February 16, 2005

Iraq Reality Check

‘Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, considered the most-wanted terrorist in Iraq, hopes to use Iraq as a base to launch attacks on Western countries..’

‘The Iraq war has become a cause for extremists…Jihadists who survived the war are likely to leave there experienced in, and focused on, acts of urban terrorism.’

Is this yet more speculation from those whiny liberals who never cease complaining about Iraq? Or maybe more of those sore-loser Democrats who want to shine a negative light on Iraq after the highly successful election?

No, this is taken directly from today’s testimony at the Senate Intelligence Committee. The speakers: the head of the FBI and the CIA.

So what should we take from this? First, everyone needs to recognize that concerns that the Iraq War has potentially increased the risks of terrorism are legitimate and not overblown. Just as I have expressed the view that people who opposed the war should accept the possibility that a democratic and stable Iraq will lead to a long-term decline in Islamic terrorism (and still not have to take the position that the war was the right decision), it is important for those who supported the war to realize that in addition to the already huge costs that have been incurred, there is a real risk that Islamic terrorism will be inflamed and exacerbated.

In some sense this point is academic since the war has already occurred, but with issues as volatile and with such huge stakes as those surrounding the Iraq War, it is imperative that no matter whether you were initially a supporter or an opponent that you don’t prevent the facts from interfering with your predispositions or ideology. In this way we can all make sure to at minimum learn some important lessons from this conflict.


P.S. Seems like I was a little ahead of the curve. Here's a NYT op-ed with a similar theme from 2/21/05.

Jason Scorse