Generals claim Iraq war winnable

According to the Los Angeles Times, “two Army generals made their case for the Iraq war to the American people Sunday, insisting that progress was being made but adding that victory could take years…. The generals said it was important that Americans not turn against the war and that defeat would be a catastrophic setback in the larger struggle against terrorism.”

But according to the Boston Globe, “[n]ew investigations by the Saudi Arabian government and an Israeli think tank — both of which painstakingly analyzed the backgrounds and motivations of hundreds of foreigners entering Iraq to fight the United States — have found that the vast majority of these foreign fighters are not former terrorists and became radicalized by the war itself.” And according to the Christian Science Monitor, “[o]nly 4 to 10 percent of the country’s combatants are foreign fighters, according to a report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies released last week.” It would seem that despite Bush’s monolithic view of terrorism, much of the motivation for these terrorists would vanish if the United States simply left. According to the Globe article, “‘[t]he president is right that Iraq is a main front in the war on terrorism, but this is a front we created,’ said Peter Bergen, a terrorism specialist at the nonpartisan New America Foundation, a Washington think tank.” Further, “‘[t]he vast majority of [foreign fighters] had nothing to do with Al Qaeda before Sept. 11th and have nothing to do with Al Qaeda today,’ said Reuven Paz, author of the Israeli study. ‘I am not sure the American public is really aware of the enormous influence of the war in Iraq, not just on Islamists but the entire Arab world.'”

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