Testing Congress: Tone Deaf

At least twice Al Qaeda leaders massed in Afghanistan but weren't taken out, loss of innocent lives the concern. Now Iraq: Al Qaeda elites ganged with Iraqi terrorists, but Congress says, Halt.

Snipers: target Al Qaeda and it alone. Suddenly innocent Saddamists: kill at will. Their consciences clear, Congressional leaders can howl at more important matters such as Michael Vick.

And they still don't see, still don't hear: despite Rwanda's horrors, Hutus and Tutsis were not in the export business. Al Qaeda is, and business is good.

That's what Congress's own Research Service noted two years ago, writing that, since September 11, 2001,
"Al Qaeda affiliates have been established or publicly identified, and they have been active."
Serious Congressmen would recall the Service then stated in 2005:
"One notable example is the Al Qaeda Jihad Organization in Mesopotamia, headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a 38-year-old Jordanian Arab who reportedly fought in Afghanistan."
Serious Congressmen would remember the Service immediately added:
"It is an offshoot of another group called Ansar al-Islam, which is named as an FTO [Foreign Terrorist Organization], and was based in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq prior to the U.S.-led war to oust Saddam Hussein."
"prior to the U.S.-led war to oust Saddam Hussein": serious Congressmen - those with ears to hear - wouldn't miss that; deaf ones did.

For deaf Congressmen, a lot is hooey, even when it's from their own Research Service:
"Although Zarqawi reputedly sees himself as a potential leader of Islamic forces in his own right, in 2004 he formally swore fealty to bin Laden and affiliated with Al Qaeda."
"Al Qaeda affiliates," "active," "offshoot" - in Iraq before the US set foot in Iraq - then
  • swearing fealty to Al Qaeda and boosted by Al Qaeda in return;
  • blasting the sacred Golden Mosque so Shias would savage Sunnis and Sunnis would savage back;
  • attacking pilgrims, infants, students, shoppers, workers, recruits, anyone who could make the bloodiest splash:
and deaf Congressmen want to flush Iraq to fritter with Al Qaeda anywhere except Iraq.

Such as Somalia? Al Qaeda went because US troops did. Troops left, Al Qaeda stayed. And how has Somalia fared since?

Yemen? The US went, Al Qaeda went - killing 17 sailors on the USS Cole: because America was there.

Jordan? The Research Service noted:
"In December 1999, U.S. and Jordanian authorities separately thwarted related Al Qaeda plots against religious sites in Jordan and apparently against the Los Angeles international airport"
1999: before George W., before Iraq.

Saudi Arabia?
"four Saudi nationals who confessed to a November 1995 bombing of a U.S. military advisory facility in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia claimed on Saudi television to have been inspired by bin Laden and other radical Islamist leaders. Five Americans were killed in that attack."
1995: before Iraq. Five Americans dead, troops then withdrawn, but that didn't stop Al Qaeda.
"'Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,' is believed to consist of Al Qaeda or pro-Al Qaeda fighters seeking to overthrow the ruling Al Saud family in Saudi Arabia. The faction has claimed responsibility for the December 6, 2004 attack on the U.S. consulate in Jeddah."
Saudi Arabia and its oil would be safe from Al Qaeda with US troops oceans away, troops would be safe if sent?

Afghanistan? Which one? As it is now? Or as it could have been had America not toppled Saddam?

The 9/11 Commission:
"According to the reporting, Iraqi officials offered Bin Ladin a safe haven in Iraq. Bin Ladin declined, apparently judging that his circumstances in Afghanistan remained more favorable than the Iraqi alternative. The reports describe friendly contacts and indicate some common themes in both sides' hatred of the United States."
"Friendly contacts"; "both sides' hatred of the United States." Before Iraq.
  • Remove any threat of America dethroning Saddam.
  • Leave the US attacking the Taliban alone.
Would Bin Laden then still be "apparently judging that his circumstances in Afghanistan remained more favorable than the Iraqi alternative"?
  • After "Iraqi officials offered him a safe haven in Iraq"?
  • When Bin Laden's haven in Afghanistan was no longer so safe?
Saddam plus Osama minus sanctions plus WMD being rebuilt: who would oppose them then? How much further along would Iran's nuclear program be to offset Saddam? How advanced would Libya's WMD be?
  • Without removing Saddam, would Pakistan have become an ally?
  • Would Zarqawi have gone there instead of Iraq?
  • To Pakistan with nuclear weapons and jihadists of its own?
  • Already exporting terrorists?
  • Would Musharraf have survived as he's thus far escaped assassination attempts?
Al Qaeda fled to Pakistan - but Musharraf is now resolved to drive it out.
  • Could he withstand Al Qaeda if it were full force in Pakistan and Afghanistan and not trapped in Iraq?
  • Had the US massed in Afghanistan, would Al Qaeda have massed also, as jihadists did against the Soviets?
  • How much higher would the US death toll be there then?
  • How much greater would costs be there then?
  • How much safer would the US be then?
Deaf Congressmen are also too busy perusing polls to ask: Were Al Qaeda not involved, Iran not involved, Syria not involved, what would Iraq be like now?

They mock the thought of Iraqis feeling liberated; but they weren't there. David Petraeus was:
"although most Iraqis did, in fact, greet us as liberators (and that was true even in most Sunni Arab areas), there was an underestimation of the degree of resistance that would develop as, inevitably, a Shi'a majority government began to emerge and the Sunni Arabs, especially, the Saddamists, realized that the days of their dominating Iraq were over."
Those Saddamists - Fedayeen, Mukhabarat, Special Republican Guards - long for days now passed, while Al Qaeda longs for days not that blissful.

Does Al Qaeda control Saddamists? Does it matter? Does Iran control terrorist Shia militias? Does it matter? Genovese, Gambino, Bonnano, Lucchese, Colombo: within the Mafia, target only capos or the capo di tutti i capi, and leave hit men free to kill? Terrorists' business is terror, no matter the family brand, and their market, sooner rather than later, is the world itself.

But the Mafia was benign compared to Al Qaeda, Saddamists, Shia extremists. Mafiosi wanted their country to prosper so they could leech. Saddamists want tyranny as Saddam enjoyed, Al Qaeda wants castration so a seventh century caliphate can reign, Shia extremists lust to slay the Great Satan - the US - and its Israeli ally. Then they could teach what remains of the West what "Blood for Oil" really means.

Yet Al Qaeda is only 10% or so of Iraq's terrorists, some Congressmen say, so its impact is small. They forget Virginia Tech's Cho Seung Hui, Charles Manson, Hitler, Stalin: diminutive all, devastation huge.

Cho was a loner. Jihadists are not. And Cho was a gnat compared to jihadists: a single suicide bomber - in a split-second blast - can kill, has killed, will continue to kill - more than Cho did in hours. Cho sought publicity, possibly spawning copycats. Jihadists seek publicity, deliberately recruiting clones - sanctioned by God Himself to slaughter. And the only power of earth to stop them is deadly force.

General John Abizaid:
"We can walk away from this enemy, but this enemy will not walk away from us."
Deaf Congressmen are too busy polling to hear. Music to jihadists' ears.

If music were allowed.
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