November 29, 2005

Rebutting Odom V

Finally got a link to Gen. Odom's recent column on Iraq. Gen. Odom is a serious man and deserves to have his views addressed seriously. I completely disagree with them.

Here are some of the arguments against pulling out:

4) Iraq would become a haven for terrorists.

4) On terrorists. Iraq is already a training ground for terrorists. In fact, the CIA has pointed out to the administration and congress that Iraq is spawning so many terrorists that they are returning home to many other countries to further practice their skills there. The quicker a new dictator wins the political power in Iraq and imposes order, the sooner the country will stop producing well-experienced terrorists.

Why not ask: "Mr. President, since you and the vice president insisted that Saddam's Iraq supported al Qaeda -- which we now know it did not -- isn't your policy in Iraq today strengthening al Qaeda's position in that country?"

Any training ground with this high a fatality rate would be shut down and its operators would be arrested and quickly convicted on multiple counts of felony murder. But notice that there's a nice bit of sleight of hand here. Even if you accept that Iraq is a terrorist training ground (perhaps run by the Marquis de Sade?), that doesn't make it a terrorist haven. A terrorist haven is where you can sit, relax, plan, and recover from your strenous labors elsewhere. Iraq, for terrorists today, is all about 24x7 stress.

Is that guy there with the cell phone turning me in? Is that buzzing overhead a UAV, or even worse a UCAV? Has my cell been penetrated by the local intelligence forces? Is a marine sniper looking at my head through a scope? Am I going to be the next "emir of the week" to get promoted and quickly killed?

Iraq is not a terrorist haven. If we pull out the wrong way, it could become one and some future Richard Clarke will once again worry about terrorists doing the boogie to Baghdad.

Saddam offered bin Laden asylum in Iraq. He was turned down because the Taliban gave bin Laden a better deal, not for any other reason. It's just not true that Saddam didn't support Al Queda.

Posted by TMLutas at November 29, 2005 03:06 PM