
I will be kind and say that the Iraq war was a tactical error, a huge misjudgment taken in the fact of global and internal opposition, in how to fight
the "war on terror." It has set back the struggle to eliminate terrorism, if such a thing can ever really be done, in a great amount.
One line from the article above I found particularly poignant, and worth noting for all those who feel wars and occupations can stomp out terror, or
that Iraq is some kind of honey trap for terrorists:
''To say we must fight them in Baghdad so we don't have to fight them in Boston implies there is a finite number of people, and if you pen them
up in Iraq you can kill them all," said Bergen. ''The truth is we increased the pool by what we did in Iraq."
The number of terrorists, radicals, and extremists fluctuates. It is not fixed. New ones can be created depending on many factors, which is why we
have to be thoughful and deliberative in waging "war" against them. Iraq is not some kind of duck-hunt for terrorists, where every one a soldier
kills is one less terrorist the world will have to deal with later. And the terrorists in Iraq are not, for the most part, the same terrorists
that pose a threat to us "at home."
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[edit on 19-7-2005 by koji_K]
[edit on 24-7-2005 by asala]