Tuesday, May 29, 2007

If You Plant Ice You're Gonna Harvest Wind

Of all the lies that President Bush has told, none is larger nor has been told with greater frequency than Iraq had to be invaded because it was a hotbed of terrorism.

Despite the exertions of the White House and its right-wing lapdogs in the media and blogosphere to prove that canard in the five years since it replaced nonexistent WMD as the primary justification for the invasion, there is of course no evidence that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was a safe harbor for players in the global Islamic jihad. Yes, there has been the occasional report of Saddam Official A meeting with Terrorist Rep B in some foreign capital, but nothing remotely of substance.

What there is substantial evidence of is that George Bush’s war has become the Wal-Mart of the global Islamic jihad, drawing an extraordinary range of terrorists and terrorist wannabes who make up a small, if significant, part of the insurgency. (That brings up another lie: That the bulk of the insurgency consists of non-Iraqis.)

Now comes word -- in retrospect an inevitable and predictable consequence of a wrongheaded war and botched occupation -- that the U.S. has been so successful in growing terrorism in Iraq that Iraq is beginning to export terrorists and their tactics to neighboring countries and beyond.

Way to go Mr. President!

Reports the New York Times:

"Some of the fighters appear to be leaving as part of the waves of Iraqi refugees crossing borders that government officials acknowledge they struggle to control. But others are dispatched from Iraq for specific missions. . . . .

"Estimating the number of fighters leaving Iraq is at least as difficult as it has been to count foreign militants joining the insurgency. But early signs of an exodus are clear, and officials in the United States and the Middle East say the potential for veterans of the insurgency to spread far beyond Iraq is significant.

"Maj. Gen. Achraf Rifi, general director of the Internal Security Forces in Lebanon, said in a recent interview that 'if any country says it is safe from this, they are putting their heads in the sand'."

Just last week, the beleaguered Lebanese Army found itself in a pitched battle against a militant group, Fatah al Islam, whose ranks include as many as 50 veterans of the war in Iraq.

President Bush, of course, is entirely to blame for this state of affairs because, quite simply, he has been in charge, has always said he knows best and has been deaf to advice, let alone criticism, that runs contrary to his mantra that those dastardly terrorists were a pre-existing problem in Iraq.

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