July 17, 2005

YOU CAN ALWAYS FIND AN EXCUSE TO SEND SOMEONE ELSE TO HIS DEATH:

Study cites seeds of terror in Iraq: War radicalized most, probes find (Bryan Bender, July 17, 2005, Boston Globe)

New investigations by the Saudi Arabian government and an Israeli think tank -- both of which painstakingly analyzed the backgrounds and motivations of hundreds of foreigners entering Iraq to fight the United States -- have found that the vast majority of these foreign fighters are not former terrorists and became radicalized by the war itself.

The studies, which together constitute the most detailed picture available of foreign fighters, cast serious doubt on President Bush's claim that those responsible for some of the worst violence are terrorists who seized on the opportunity to make Iraq the ''central front" in a battle against the United States.

''The terrorists know that the outcome [in Iraq] will leave them emboldened or defeated," Bush said in his nationally televised address on the war at Fort Bragg in North Carolina last month. ''So they are waging a campaign of murder and destruction." The US military is fighting the terrorists in Iraq, he repeated this month, ''so we do not have to face them here at home."

However, interrogations of nearly 300 Saudis captured while trying to sneak into Iraq and case studies of more than three dozen others who blew themselves up in suicide attacks show that most were heeding the calls from clerics and activists to drive infidels out of Arab land, according to a study by Saudi investigator Nawaf Obaid, a US-trained analyst who was commissioned by the Saudi government and given access to Saudi officials and intelligence.

A separate Israeli analysis of 154 foreign fighters compiled by a leading terrorism researcher found that despite the presence of some senior Al Qaeda operatives who are organizing the volunteers, ''the vast majority of [non-Iraqi] Arabs killed in Iraq have never taken part in any terrorist activity prior to their arrival in Iraq."

''Only a few were involved in past Islamic insurgencies in Afghanistan, Bosnia, or Chechnya," the Israeli study says. Out of the 154 fighters analyzed, only a handful had past associations with terrorism, including six who had fathers who fought the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, said the report, compiled by the Global Research in International Affairs Center in Herzliya, Israel.

American intelligence officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, and terrorism specialists paint a similar portrait of the suicide bombers wreaking havoc in Iraq: Prior to the Iraq war, they were not Islamic extremists seeking to attack the United States, as Al Qaeda did four years ago, but are part of a new generation of terrorists responding to calls to defend their fellow Muslims from ''crusaders" and ''infidels."


It was obviously a bad decision to occupy Iraq after liberating it, but these guys are sheep--their motivations are insignificant. It's the radical clerics and al Qaeda operatives who matter and they don't care about the Iraq war.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 17, 2005 12:00 AM
Comments

"most were heeding the calls from clerics and activists"

There's the money quote right there.

The money-men and ideological provokers should have been taken down in the first months after 9/11, and the WOT would already be over.

Notice how Hamas has played much nicer since Israel took out their founder, then his replacement within a couple of days, and made it clear anyone who took such a position would be whacked?

Posted by: b at July 17, 2005 6:29 PM

You can't "radicalize" anyone who is not predisposed to be radicalized. These idiots (the suiciders) had been raised in a tribal Sunni Muslim culture (read Spengler about what that means), educated in the vaunted wahabbi madrassas (even if they later went to western universities and obtained degrees in mechanical engineering), and feed a steady diet of high power bullpuckey by al Jazzera and their local imams.

Given that background a proposition like "Americans have invaded Iraq, therefor I should blow myself to smithereens and kill innocent women and children in the process", might make sense to the suiciders, but it is no more logical than the proposition that "the earth is flat, therefore I must sprout wings and fly."

Minds must be pounded well out of their natural shape before they can be "radicalized" into committing suicide/murder. American intervention in Iraq, may be the last straw that broke those camel jockey's brains, but it is a very slight straw indeed, compared with the heavy load they were carrying.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 17, 2005 8:31 PM

Right. Also It is much better to fight them at a time and place of our choosing. In Tactics 101, that's called gaining and maintaining the initiative. Iraq is going very well, under all the circumstances. What we must not do this time, however, is to bug out and leave the people who trusted us hanging from the helocopter skids on the embassy roof.

Even the people who would like to make political capital from every American casulty are starting to see this. Even if one holds that the whole thing was a mistake, that "Bush lied," and who had been carping about Nigerian yellowcake are staring to recognize that we're in it and we won't come back till it's over over there.

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 18, 2005 6:26 AM

Right. Also It is much better to fight them at a time and place of our choosing. In Tactics 101, that's called gaining and maintaining the initiative. Iraq is going very well, under all the circumstances. What we must not do this time, however, is to bug out and leave the people who trusted us hanging from the helocopter skids on the embassy roof.

Even the people who would like to make political capital from every American casulty are starting to see this. Even if one holds that the whole thing was a mistake, that "Bush lied," and who had been carping about Nigerian yellowcake are staring to recognize that we're in it and we won't come back till it's over over there.

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 18, 2005 6:26 AM

This data (and the preceding comments), bolster what I've thought all along (though no Administration could admit to it.)

This outcome was intended. Here's my theory.

Once 9/11 occured, and we finally saw the reality (instead of just the theory) of what the future might hold, the planning of Iraq & Afhanistan contained a specific component that intended to draw as many radicalized people there to be killed.

(remember all the whining about being unable to "close the border.")

Some may argue that it is never a good idea to "create" your own enemies, but I disagree. If you know the enemy is "primed" by Islamist/Wahhabi dogma, and this priming has been taking place over decades, "activating them" and drawing them to where you can kill them is (as Lou puts it) Tactics 101.

You just can't say it.

Posted by: BB at July 18, 2005 10:55 AM

We've been saying it in Arabic (on the battlefield). Soon, we need to say it in the UN (in Arabic, as well). Then in English.

Bypass all the Euros and the Kofi gang.

Posted by: ratbert at July 19, 2005 12:07 AM
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