The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] U.S. policy in Iraq has set loose the 'Jihad All-Star Team'

      Thursday, 28 August 2003

      U.S. policy in Iraq has set loose the 'Jihad All-Star Team'
      By Maureen Dowd

      Yep, we've got 'em right where we want 'em. We've brought the fight to
their turf, they're swarming into Iraq and blowing up our troops and other
Westerners every day, and that's just where we want to be.

      Our exhausted and frustrated soldiers are in a hideously difficult
environment they're not familiar with, dealing with a culture America only
dimly understands, where our desperation for any intelligence has reduced us
to recruiting Saddam's old spies, whom we didn't trust in the first place,
and where we are so strapped that soldiers may have to start serving
back-to-back yearlong overseas tours.

      We don't know exactly which of our ghostly Arab enemies are which, how
many there are, who's plotting with whom, what weapons they have, how
they're getting into Iraq, where they're hiding or who's financing and
organizing them.

      And we certainly don't understand the violent internecine religious
battles we've set in motion: At first, the Shiites were with us, and the
Sunnis in the center of the country were giving us all the trouble.

      Now a new generation of radical Shiites is rising up and assassinating
other Shiites aligned with us. They view us as the enemy and our quest as a
chance to establish an Islamist state, which Rummy says won't be tolerated.

      In Tuesday's macabre milestone, the number of U.S. soldiers who have
died since the war now exceeds the number who died during the war.

      But Republicans suggest that Iraq's turning into a terrorist magnet
could be convenient - one-stop shopping against terrorism. As Rush Limbaugh
observed, "We don't have to go anywhere to find them! They've fielded a
Jihad All-Star team."

      The strutting, omniscient Bush administration would never address the
possibility that our seizure of Iraq has left us more vulnerable to

      So it is doing what it did during the war, when Central Command
briefings routinely began with the iteration: "Coalition forces are on
plan," "We remain on plan," "Our plan is working."

      Even though the Middle East has
      become a phantasmagoria of evil
      spirits, and even though some Bush
      officials must be muttering to themselves that they should have
      to the weenies at State and the nags
      at the CIA, Team Bush is sticking to
      its mantra that everything is going
      according to plan.

      As Condoleezza Rice put it on Monday, the war to defend the homeland
"must be fought on the offense."

      Speaking to the American Legion on Tuesday, Bush discreetly ignored
his administration's chaotic occupation plan and declaimed, "No nation can
be neutral in the struggle between civilization and chaos."

      Echoing remarks by other officials, implying that it's better to have
one big moment of truth and fight our enemies on their turf rather than
ours, Bush said:

      "Our military is confronting terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan and in
other places so our people will not have to confront terrorist violence in
New York or St. Louis or Los Angeles."

      So that's the latest rationale for going into Iraq? We wanted an
Armageddon with our enemies, so we decided to conquer an Arab country and
drive the Muslim fanatics so crazy with their jihad mentality that they'd
flip out and storm in, and then we'd kill them all?

      Terrorism is not, as Bush seems to suggest, a finite thing.

      Asked at a recent Pentagon town hall meeting how he envisioned the end
state for the war on terror, Rumsfeld replied, "I guess the end state in the
shortest response would be to not be terrorized."

      By doing their high-risk, audacious sociological and political
makeover in Iraq, Bush officials and neocons hoped they could drain the
terrorist swamp in the long run.

      But in the short run, they have created new terrorist-breeding swamps
full of angry young Arabs who see America the same way Muslims saw
Westerners during the Crusades: as Christian expansionist imperialists
motivated by piety and greed.

      Just because the unholy alliance of Saddam loyalists, foreign fighters
and Islamic terrorists has turned Iraq into a scary shooting gallery for our
troops doesn't mean Americans at home are any safer. Since when did
terrorists see terror as an either-or proposition?

      "Bring 'em on" sounded like a tinny, reckless boast the first time
Bush said it. It doesn't sound any better when he says it louder with a

      * Maureen Dowd is a columnist for The New York Times, 229 W. 43rd St.,
New York, NY 10036; e-mail:

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]