reply to post by SS,Naga
Terrorism will not grow in retaliation to the invasion of Iraq. While revenge does seem to be a rational conclusion, their place in the Middle East
has been severely diminished, and with the infrastructural and political changes in Iraq over the past few years, it will be exceedingly difficult to
come back to an identical seat of power (that would mean a societal regression to conditions similar to that of Saddam's Iraq in the previous last
decade-which is highly unlikely given the current democratization and increasing negotiations between the existing political and religious
organizations in Iraq).
The fact is the majority of terrorists have been killed, displaced, and removed from their positions of power, whether social, religious or
governmental. The Ba'aths are out. There is presently a much greater degree of discussion between Iraq's two major clerical organizations, the Sunni
and Shiite and the country now has a legitimate government that is respected by all previously warring factions.
The more the Islamist terror organizations are required to impose their values and policies in the region, and the more violence they perpetrate on
their coreligionists in the process, the more they lose support. Al-Qaeda has been virtually eliminated, not to mention the entirety of their public
On another note: while Palestinian terrorist attacks have increased a lot recently, it is different in that they are perpetually at war and their
targets consist primarily of Israelis, as opposed to fellow Muslims, which was commonplace in Iraq. So we should be cautious when watching current
mainstream media. A rise in terrorist attacks on television holds no correlation with a rise in terrorism globally, because the majority of this will
have occurred in Palestine, obscuring reality to a great proportion.
Otherwise, it is apparent that Iraq has been greatly strengthened and improved by the democratization process, ultimately reducing its susceptibility
to radicalization by Isamist terrorists or over-imposing clerical organizations.
A Pew poll in July 2007, for example, revealed that Muslim support for terrorist violence against civilians had declined by half or more over five
years in the four countries polled: Lebanon, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Indonesia.
By late 2007 in Afghanistan just 1 percent of Afghans "strongly supported" the presence of the Taliban and foreign jihadi fighters in their
In Pakistan, support for Islamist political parties has collapsed, dropping by some 500 percent between the 2002 and 2008 national elections. And in
the North-West Frontier Province where al-Qaeda has its strongest presence in Pakistan, support for Osama bin Laden dropped from 70 percent in August
2007 to 4 percent in January 2008.
A December 2007 poll in Saudi Arabia found that Osama bin Laden’s fellow countrymen had "dramatically turned against him, against al-Qaeda, and
against terrorism in general".
And in Iraq, where the Islamists have suffered their greatest recent strategic setback, a major poll also released in December 2007 found that 100
percent of Iraqis, Sunnis as well as Shia, found al-Qaeda attacks on civilians to be "unacceptable."
This pattern has been repeated in country after country in the Muslim world. Its strategic implications are critically important because the
historical evidence suggests that terrorist campaigns that lose public support will, sooner or later, be either abandoned or defeated. Without popular
support, the Islamists cannot hope to create a successful political revolution. Lacking any serious conventional military capacity, they cannot hope
to defeat incumbent regimes by force of arms, especially those propped up by foreign internationalists, such as the U.S.
As Muslim publics increasingly reject Islamist policies and terror tactics, they are more likely to cooperate with official counterterror campaigns.
This is precisely what happened in Iraq, where Sunni insurgents became so alienated from their former al-Qaeda allies in Iraq that they joined with
the US in an anti-Islamist alliance to defeat them.
While the world in its present situation, with an economic depression around the corner, will try its best not remember Bush for what he assuredly
accomplished, historians will become increasingly more supportive of his administration as time goes on. I see why people might be skeptical of the
use of the term "terrorism" as a way to get at the oil reserves, or to impose the special interests of certain internal political organizations in
the U.S, but terrorists were always a very real threat. You have to admit that in all Democracies war doesn't last long as it exhausts the public
treasury, costs thousands of civilian lives, and engenders both fear and anger in the public as they come to expect retaliatory measures by the
enemies. But does fear, money, and lost lives invalidate the war itself? Well, we can agree that there is no such war that is desirable, but once it
gets going there are inevitable costs involved, which almost certainly cannot be redeemed.
Some poor people got water-boarded... I'll stick to my main point: They should be given the opportunity to sue whoever was responsible, provided
sufficient evidence is supported to exonerate them from their charges. Otherwise, the Bush administration did what they believed was in the best
interest of the American public. He was elected by the people after all.
[edit on 21-1-2009 by cognoscente]