Saturday, July 21, 2007

Recruiting Is Pretty Darned Easy For Them

I think it is silly to assert that Iraq is causing more jihadi recruits.

Certainly, Iraq is a cause that recruits respond to. But before Iraq, they responded to Afghanistan. And before Afghanistan, they responded to Iraq sanctions. And they responded to American forces in Saudi Arabia. And in between, they responded to Dutch cartoons and fake stories of flushed Korans, and ice cream lids. Face it, lots of thing set them off. They just need an excuse:

Energetic efforts will be made to assert that it is Moslems who are being persecuted in non-Moslem nations. In the West, this is considered ludicrous, at least by those who bother to pay attention to what is actually happening in the Moslem world.

Since this belief that Islam is under attack, motivates Islamic terrorists, it would make sense to point out how utterly false the accusation is. Not only is Islam not under attack, but Moslem governments, and most of the mass media everywhere tends to ignore or downplay the very real violence and hostility Moslems direct at non-Moslems. When pressed, Western journalists, or at least their editors, will claim that focusing on Moslems attacking non-Moslems will only anger the Islamic world, and increase the hatred that creates Islamic terrorists. That doesn't make any sense, but at least the feelings of Moslems are being tended to.

Yet we persist on looking for reasons they kill us. Iraq will do for now. And since many Westerners don't like the war, it resonates with the Guilty Americans and nuanced Europeans.

Even in the sensitive 90s, jihadis flocked to training camps in Afghanistan to train with al Qaeda and to Iraq to join Saddam's Fedayeen. Tens of thousands went then, to do Saddam's bidding in case the Shias revolted again as in 1991:

Saddam never expected we'd go all the way to Baghdad and that the fedayeen were not viewed by Saddam as the core of an insurgency to fight our occupation but as regime enforcers who could keep the Shia down until regular Iraqi forces could intervene.

And now? Maybe 60-70 per month enter Iraq.

Where they die:

While Saudi Arabia is not happy with how Shia Arabs have taken control of Iraq, and appear able to hold on to it, they are pleased with how the fighting in Iraq has greatly depleted the number of al Qaeda backers inside Saudi Arabia. Over 5,000 Saudi Islamic radicals are believed to have died in Iraq so far. For the last four years, up to half the suicide bombers have been Saudis, and about half the 135 foreigners currently held in U.S. military prisons over there, are Saudis. Currently, American intelligence believes about 45 percent of the foreign fighters (less than ten percent of all terrorists there) are Saudis. The next largest group is Syrians and Lebanese (15 percent), followed by North Africans (10 percent). The other 30 percent are from all over, including Europe.

Even Saudi Arabia does not believe Iraq is creating more terrorists. The Saudis see Iraq as a meat grinder that is tearing up jihadis at a rate fast enough to decrease the threat to the Saudi government.

And for that matter, other Arab states see Iraq as a place where their jihadis can go to die and not as a place that incites even more jihadis.

Iraq is the most convenient excuse of the jihadis to kill us. An excuse that dovetails nicely with our Left's theories. But in the end, Iraq is not the reason jihadis try to kill us in gruesome ways.