Thursday, September 22, 2005

And D-Day Didn't Create More Nazis

I do tire of the idea that our war in Iraq is creating terrorists. As if jihadis weren't killing us and training in peace in large numbers prior to our destruction of Saddam's regime. Truly it is a strange training ground where the vast majority of your trainees are killed or captured, which is what Iraq is for the jihadis.

In this light, read this from Strategypage originally published in April 2001, to see that reasons to kill infidels have been around a long time along the Green Lines (named after the line in Beirut in Lebanon's old civil war between Christian and Moslem sections) between Islam and the rest of the world:

Radicals throughout the Moslem world continue to take advantage of dissatisfaction among the people and recruit terrorists and supporters. To help this process along they invoke the ancient grudges popular among many Moslems. Most of these legends involve Christians beating on Moslems. To most radicals it makes sense to get people agitated over faraway foreigners rather than some strongman nearby.

Most radicals lack the skills, money or ability to carry their struggle to far-off places. So most of the agitation takes place among Moslem populations. Any violent attitudes generated are easily directed at available non-Moslems. Thus we have all those Green Lines. But the more violence you have along those Green Lines, the more really fanatical fighters are developed. These are the people who are willing to travel to foreign lands and deal with non-believers, and kill them for the cause. We call it terrorism; the fanatics call it doing what has to be done. All because of religious wars in far-off places.

So we added one more Green Line in Iraq. Is it really fair to say we are creating more terrorists because now we fight back? If so, then you really do have to say that we created more Nazis by launching Overlord and marching into Germany. Would the Germans have mobilized as many as they did if we hadn't attacked?

The point is winning against the enemy. And Iraq is one Green Line where we are winning. As in Afghanistan, we ended the sanctuary for a hideous regime that prepared terrorists to go to far-off places. And we created two governments that actively fight terrorists instead of train and support them. Other governments are now serious about tracking these guys down instead of looking the other way as long as they didn't kill the locals. This includes Europeans and even the Saudis. Sure, it pisses off some who then join the jihadis, but it is better to fight back and then win. Enough were pissed off before Iraq to launch 9-11 and if we never fought back, enough would have been pissed off to eventually detonate a nuke in one of our cities. By fighting we can win and hopefully kill that threat.

Some in our country think it is folly to even fight these wild men, noting they welcome death in order to kill us and so how do you fight such men? How, these anti-war people ask, do you reduce their numbers by killing them when they are eager to die and more join? I'd rather ask how you make peace with such men. But that's just me.

But look at what it takes to find men willing to die in suicidal attacks (again from Strategypage--I swear I read other things besides this excellent site today). Strategypage notes the varied efforts to go after the recruits for suicide bombings in Saudi Arabia, which has fertile ground for jihadis (and not from poverty, I should say):

These efforts seem to be working, judging from the experience Iraqi police are having with Saudi al Qaeda volunteers of late. The captured Saudis (who have often fled from al Qaeda control) tell of deception and coercion being used to get them into Iraq to serve as suicide bomber. Such desperate measures to obtain suicide bombers is not unusual. The Palestinian terrorist organizations had to use similar coercive techniques when they ran short of volunteers. Some bad publicity, or a lot of failed attacks (and live bombers being sent to prison for a long time), would discourage a lot of potential volunteers. To make up the shortage, kidnapping, blackmail or other forms of coercion would be used.

Fighting in Iraq is certainly far from the only front in our global war. Intelligence and police efforts to sweep up the cannon fodder, their recruiters, and their financers before the jihadis can get into action are invaluable, as is pressure on the governments that facilitate their movement and equipping--or the destruction of such regimes. But arguing that we cannot fight such committed men ignores that we are killing them off or capturing them so effectively in Iraq that recruiting suicide jihadis is getting tougher.

The jihadi hate existed long before Iraq. Iraq didn't create the hatred as so many argue today. If it wasn't Iraq it would be something else. Jihadis are really good at coming up with reasons to hate us and kill us. I wouldn't get too worked up about what the reason du jour is.

And while fighting in Iraq won't end the hatred all by itself, by creating democracy there it is going a long way to helping the Islamic world turn its back on the killers. And in the meantime, we kill the bad guys. Until we can solve the problem of Islam tolerating terrorism, that will buy time.