I was having some nagging doubts about how shutting down the terrorists involves invading Iraq; it didn’t seem to square with a few things I understood to be the case about Saddam Hussein. Then I came to the responses to this thread, among which were:
This is more or less in accordance with what I understood to be the case: Iraq is a garden-variety dictatorship, not an Islamic fundamentalist one; and that as one of the more openly non-fundamentalist regimes in the area. Al-Qaeda really doesn’t like him, but the prospect of war has so irritated Islamic fundamentalists that any invasion will probably gorge their rather slackened ranks.
So what exactly has this war got to contribute to the fight against Islamic fundamentalist terrorism?
WMD proliferation. At least that is the party line that Bush & Co. has repeated over and over and over. But you knew that right? He has links to terrorists. Well doccumented links to Palistinian terrorists. He isn’t anti-terror by any means.
As far as your quote from ftg,
What I read about the Al-Qaeda groups in the Kurdish area was that they were actually fighting against the Kurds, the theory was they were doing Saddam’s dirty work.
Saddam apparently pays some money to palestinian suicide bombers. As far as I can tell the only thing they do is make that whole mess unstable and insure that there will never be any peace. Of course one of the excuses OBL uses is that whole mess.(From what I see OBL really doesn’t give a crap about them, they’re just politically useful to gain support from people who do care.) So if you can stop Saddam maybe that could be spring board to some how getting a solution with the whole Palestinian/Israel thing and remove one of OBL’s excuses. (But somehow I don’t see our president realizing that.)
Trying to pin Al-Queda links to Saddam is like trying to blame the Unitarians for David Koresh.
America’s dilemma is the hammer-nail problem. When you’re a hammer, all problems look like nails. America has the most massive military force ever, but massive military power against a shadowy terrorist group is about as useful as launching an artillery barrage against an incoming fog.
The worst of it is: briefly, America had the sympathy of the world after 9/11. The kind of mututal cooperation and police action required for ferreting out terrorists was ours for the asking. And GeeDubya pissed it away so he could jut out his chin and wear his bombardier jacket while he posed as a Leader of Men.
Maybe I’m not clear enough but it is certainly not silly. Yes I mean funding suicide terrorists by paying off their family as one thing. I mean he’s pumping money toward terrorism, of course it destabilizes things which is bad for us and good for OBL.(I mean are you actually saying it helps us that loads of people in the Middle East blame us for Palestine and Isreal being at each others throat.) Do I think if you just cut off that money you’ll instantly get peace? No and I never said that. However it would be more difficult to finally get peace in Palestine if some dictator is trying to destabilize things. It’s just one of those steps you need to do. I mean just cutting off money from Al Qaida doesn’t instantly stop the terrorism problem either but it’s a necessary step.(Just as trying to get people in the Middle East to stop agreeing with Bin Laden is another one.) Hopefully that makes things clearer.(Since my main point is Saddam does fund some terrorism->terrorism destablizes the region->the generate hatred works for Al Qaida’s advantage.)
** Dave_D** – We now have the third generation of Palestinians living in refugee camps, that’s over 50 years of oppression - Grandfather to grandson - and without any independence or security. Saddam has been compensating families for, say, two years. To think the latter fuels the hatred associated with the former is not accurate.
What a weird formula.
It’s not terrorism that is destabilzing the region.
Terrorism is the result of an instable region.
Why is it instable?
Because Palestinians and Jews can’t live peacefully together.
Thinking that a cut in the financial flow will stabilze the region is akin to thinking that, if only no-one would sell weapons there wouldn’t be any wars.
Further it is not the terrorism that creates hatred that works to Al Qaeda’s advantage.
It is the support to the opponents of those terrorists by the West that creates hatred that works to Al Qaeda’s advantage.
Saddam put a hit out on George W’s dad. If you were a Texan you know this is reason alone to go to war. When I voted for him I thought it might bring up unfinished business.
Your either with us or against us in the war on terror. Saddam picked the wrong side. Soon the world will see what happens when you pick the wrong side.
What you wrote can easily be interpreted as blind dislike for the Bush administration. But, I found it remarkably insightful. The attitude taken by the administration is indeed one of being a hammer and re-inforcing the notion. In fact, I would even venture to say that a sizeable portion of the American people subconsciously look at the world as nails. Such is the nature of the current world culture. The truth is the US can do whatever it wants and that strikes fear in a lot of people around the world despite the fact that Bush is not even remotely comparable to say, Saddam. There is no moral equivalence, but if one were to assume that Bush is intent on war at least partially for political mileage, one can begin to grasp why civilians around the world start to look at Bush in the same light as Saddam. Exaggerated, oh yes, but 100% ridiculous, no. For people in the US who are on the other side of the equation, this irrational fear is something which is understandably hard to empathize with.
You need a new dictionary. Apostate means “One who has abandoned one’s religious faith, a political party, one’s principles, or a cause.” (see dictionary.com definition from the American Heritage Dictionary). That speaks to Hussein’s position as a secular dicator of a predominately Muslim country and to his oppression of Islamists in Iraq. However, it’s not unreasonable to discern a certain distaste for the man.
I don’t doubt that OBL doesn’t want his daughters dating Saddam Hussein, but that’s a far cry from saying they have nothing to do with each other. Isn’t it interesting that many of you listened to that tape and thought that it proves Hussein has no connection with Al Queda, and others listened to the same tape and thought it showed that ties exist? You seem to focus on the parts where OBL says he hates Hussein. But you have ignored this part of the tape (from your own quote):
Doesn’t that reflect an attitude of “We’ll work with these guys as long as our interests coincide?” And don’t their interests coincide insofar as they both hate the US? So what makes you think they won’t work together against the US? This tape says they will.
I don’t think the Bush Administration is saying this war is exclusively about battling Al Qaeda. The war against terrorism is certainly a part, though. And, despite what you might have heard, Al Qaeda isn’t the only terrorist group out there. It’s possible to battle terrorist groups that have nothing to do with Al Qaeda. So pointing out that OBL and Hussein don’t really like each other isn’t really akin to proving that Iraq has no ties with terrorism, or that regime change in Iraq won’t help the war against terrorism.
Well I think we’re actually alot closer to agreeing that what you’ve said. What I mean is that yes terrorism got started because of instability. However I guess a better way of stating my point is that now it’s gotten to the point of a vicious circle and that terrorism itself stops anything from going to a stable situation. We have terrorism, the israeli’s react, this piss off the Palestinians and causes further instability which leads to terrorism. The Israeli’s don’t want to do anything while the bombings continue and the Palestinians won’t do anything either since they have few other options.(But giving them money to do suicide bombings does give them an incentive to pick one.)
However still cutting funding would be a step(but not the only step) to help stop the cycle. Also from my point of view(and apparently from yours as well.) terrorism requires at least 2 types of “capital”. Both physical capital(money, places to group) but ideological/political capital.(Which is what I believe that you’re speaking of. The whole instability thing. I have a hard time believing you get suicide bombers in the first place without having a pissed off populous. Without that sort of capital it doesn’t matter how much funding anyone puts in, people arn’t going to do suicide bombings.) Theoretically a win in Iraq and subsequent winning of the peace might give the US the political capital necessary to broker a peace between Palestine and Israel. (Of course that’s a big if and it can go south very easily. Still a win gives the US the aura of actually trying to help muslims.)
So that’s the point. If you can convert a “win” in Iraq into a “win” in Palestine alot of the reasons people actually side with an OBL go away.(And since he can’t do a suicde mission himself Al Qaida would theoretically be marginalized especially once people in the middle east realize OBL has slaughtered loads of Muslims himself.)
I think I see where your reasoning differs from mine.
When you speak of invading Iraq you think of peace and stability.
What I see is war and instability.
How can you call war peace?
Why do you think a foreign occupation will mean instant stability?
The US is not winning the hearts of the Arab community by waging war on their territory. Quite the opposite. To them it is one more instance of the US empire meddling in the region.
While you’re cutting off a small portion of the monetary capital flow (to put it in your terms) you are hugely increasing the ideological capital flow.
If you want to address terrorism you must address the causes.
Besides, I fail to see how bringing “peace” to plot A will increase the chance of peace in plot F. A kind of magical ‘peace flow’ will somehow spill over two borders?
No what I hear is another clutching at straws by the administration. Just an adding of another fuzzy, bogus, reasoning to add to the already staggering amount of BS, designed to drown by numbers any clear thinking.
‘Ah, so these anti-war people like peace, eh?’
'Let’s drop this one on ‘em’
“People, by going to war with Iraq we will create peace in Israel!”
What you have to keep in mind is that I am answering the question “So what exactly has this war got to contribute to the fight against Islamic fundamentalist terrorism?” The thing is I take that question to mean “What are the possible upsides to doing this war?”(Really there were no qualifiers asking for the probabilities of any scenario so as far as I’m concerned I get alot of lee-way to cover the positives.)
I understand your point of view however. It’s not the war itself that fixes anything. It’s the war putting the US in the position to institute a peace and that peace that really gets thing settled in Iraq. The problem with “Winning the peace” is that the US has to demonstrate that they are actually on the Arab communities side, that they’re in this for the long run and won’t run away at the first sign of trouble, and they have solutions to problems.(I think that’s the big problem the US has whenever it tries to do something like this. This whole thing of taking off once things get a little difficult. Why would anyone give a crap what the US wants if they keep behaving as a non-entity, not enforcing anything on either side and running away at a few casualties. I wouldn’t since you’d think in 6 months they’ll be gone anyway) It’s demonstrating a track record like that in Iraq that the US could use as leverage to broker a peace in Palestine. So it’s not “magical peace flow” thinking, it’s demonstrating a change in attitude that’s important. Without demonstrating this the US really can’t get anything done.
However I think we agree on most things actually. You need to address causes in areas like Palestine to get reasonable people in the middle east on your side. (I don’t count “super” fanatics in this since guys like OBL are really going for a pan-islamic super state and nothing less than that will satisfy him. He’s not going to care if Iraqi children are being taken care of or Palestianians getting their own country since in the end that’s not very important to him.) Of course we haven’t done a good job of it and ignoring Afghanistan isn’t helping.(Since it gives people the impression that it’s business as usual.)
Personally I think both sides have done a shitty job. The administration really needs to explain their reason better and not look like the war is the only thing they’ve been considering. They also need to demonstrate how they’ll do the peace by doing it Afghanistan first. I’d also like to say that the peace movement has a huge problems too.(Since all I hear from them is “no war ever” but yet no solutions on how to get any stability beyond “just give up and hope they leave us alone.” I could take them seriously if they offered anything better but they still have that convoluted “no war for oil” garbage when it seems if that were true we’d just lift sanctions and let the oil flow.) I mean it makes it hard for me to side with either side when their reasoning is weak, knee jerk opposition.
But of course that doesn’t matter since the original question “So what exactly has this war got to contribute to the fight against Islamic fundamentalist terrorism?” and what I’ve written are theoretically possible.(But really the question should have been more along the lines of what are the pro’s and con’s to doing this and has the administration or the peace movement expressed any of this?)
Great post. I thought, because I’m somewhat detached down here in Australia, that I was the only person who made this observation. Thank goodness I’m not alone.
Sadly, it looks as though the damage has been done unfortunately. A bloody shame.
As you noted elucidator, for a while there, you Americans were able to occupy the high moral ground with impugnity - and it’s a great thing to be able to do that without anyone being able to throw shit at ya.
But as time has gone by, that perception has changed - especially in the Islamic world. And in this instance, whilst it’s true that “perception is not reality”, ultimately, it’s all that counts if you’re a swinging Islamic fundamentalist/moderate.
I’ve argued for a long time now since 9/11 that the REAL solution for the USA was actually a thoroughly covert and “cloak and dagger” one - a solution which closely followed the workings of the Mossad in many respects. It was a solution which involved “removing” the primary “movers and shakers” in the “Islamic fundamentalist” movement - and they’re known to the CIA you know - there’s intelligence on them.
It’s an inarguable certainty that there are some very dark forces at work in the Islamic world - and my opinion was, and remains that a “massive overwhelming visible military action” - whilst full of “RAR RAR RAR” sentiments - actually misses the real targets. More importantly, it squandered the real opportunities.
And who are those targets? They’re the “rat bags” - the blasted hi-jackers of a peaceful religion who exploit xenophobia to get impressionable young men to do their evil bidding. You’ll note that the ring leaders in this “sort of cowardly war” never do some sort of noble “Richard III” kinda act where they lead their men into battle proclaiming “Once More Unto The Breach!” - no, they stay anonymous, and pull the strings, and stay beyond attention. Great leaders of men - NOT.
To beat such a dark force, you have to employ similar dark forces to “take them out” - one by one by one.
Iraq, regardless of whether it’s justified or not, totally squandered the opportunity for the USA and the Western World in general to collate, and consolidate, the intel it required to perform such a “cloak and dagger” war. The real war against terrorism, has actually been dealt a massive punch in the guts if you ask me.
Boo, thanks for your kind words. It is always inspiring to see an Australian sober up long enough to type. However, I feel the urge to be snotty about your reference to “Dick III” above. The quote is from “Hank Five”. I wouldn’t bring it up, but it cost my folks about a thousand bucks so I would know that.
They are a radical militant Muslim organization in northern Iraq that are currently fighting with the PUK, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. They have at least a couple hundred devout and heavily armed members, and recently carried out a suicide bombing against the PUK, killing one Kurdish civilian and two PUK militiamen. They are believed to be financed by OBL, have harbored al-Qaida and Taliban militants, and possibly financed by Hussein as a proxy against the Kurds.