So, the National Intelligence Estimate concludes that the Iraq war is creating terrorists, or so we are told by the NY Times (a/k/a Leak Central). The people on the left are dancing with glee over the "obvious" conclusion: "Bush causes terrorism." For the time being, I'll skip the obvious question here: What does the rest of the NIE say? (For an interesting analysis of this aspect, check out this excellent post by a former military intel specialist on the blog In From the Cold)
The question I want to ponder today is this: Why is the Iraq war the principle force driving the creation of terrorists? The anti-war crowd would tell us that the answer to this question is obvious. But is it? To find out, let's boldly go where no moonbat has gone before: a strange new world known as The Planet of Critical Thinking.
So here's the situation, the US has invaded and toppled the governments of not one, but two Muslim countries. One, Afghanistan, was an Islamist theocracy, governed under sharia (Islamic law), its leaders were deeply connected to the international Islamic extremist/terrorist movement. It's leadership was complicit in the attacks on 9/11. It's honored guest (UBL) was the most visible face of the Sunni extremist movement, and the head of the world's largest terrorist group.
The other country, Iraq, was a secular dictatorship. It's leadership, while Muslim, was more Stalinist than Islamic in the way it did business. There has been no definitive evidence that it was connected in any way to the 9/11 attacks, or to those who planned, financed, and carried them out. In fact, some have argued that bin Laden and al Qaeda hated Saddam Hussein and his Baathist regime.
So, again I ask why. Why is it that regime change in a secular dictatorship, one that supposedly had no relationship with Islamic extremism, would fuel terrorist fervor, and not a regime change in an Islamist, al Qaeda-linked theocracy? If anything, the Afghanistan war should be most prominently featured on the AQ recruiting poster. The way I see it, there are two reasons that the Iraq war plays more prominently in the recruiting of new terrorists.
1. The presence of US troops in any Muslim country will inflame the passions of Muslims. Regardless of the justification for the war, western troops are seen as a "crusader army." The US was attacked first? The UN approves? France is on board? The libtards at the Daily Kos are cool with it? Too bad. No crusader armies will be tolerated in the land of the faithful. And Muslims will travel from all over to repel the invasion of the infidels.
2. Arabs and Muslims, like the rest of us, get their view of the wider world from the news media. And let's face it, the war in Iraq gets more airplay (and 90% negative airplay, at that) than the war in Afghanistan. To listen to some media pundits, we gave up in Afghanistan. All our troops and resources are in Iraq. Of course, that isn't true. But perception is reality. Even in the middle east.