Bush contributes to Al-Qaeda and Terrorism
Who is our enemy in Iraq’s civil war? In the beginning the enemy was Sadam Hussein and his army. We defeated them very
quickly. But our invasion invited both Al-Qaeda and the Mahdi Army. They are now part of Iraq’s civil war. Fighting
against both of them in this conflict only buries us in a deeper hole than the one we already are in. How can we win a
war that is not ours anymore?
Iraqis could not decide their destiny in a democratic manner, because the country is burdened with too much ethnic
resentment, revenge, injustice and historical confrontation. A decision will only be reached by the law of the
Calling the Sunny insurgency or the Palestine resistance "terrorist" is a great favor to real terrorist groups like
Al-Qaeda. The Sunni's, as well as the Palestinians, are fighting for survival and historical recognition, while Al-Qaeda
wants to change the power order of the world.
Paradoxically, in declaring war on terrorism, Bush acts to further it by destabilizing countries in which terrorism has
a foothold. The people of those countries will only be mobilized to defend their sovereignty, even if that mistakenly
leads them to defend, or at least harbor, terrorism. You don't make friends or build democracy by undermining a
country’s people. We have to stop Bush's political game of adding enemies only in order to fight them. It costs America
billions of dollars, not to mention precious lives. To adopt such a strategy, you'd have to believe that Superman is not
a comic strip.
The war in Iraq was imposed with the pretext that Hussein was allied with Al-Qaeda, supported terrorism and had weapons
of mass destruction. In fact, Hussein supported Palestinian families of suicide bombers, but did not participate more
directly in the conflict. He was a declared enemy of Israel, but not nearly as powerful or dangerous as the Israelis and
the Washington neocons painted him. There was never any real sympathy between Al-Qaeda with its religious fanaticism,
and the basically secular regime of Sadam Hussein. Al-Qaeda entered Iraq only because Bush opened a window of
opportunity by removing Hussein.
Declaring Al-Qaeda the U.S.A's. "enemy number one" only served to build its worldwide prestige and present it with an
opportunity to recruit new members.
Al-Qaeda's first success was to get from Mr. Bush the war they were strategically looking for. Then, they were blessed
by his split of the war on terrorism in two nations, war in Iraq and war in Afghanistan.
Today, Al-Qaeda is a player in Iraq's civil war -- a conflict compounded by a variety of Sunni insurgency groups with
sophisticated intelligence and effective weapons. Shiite militia armies are now bigger and better trained than ever. All
this makes Iraq the most complex area of conflict in the world. It is not the Iraq Mr. Bush found in 2003, but the Iraq
his incompetence has given us.
It was an unforgivable and costly error to give the U.S. army the impossible mission of defeating not another army, but
Al-Qaeda, which is not an army, instead a phantom group of terrorists scattered around, and not present in every inch of
the world. To defeat Al-Qaeda you require infiltration, interception of communications and frustration of their
operations. You do not need an army. Putting an army against Al-Qaeda plays in the Al-Qaeda’s game. It is a costly and
irreversible overkill that keeps Al-Qaeda prestige high, Al-Qaeda conquers only by hiding, and establishes its existence
by simply succeeding in sporadic low budget operations. Crippling Al-Qaeda calls for effective counterintelligence and
police, not military action.
Al-Qaeda is not a threat to Iraq. In fact, it has no chances of dominating the Sunny insurgency. Al-Qaeda is a shadowy
organization with an impressive ability to mount spectacular and successful terrorist operations. But it has no
experience in state administration or institutional organization. In Afghanistan Al-Qaeda concentrated on what they know
best, terrorism training, while living the government to the Taliban. The government is now gone, but the Taliban
resurgence has adopted the terrorist tactics of Al-Qaeda. We are not winning the war against terrorism.
Bush leaded us in the opposite direction. No more course around the bushes. Immediate reduction of U.S. troops in Iraq,
on a strict timetable, will demonstrate to the region that we mean business in seeking a workable solution. As its
military withdraws, the U.S. may find that it has a role to play as a mediator and as a business partner of the future
Iraq. Switching from a failed military campaign to a strong diplomatic offensive involving Iraq’s neighboring countries
is the best way -- perhaps the only way -- to prevent Iraq’s civil war from spilling over into the Middle East and the
Gulf states. It’s this or greater successes for terrorism.
(Political scientist, analyst of U.S. foreign policy)