Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The puppy dog theory of terrorism

Have caught a bit of the GOP presidential "debate" in South Carolina last night, and I'm simply fascinated at how almost all the candidates (with the honorable exception of Ron Paul) embrace what somebody has dubbed the "puppy dog" theory on the war in Iraq. If we leave Iraq, the contention goes, the terrorists will follow us home -- presumably just like a "Mommy he followed me home" puppy dog.

That is ludicrous. First, if anyone believes Osama and those he organizes and/or inspires aren't thinking about and probably planning an attack within the United States right now, even as the war is going on, they must be incredibly naive. I don't know why an attack hasn't come yet -- though it's worth noting that before 9/11 it was usually a few years betweeen al-Qaida attacks, so it shouldn't be amazing that one hasn't come yet. Presumably the attempts to disrupt international terrorist financial networks and harden some domestic targets have had an impact, but I would be amazed if plans have not been in the works to hit the U.S. The war in Iraq certainly hasn't prevented terrorist attacks in Spain, England, Indonesia and elsewhere. The notion that it's keeping them from attacking the U.S. is silly: if anything it provides more incentive to try.

It's also important to remember that the Iraq war has served as an invaluable recruiting tool for al-Qaida and similar jihadist outfits. The open-ended U.S. occupation convinces many Muslims inclined to be radical that the U.S. has not only invaded and occupied a Muslim country but that it plans to occupy it for a long time and change it in ways many Muslims will not like -- that the U.S. is indeed a "crusader" nation that intends to destroy Islam. It's more than possible that a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq would make it more difficult for jihadists to recruit people willing to risk their lives to hurt the United States.


Aaron said...

I support Ron Paul - He's is simply the only choice for a conservative/republican who is/was against the war in Iraq. And, believe it or not, there are some! Most intellectual conservatives were against this war before it started in 2003. Did you know that? Pat Buchanan, Tucker Carlson (a little silly, I know) Charley Reese said in 2002 “is a prescription for the decline and fall of the American empire. Overextension – urged on by a bunch of rabid intellectuals who wouldn’t know one end of a gun from another” Paul Craig Roberts, who was one of the highest-ranking Treasury Department officials under President Reagan and now a nationally-syndicated conservative columnist, wrote: “an invasion of Iraq is likely the most thoughtless action in modern history.” On and on and these quotes are from 2002! This war was Undeclared, un-provoked, liberal “nation building” I know it is hard, but we, as conservatives, have got to do some deep thinking about this issue and wake up!

Alan Bock said...

Couldn't agree more.