Thursday, June 29, 2006

Al Queda

Michael Hirsh wrote an excellent article for Newsweek. It explains how al Queda before 9/11 was a group of thugs that got lucky. The administration which allowed them an unexpected success then proceeded to change al Queda from a loosely organized group of extremists into a power created by US policy.

Hirsh's summary paragraph pretty much sums up the so called "war on terror":
The ultimate tragedy of the Iraq war was not only that it diverted the U.S. from
the knockout blow against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan—the deaths of bin
Laden and Zawahiri would likely have persuaded most jihadis it was wiser to
focus on the near enemy—but that Iraq also altered the outcome of Al Qaeda's
internal debate, tipping it in bin Laden's favor. "Iraq ended that debate
because it fused the near and the far enemy," as Arquilla puts it succinctly.
America ventured into the lands of jihad and willingly offered itself as a
target in place of the local regimes. And as a new cause that revived the
flagging Al Qaeda movement. It is, no doubt, bin Laden's greatest victory.


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