Blogs > Liberty and Power > Madrid Madness

Mar 15, 2004 3:20 pm


Madrid Madness



Cross posted on the SOLO Forum here.

As most of you know, I am a staunch supporter of the War on Al Qaeda. I think the US should have staged an all-out campaign to destroy that group 11 years ago, when they first attacked the World Trade Center on US soil in 1993. They have been an imminent threat to US security and should have been squashed. (Of course, I do believe that the history of how that group became an imminent threat is important: for answers to that question, just take a look at the history of US interventionist foreign policy, which is an"incubator" for anti-American terrorism — a history of propping up regimes from the House of Sa'ud to the mujahideen in Afghanistan...)

This said, I have not been a supporter of the War in Iraq, because I believe that Iraq was (a) not an imminent threat to the US; (b) not in possession of imminently-threatening weapons of mass destruction; and (c) not in league with Al Qaeda. If it had been proven to me that the Hussein regime was an imminent threat and in league with Al Qaeda, I would have supported a war against Iraq. But I still would not have supported the Wilsonian"nation-building" campaign that the neoconservatives in the Bush administration have been championing: a campaign to build a political democracy, at the cost of many American lives, and billions of US taxpayer dollars, on the shaky foundation of a culture steeped in internecine tribalist conflict, which has no understanding of individualism or human freedom.

I have expanded on these subjects in at least two articles, and countless posts to the Liberty & Power Group blog. Check out my Not a Blog for a listing of essays, including A Question of Loyalty and Understanding the Global Crisis.

All of this said: IF it should happen that Al Qaeda was, indeed, involved in the bombings in Madrid, what did the War in Iraq do to undermine that group?

Nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

If anything, the US toppled a murderous"secular" regime in Iraq that even Osama Bin Laden condemned as a home to"infidels." If anything, the possibilities of an emerging theocratic movement in Iraq have been multiplied. If anything, Al Qaeda is simply using this US occupation as a pretext for recruiting more and more terrorists to its murderous cause.

No, I'm not"implicitly" supporting the return of Saddam Hussein — who, I believe, was being, and could have been fully contained without a US invasion. But I live in the real world as it is, not as I would like it to be. Good riddance to him and his sons and to the Ba'ath killers.

Nevertheless, for those of us who are in support of the war against Al Qaeda, opposition to the Iraq war last winter was not a vote of support for Hussein; it was a strategic decision by some of us who believed that the Iraq war was a diversion from the true sources of Al Qaeda terrorism, with its roots in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, ironically: two US"allies."

I shudder to think that the Madrid bombings, 2 1/2 years to the day after 9/11, are a prelude to a similar multi-pronged attack on NYC subways in the coming months. If that were to happen during rush hour, Al Qaeda would take out thousands of Americans. They could conceivably cripple the city's underground transportation, destroy underwater tunnels, and fracture the city's infrastructure.

And the Iraq war would have done nothing to stop it.

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Tex MacRae - 3/16/2004

All of this said: IF it should happen that Al Qaeda was, indeed, involved in the bombings in Madrid, what did the War in Iraq do to undermine that group?

Nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

If anything, the US toppled a murderous "secular" regime in Iraq that even Osama Bin Laden condemned as a home to "infidels." If anything, the possibilities of an emerging theocratic movement in Iraq have been multiplied. If anything, Al Qaeda is simply using this US occupation as a pretext for recruiting more and more terrorists to its murderous cause.


Actually one of Bin Laden's stated goals is to restore the caliphate in Baghdad. From his point of view, the infidels now in Baghdad are worse than the ones they toppled.

I just posted on this subject today. You can read bin Laden's highlighted and excepted statement http://www.antiwar.com/blog/index.php?id=P568">here and http://unfairwitness.blogspot.com/2004_03_14_unfairwitness_archive.html#107938582737868826">here.

What better focus to organize Islamists around than the occupation of the caliphate by the infidel? It's the Crusades! Pulling out of Saudi, home of the holy cities, is fine. Moving next door and occupying the heart of Arabia and site of the caliphate itself isn't such a brilliant move.

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