February 9, 2004

Missing the Point

From the AP:

A letter seized from an al-Qaida courier shows Osama bin Laden has made little headway in recruiting Iraqis for a holy war against America, raising questions about the Bush administration's contention that Iraq is the central front in the war on terror.
Actually, no, it doesn’t raise such questions. At least it shouldn’t.

Iraq is critical for strategic reasons. The Middle East will continue cranking out terrorists until its political slum has been renovated. We are not going to be safe as long as the Middle Eastern status quo is tyrannical. Slum-clearance had to start somewhere, and no dictator in that region had as pernicious an influence as Saddam Hussein.

The Al Qaeda letter does, however, cast a wee bit of doubt on the idea that invading Iraq would only inspire more terrorists. Chalk that one up to the latest overwrought doom-mongering. Remember that Baghdad was supposed to be the next Stalingrad. The Brutal Afghan Winter and the Empire Destroying Taliban Warrior fantasies didn’t amount to much either.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at February 9, 2004 8:31 PM
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