Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Facts Are Stubborn Things

There were links between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda (via Wikileaks):

A former Guantanamo detainee “was identified as an Iraqi intelligence officer who relocated to Afghanistan (AF) in 1998 where he served as a senior Taliban Intelligence Directorate officer in Mazar-E-Sharif,” according to a recently leaked assessment written by American intelligence analysts. The former detainee, an Iraqi named Jawad Jabber Sadkhan, “admittedly forged official documents and reportedly provided liaison between the governments of Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Sadkhan’s al Qaeda ties reached all the way to Osama bin Laden, according to the intelligence assessment. He reportedly received money from Osama bin Laden both before and after the September 11 attacks.

Not, I hasten to add, that this linkage means Saddam had a role in 9/11. I never said that. The Bush administration never said that. But the anti-war left always responded to allegations of Saddam-Osama links with the outraged denial that Saddam had anything to do with 9/11! Mind you, I wouldn't be shocked if evidence turned up to link Saddam's regime to 9/11, but I haven't read anything that indicates that is a real possibility. But general links? That is no surprise and there is evidence.

Why it would be so outrageous for Saddam to work with al Qaeda against their common enemy, America, is beyond me. Arguments that Osama bin Laden hated Saddam and so couldn't cooperate with Saddam make this linkage even more likely. Why wouldn't Saddam try an outreach to an enemy to turn that enemy's attentions toward another enemy of both of them? Win-win, eh?

For people who celebrate nuance and foreign policy realism, the anti-Iraq War people continue to have a disturbing lack of appreciation for realpolitik.