Eight ways Bush is good for al-Qaeda
While the Bush administration has made a few feeble attempts to connect Saddam’s Iraq with al-Qaeda, President Bush continues his indiscrete aid to the terrorist organization.
Well, ‘incompetence’ is the buzzword.
Here are eight things that al-Qaeda couldn’t have done without us:
‘ Had a record membership drive.
Doing push-ups in the desert surrounded by stuffy Taliban authority figures didn’t make for a very good brochure. Now, young Middle-Eastern men who thought jihad was an impossible dream have only to travel to neighboring Iraq to kill real Americans.
And those are just the casual jihadists.
Nothing creates suicide bombers faster than conventional warfare in a Middle East town. Every stray bullet or bomb fragment that wipes out a civilian leaves behind an angry relative, but that’s only happened a few thousand times.
On the bright side, we have a pro-life prez.
‘ Gained valuable combat experience.
The British had the IRA. The Spanish had the Basque separatists. Nothing keeps your special forces sharp like a persistent enemy who is readily available for confrontation.
And that’s what we provide to al-Qaeda.
The roadside bomb has improved dramatically since the occupation of Iraq began. It provides a tangible example of what a little practice has done for al-Qaeda in Iraq. Other courses include: urban warfare, convoy ambushes, car bombings.
‘ Got Saddam out.
Prior to our invasion of Iraq, Colin Powell said Osama bin Laden’s words on a new videotape further tied Saddam to international terrorism.
But when the major news media began to air and post transcriptions of the tape, it included a rallying cry asking Iraqis to rise up against the ‘socialist’ rule of Hussein.
It’s funny how words get mixed up sometimes … and a bit odd considering both Washington and Iraq knew bin Laden had long-plotted to use his Mujahideen to end the oppressive and secular rule of Saddam.
‘ Gave us a human rights black eye.
American soldiers must have been stunned to see bin Laden’s image displayed throughout Afghanistan. He has, after all, achieved something of a rock-star status there.
They came to win the hearts and minds of the people, and bin Laden already had. It was clear a lot of work would need to be done if the military was to win the public trust.
But then the news media revealed that not everyone was on the same page.
Abuses at Abu Ghraib and the existence of secret CIA prisons dealt a serious setback to the military’s reconstruction effort. While it’s unclear how high up the chain the Abu Ghraib scandal originated, the creation of secret prisons came straight from the top.
‘ Spread our military thin.
A handful of dead 9/11 hijackers don’t make for much of a military target. And sparse and anonymous by nature, live terrorists aren’t the type to meet their foes on a battlefield.
The public prefers to think of terrorism as state sponsored. This conjures up a fantasy in which terrorism can be defeated the old-fashioned way, by toppling governments and defeating armies.
While our forces are running towards victory on the Bush administration’s treadmill of an exit strategy, Iran and North Korea are growing bolder and crazier. Only time will tell how thin our military is destined to become since war …
‘ … Made Uncle Sam uninspiring.
It’s hard to convince an American teenager that they can be all they can be by spending a year in the desert wondering if that carcass on the side of the road is packed full of explosives.
Advancements in body armor and portable health-care technology are saving soldiers from grisly injuries that would’ve been fatal in any previous conflict, but the ability to protect and save limbs hasn’t advanced as quickly.
Amputees will be living reminders of the horrors of war long after this one is over.
Extended tours of duty in hostile territory, the frustration of guerrilla warfare and soldiers who bring the war home with them will make recruitment increasingly difficult and reenlistment less common.
‘ Turned off our allies.
A number of key NATO allies ‘ France, Germany and Belgium among them ‘ were more than skeptical at the case for preemptive war, while Britain gave military support even if British public support was lacking. After three years and no weapons of mass destruction, our ‘allies’ are feeling very ‘I told you so’ about Iraq.
Coalition building in the future will require a major construction effort. And that’s not even taking into account the human rights scandal factor.
‘ Created a less free society.
Most of us probably don’t feel any less free, but some of us may have already had our futures red-flagged. Our interests, habits, professions or academic work may have labeled us a potential enemy of the state. Welcome to the Patriot Act.
Even our national attitude has changed.
Increasingly, Americans are viewing criticism of our leaders and their actions as unpatriotic. Our political divides have grown into chasms.
And if you aren’t a U.S. citizen, be afraid. We have a title called ‘enemy combatant’ that exempts us from the rules of the Geneva Convention. And we have cells in places beyond the reach of the U.S. Constitution and the writ of habeas corpus.
It’s a strange state of affairs when fair trials aren’t allowed for fear someone might be found innocent.
Those are eight ways our president furthered the cause of al-Qaeda. Those are eight, but not THE eight. It’s possible a few were left out.