Wednesday, September 19, 2007

why has al Qaeda turned to killing "innocent Muslims"?

Instapundit linked to a fantastic piece from TigerHawk about Al Quaeda and the "Arab Street." And it underscores, once again, how important it is that we win in Iraq, and how damaging the Democratic policy of "whatever hurts Bush is a good thing and whatever helps him is bad" has been, and continues to be, to the security of the region.
...why has al Qaeda turned to killing "innocent Muslims"? ... The best answer, or at least the answer that will best withstand the scrutiny of history, is that the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, wittingly or not, put al Qaeda in an almost impossible position. We invaded and occupied a country in the heart of the Arab Middle East. If al Qaeda had railed against the mere presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia, the invasion and occupation of Mesopotamia was both intolerable -- al Qaeda's image and self-image could not suffer such a grave indignity -- and a tempting opportunity to humiliate the only remaining "superpower." Al Qaeda had to declare its objective to be the defeat of the United States in Iraq. (This is, by the way, why the characterization of the eventual withdrawal of American troops from Iraq is of strategic importance in and of itself, but that is the subject of another post.)

Of course, Al Qaeda clearly believed that it could drive the United States from Iraq just as Osama bin Laden believed that we would not have the stomach to invade Afghanistan, or that he and his mujahideen could push Saddam's armies out of Kuwait without the help of the Americans. Unfortunately, the army and Marines of the United States and its allies proved to be much harder targets than al Qaeda imagined, and George W. Bush and Tony Blair were more able to withstand domestic political opposition than just about anybody expected they would be. Soon, it became clear that al Qaeda would not be able to drive the Coalition from Iraq no matter how many Sunni Ba'athists it recruited.


It remains to be seen whether, when the dust literally and figuratively settles, al Qaeda will have succeeded either in rendering Iraq ungovernable under Western norms or in persuading a sufficient number of Americans that we have "lost." It is clear, though, that however much the Arab world may hate the United States for bringing the war into its midst, it is increasingly lining up against al Qaeda in the waging of that war. In the fullness of time history will reveal that the polarization of the Arab and Muslim world against al Qaeda is essential for victory against the transnational jihad, and that it was the direct result of the forward foreign policy of Bush and Blair.

Read the whole thing...

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