« Ariel's song | Main | lessons from Houston »

December 2, 2003

Iraq and Al Qaeda

Al Qaeda hasn't attacked any US domestic targets since 2001. Maybe this is because Osama bin Laden is only interested in worse crimes than the ones he ordered on 9/11, and he's now planning something truly devastating. Or perhaps Al Qaeda has been temporarily battered and foiled, but will soon strike again.

On the other hand, could it be that that the invasion of Iraq has made the US a less desirable target? A "Tom-Friedmanesque" argument would go like this: Osama bin Laden is only interested in overthrowing secular or corrupt governments in Moslem countries. He doesn't care about an infidel nation like the US. He does, however, regard America as a source of support for the regimes in Egypt and the Gulf. Furthermore, he used to think that we would be easy to scare. Thus he believed that he could move toward his goal by striking a blow against the United States, thereby causing us to disengage from the Middle East. This was supposed to be an easy step in his overall plan. Instead, 9/11 led to the occupation of two historically Moslem states: Iraq and Afghanistan. To be sure, these US adventures have created targets and opportunities for Al Qaeda. But they also pose serious risks for Islamic extremism. Thus it's no longer clear that attacking the US is a logical step on the way to bin Laden's goals. Instead, he is now ordering attacks aimed at destablizing the regimes that he actually wants to overthrow, in Indonesia, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.

By itself, this argument (even if true) would not justify a war against Iraq, but it would weigh on the scales of judgment.

December 2, 2003 9:14 AM | category: Iraq and democratic theory | Comments


EMAIL: draime2000@yahoo.com
DATE: 01/26/2004 04:34:12 PM
That which does not kill us makes us stranger.

March 31, 2005 12:39 AM | Comments (1) | posted by Minarich Christopher

Site Meter