Friday, July 07, 2006

So you think the Iraq War made you safer?

Think again. As reported by Juan Cole, another poll of counter-terrorism experts has found that the majority say that the war in Iraq has hurt the fight against terrorism. In this new poll, 84% of counter-terrorist professionals say that the US is not winning the war of terror, and the invasion of Iraq is the reason why.

One participant in the survey, a former CIA official who described himself as a conservative Republican, said the war in Iraq has provided global terrorist groups with a recruiting bonanza, a valuable training ground and a strategic beachhead at the crossroads of the oil-rich Persian Gulf and Turkey, the traditional land bridge linking the Middle East to Europe. "The war in Iraq broke our back in the war on terror," said the former official, Michael Scheuer, the author of Imperial Hubris, a popular book highly critical of the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism efforts. "It has made everything more difficult and the threat more existential."

What a wonderful scheme for power, for those with the cajones to attempt it:

  • Create, or take advantage of, a threat to the nation

  • Talk tough and paint yourself as the only one who can save the nation from that threat

  • Take actions which actually make the threat bigger rather than smaller

  • So that the increased danger will cause the people to turn to you, as the only one who can save them

Of course, the danger is that eventually the strategy will blow up in your face -- but with a bit of luck, you'll be retired, living on a nice quiet ranch somewhere with plenty of money and permanent Secret Service bodyguards paid for by the tax payers.

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