One year on...

  1. "Coalition troops are moving to disarm Iraq, free its people, and defend the world from grave danger.." GWB

    So how did we do?

    BBC NEWS

    Q&A: Is the world a safer place?
    A year after the start of the US-led invasion of Iraq, the BBC's security correspondent, Frank Gardner looks at the repercussions of that war on the international security situation.

    One of the criticisms of the was in Iraq is that it has made the world a more dangerous place. Is this correct?

    In the short term, yes. The US-led invasion and subsequent occupation of a sovereign Arab country has provided a rallying point for those who see the West as neo-colonialists bent on oppressing Muslims and controlling Arab oil reserves.


    While this is by no means a universal viewpoint in the Arab world, such suspicions have helped al-Qaeda's recruiting and extended their support base.
    On the other hand, the war has removed any possibility that Iraq could have become a nuclear nation in the future with Saddam Hussein and his brutal sons having their fingers on the button.

    Can we be sure we are seeing al-Qaeda's hand behind the attacks in Iraq?

    No, we can't, although it looks increasingly likely that there is some cooperation between Islamist militants who fought in Afghanistan and local Iraqis violently opposed to the US military and its Iraqi allies.

    There have also been a number of statements purporting to come from al-Qaeda which claim responsibility for major attacks in Iraq, and which threaten more.

    What does this mean for the Middle East as a whole?

    Arab regimes, especially those in the Gulf, generally dislike instability. This is why they were so concerned at the potential consequences of a US invasion of Iraq.

    Now, one year on, they face several problems. These include small sections of their youth wanting to volunteer to fight the Americans in Iraq, and those young men, in turn, making links with local Islamists sympathetic to al-Qaeda; enormous pressure from Washington to reform and democratise; and a revival of old Sunni-Shia rivalries given the latter's newfound powers in Iraq.

    One year on, what can we say about the success or otherwise of the "war on terror"?

    It's a misleading term, because due to the ideological nature of the al-Qaeda movement this is not a war that can ever be definitively won or lost.

    The West's early successes in depriving al-Qaeda of its physical bases in Afghanistan in 2001, then freezing suspect bank accounts, have given way to a growing realisation that the global threat of terrorism could be with us for decades.

    Counter-terrorism intelligence co-operation between and within nations has improved enormously. But the bombings in Istanbul and Madrid prove that Islamic militants, whether linked to al-Qaeda or not, still have the capability to inflict massive death tolls.

    Is there another way, or other ways, to prosecute this "war"?

    The Pentagon, which is the main driving force behind the US-led "war on terror", has naturally tended to focus on military successes, including the killing or capture of key al-Qaeda figures.

    But nearly every analyst agrees that not enough is being done to tackle al-Qaeda's popularity, which stems from a widespread Muslim disenchantment with both the US and its government allies in the region.

    The lost opportunity of not planning properly for a swift victory over Saddam Hussein has had disastrous consequences for the West. Iraq is still a dangerous mess and Arabs blame the West.


    Story from BBC NEWS:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/h...st/3550189.stm

    Published: 2004/03/19 14:35:28 GMT

    BBC
    •  
  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Ted
    Great article, Don. Thanks.

    It's good to hear (read) the news outside of the "States".

    The whole Iraqi war was a poor idea. . . (Can't get into it without having my blood pressure rise to unhealthy levels. . . )
    Last edit by Ted on Mar 20, '04
  4. by   Mkue
    I agree with this opinion article from one news security correspondant in that the world is not a safer place. It might be obvious to some ppl that Al-qaeda hates the US so no matter what the US does worldwide Al-aqaeda will not approve even if it's saving a country from a diabolical dictator. It is also my opinion that Al-aqaeda is fueled by opposition of the US, and I'm sure Al-qaeda does not want to see GWB serve another term in the White House as GWB would like to wipe out the Al-qaeda network since these terrorists are responsible for 9/11 and many other attacks upon the US and other countries.

    The news correspondant states as his opinion that Iraq is a dangerous mess but doesn't believe that Al-qaeda has a hand in the attacks in Iraq. I believe there is evidence to suggest that Al-aqaeda ordered an uprising after the occupation of Iraq. For whatever reason, be it their hatred towards the US or loyalty to Iraqi citizens for which they claimed to have no ties with Saddam, it's hard for me to believe that Al-qaeda does not have a hand in the mess the news correspondant describes.
  5. by   Brownms46
    Quote from donmurray
    "Coalition troops are moving to disarm Iraq, free its people, and defend the world from grave danger.." GWB

    So how did we do?

    BBC NEWS

    Q&A: Is the world a safer place?
    A year after the start of the US-led invasion of Iraq, the BBC's security correspondent, Frank Gardner looks at the repercussions of that war on the international security situation.

    One of the criticisms of the was in Iraq is that it has made the world a more dangerous place. Is this correct?

    In the short term, yes. The US-led invasion and subsequent occupation of a sovereign Arab country has provided a rallying point for those who see the West as neo-colonialists bent on oppressing Muslims and controlling Arab oil reserves.


    While this is by no means a universal viewpoint in the Arab world, such suspicions have helped al-Qaeda's recruiting and extended their support base.
    On the other hand, the war has removed any possibility that Iraq could have become a nuclear nation in the future with Saddam Hussein and his brutal sons having their fingers on the button.

    Can we be sure we are seeing al-Qaeda's hand behind the attacks in Iraq?

    No, we can't, although it looks increasingly likely that there is some cooperation between Islamist militants who fought in Afghanistan and local Iraqis violently opposed to the US military and its Iraqi allies.

    There have also been a number of statements purporting to come from al-Qaeda which claim responsibility for major attacks in Iraq, and which threaten more.

    What does this mean for the Middle East as a whole?

    Arab regimes, especially those in the Gulf, generally dislike instability. This is why they were so concerned at the potential consequences of a US invasion of Iraq.

    Now, one year on, they face several problems. These include small sections of their youth wanting to volunteer to fight the Americans in Iraq, and those young men, in turn, making links with local Islamists sympathetic to al-Qaeda; enormous pressure from Washington to reform and democratise; and a revival of old Sunni-Shia rivalries given the latter's newfound powers in Iraq.

    One year on, what can we say about the success or otherwise of the "war on terror"?

    It's a misleading term, because due to the ideological nature of the al-Qaeda movement this is not a war that can ever be definitively won or lost.

    The West's early successes in depriving al-Qaeda of its physical bases in Afghanistan in 2001, then freezing suspect bank accounts, have given way to a growing realisation that the global threat of terrorism could be with us for decades.

    Counter-terrorism intelligence co-operation between and within nations has improved enormously. But the bombings in Istanbul and Madrid prove that Islamic militants, whether linked to al-Qaeda or not, still have the capability to inflict massive death tolls.

    Is there another way, or other ways, to prosecute this "war"?

    The Pentagon, which is the main driving force behind the US-led "war on terror", has naturally tended to focus on military successes, including the killing or capture of key al-Qaeda figures.

    But nearly every analyst agrees that not enough is being done to tackle al-Qaeda's popularity, which stems from a widespread Muslim disenchantment with both the US and its government allies in the region.

    The lost opportunity of not planning properly for a swift victory over Saddam Hussein has had disastrous consequences for the West. Iraq is still a dangerous mess and Arabs blame the West.


    Story from BBC NEWS:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/h...st/3550189.stm

    Published: 2004/03/19 14:35:28 GMT

    BBC

    Your posts are always a pleasure to read donmurray, and right on!
  6. by   elkpark
    For whatever reason, be it their hatred towards the US or loyalty to Iraqi citizens for which they claimed to have no ties with Saddam, it's hard for me to believe that Al-qaeda does not have a hand in the mess the news correspondant describes.
    Is it really so hard to believe that there could be wide-spread hatred of us throughout much of the Middle East at this point, entirely independent of Al Quaeda? We've invaded, destroyed, and occupied not one but TWO Middle Eastern countries (don't forget Afghanistan, although the administration seems to have ... ) for no particularly good reason -- neither had anything directly to do with the 9/11 attacks; Saudi Arabia and Pakistan had much closer ties to the 9/11 attackers, but they are still our good buddies -- go figure

    A law professor who specializes in the Middle East was speaking on NPR yesterday afternoon, and saying that there is widespread perception in that entire region that the US is launching another crusade, in the medieval sense of the word -- a program to wipe out Muslims around the world. I imagine that, from their point of view, it's not such a stretch to see things that way.

    The other night, Lou Dobbs on CNN (which seems to have pretty much become the official voice of the administration over the last few years, so I don't expect much from them) was doing an on-line poll about this same question, whether the Iraqi war had made the world safer or less safe. At the time that I logged on to vote, the poll results were running 89% less safe, 9% more safe, 4% no difference.

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