The Discerning Texan

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
Monday, August 13, 2007

Yes, it is THAT Al Qaeda, Stupid

Tongue in cheek as always, Christopher Hitchens takes on those on the Left who argue that Iraq is not the "real war" and that Al Qaeda in Iraq is not affiliated with AQ-Waziristan (h/t Glenn Reynolds) Emphasis is mine:
Over the past few months, I have been debating Roman Catholics who differ from their Eastern Orthodox brethren on the nature of the Trinity, Protestants who are willing to quarrel bitterly with one another about election and predestination, with Jews who cannot concur about a covenant with God, and with Muslims who harbor bitter disagreements over the discrepant interpretations of the Quran. Arcane as these disputes may seem, and much as I relish seeing the faithful fight among themselves, the believers are models of lucidity when compared to the hair-splitting secularists who cannot accept that al-Qaida in Mesopotamia is a branch of al-Qaida itself.

Objections to this self-evident fact take one of two forms. It is argued, first, that there was no such organization before the coalition intervention in Iraq. It is argued, second, that the character of the gang itself is somewhat autonomous from, and even independent of, the original group proclaimed by Osama Bin Laden. These objections sometimes, but not always, amount to the suggestion that the "real" fight against al-Qaida is, or should be, not in Iraq but in Afghanistan. (I say "not always," because many of those who argue the difference are openly hostile to the presence of NATO forces in Afghanistan as well as to the presence of coalition soldiers in Iraq.)

The facts as we have them are not at all friendly to this view of the situation, whether it be the "hard" view that al-Qaida terrorism is a "resistance" to Western imperialism or the "soft" view that we have only created the monster in Iraq by intervening there.

The founder of al-Qaida in Mesopotamia was Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who we can now gratefully describe as "the late." The first thing to notice about him is that he was in Iraq before we were. The second thing to notice is that he fled to Iraq only because he, and many others like him, had been driven out of Afghanistan. Thus, by the logic of those who say that Afghanistan is the "real" war, he would have been better left as he was. Without the overthrow of the Taliban, he and his collaborators would not have moved to take advantage of the next failed/rogue state. I hope you can spot the simple error of reasoning that is involved in this belief. It also involves the defeatist suggestion—which was very salient in the opposition to the intervention in Afghanistan—that it's pointless to try to crush such people because "others will spring up in their place." Those who take this view should have the courage to stand by it and not invent a straw-man argument.
Read the whole thing. Delicious...

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DiscerningTexan, 8/13/2007 07:42:00 PM |