Sunday, July 17, 2005

Withdrawal from reality 

I'm getting slightly bored with arguments that the American presence in Iraq is causing terrorism, both in Iraq and overseas. If only the US troops would withdraw, the argument goes, the terrorism would stop. Well, it seems that together with the US troops, we would also have to withdraw from Iraq Iraqi children and presumably the mainly Shia gas station patrons.

The truth of the matter is that getting the US out of Iraq is only one short-term tactical objective of people who set off bombs. Those who are doing the most killing in Iraq at the moment - Al Qaeda - won't lay down their arms in blissful satisfaction at a mission accomplished when the last Yank leaves Mesopotamia. They won't be happy until Iraq becomes a fully Talibanized society with the Sunni Arabs once again lording over the heretical Shia and the apostate Kurds. So yes, we can stop terrorism very easily - by giving Al Qaeda all that it wants. Deal?

So I can't say I was particularly shocked when I read this:
Germany's top law enforcement official issued a warning Saturday that the country's estimated 2.5 million Muslims could also produce "home-grown" terrorists.

Pointing to evidence that the London bombers had grown up in England as British citizens, Interior Minister Otto Schily said: "We are also possible targets for such terrorists"...

Schily indirectly blamed US and British involvement in Iraq for this new development [presence and growth of home-grown terror cells]. He specifically cited the prisoner-abuse scandal at the Abu Ghraib prison.
But hang on, you might ask, Germany had absolutely nothing to do with the Iraq war. It desperately tried to sabotage America's international efforts to build a coalition and was a staunch opponent of the military action. So why should the supposedly Iraq-inflamed terrorists attack Germany?
"We are also in the sights of terrorists," Schily said in an interview with Der Spiegel magazine. "We're part of the wider area of danger. We're taking part in military operations in Afghanistan and we're training Iraqi police."
So this is the deal: Al Qaeda can kill 3,000 people with hijacked airliners but if you think this sort of behavior shouldn't be tolerated then you're in the line of fire, too. Oh, and if you train Iraqi police. Not even with your infidel feet on the ground in Iraq, mind you, but in a third country. But is there any sort of relationship you can have with Iraq without getting in Al Qaeda's way?

Well, not really. Egypt is another country which was strenuously opposed to the Coalition intervention in Iraq, but its envoy in Iraq, Ihab al-Sherif, has been murdered by Al Qaeda a few days ago because he was deemed an "apostate" for having any contact at all with the democratically-elected Iraqi government.

We're not dealing here with people who are open to negotiation or compromise - or a reasoned discussion for that matter. They want it all. We can give it to them, curl up in a little ball and hope for the best, or we can stick it to them. There is no third way.


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