Thursday, June 10, 2004

How Terrorism Breeds

As I was going off on my usual daily rants about politics and terrorism to my disinterested friends, one friend asked me a question so simple, yet so profound that it stopped me dead in my tracks: "Why is terrorism so prevalent in the Muslim world and not in other countries?" Now, I was attempting to answer when it occured to me that there was really no "right" answer. At its root, this is what the War on Terror is about; stopping terrorism where it comes from. Many of us Iraq War supporters supported the idea not only for humanitarian reasons, but also to "drain the swamps" in the Middle East of the virulent hatred and violence sought by Islamic fundamentalists. The neo-cons call for a need to democratize the entire Middle East. On the surface, I am supportive of that idea. I think that a democratic regime in Baghdad will be the worst thing for terrorism (and Abu Zarqawi agrees).

However, there is a continued insurgency going on and there may be a point when the American public decides to call it quits and starts the loud murmurs of troop withdrawl. If this were to happen, it would be al-Qaeda's biggest and most stunning victory over the West. A few months ago, I was talking to Wretchard via e-mail and he basically said that were the United States to withdraw from Iraq, we would cease being a super power. And this is what concerns me, the Iraqi state is extremely weak right now. Its own security forces fleed from a rag-tag militia run by Muqtada al-Sadr. So, were we to withdraw, the Iraqi state would collaspe and there would be that dreaded Civil War™ we've been hearing about since the fall of Baghdad last year.

But the chattering classes have already sown the seeds of defeatism into most of the American population. This is evidenced by the outbursts of many war supporters last month going crazy over the increased level of violence (myself included). It caused even top ranking conservatives to call for withdrawl. So, I think that all that would be needed would be a series of coordinated massive casualty attacks and public opinion in support of the war would effective end and Bush would have to leave for the sake of saving his presidency (although, he would be utterly disgraced in the process). The Soviets were in Afghanistan for 10 years before they were forced to pullout, will we suffer the same fate down the road, only much, much sooner? The consequence of that will reverbate around the world for decades.

To Be Continued...