This has been getting a lot of play elsewhere, but it bothers me enough to post about it. The president and his partisans keep harping on the presence of Al-Qaeda in Iraq as a reason for our continued involvement. There are a lot of problems with this claim.
Articles in the New York Times and Time note most of my objections. First, there never was an Al-Qaeda in Iraq until we came. Second, it would be a bit of a stretch to suggest that this is the same Al-Qaeda that attacked the US five years ago. (It has been chastised by Zawahiri for its indiscriminate methods several times.) Third, it represents only a very small percentage of the Iraqi insurgency.
Nonetheless, Bush continues to say it. What’s worse, others repeat it, in grand echo chamber style. John McCain, who I noted earlier this week appears to be undergoing some sort of rapid mental deterioration, harped on that point over and over again today. Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) actually voted against increasing the bounty on Osama bin Laden today, apparently in a highly convoluted protest against the bill’s author, who favors withdrawal from Iraq, and I guess therefore loves terrorists or something.
Almost definitely, Iraq will end up in the hands of Shi’ites if we give up the occupation without first slaughtering half of the population. Al-Qaeda is a Sunni group that considers the Shi’as to be apostates. So how is Iraq supposed to become a haven for Al-Qaeda, again?