Originally Posted by Jayhawk
Dead terrorists can be directly measured by a reduction in terrorist acts over time. When it gets to a reasonable, low, level--as agreed on by all parties--and the Iraqi government is able to maintain that low level as coalition forces gradually phase-out, I would say we have won. This is an over-simplification because they will not all have to be killed as they begin to see the advantage of being a participant in the new Iraq, which is already happening according to all reports from the ground there.
And to say there were no terrorists there before the evil US of A arrived is pure bull shit, and you know it. Hell, the whole damn government of Saddam Husein was a terrorist organization. And they were harboring other known terrorists that were not part of the government.
OK, the question I have [and have always had] about that is how WE, the US delineates the difference between sectarian violence between the warring Sunni and Shiite factions which affect Iraqi citizens, their lifestyles and their lives but do not in any fashion pose a threat to US interests OUTSIDE of Iraq, and defacto “terrorists” interests that could poise a threat to the US.
I am all for going after any terrorists’ cells that poise a threat to US interests, either in the US or our Allies. I think that if you asked for a vote in Congress for that simple opinion, it would be unanimous. The key with Iraq is that there is a MAJOR difference between “going after the terrorists that could harm the US” and quelling the domestic strife that has arisen since we overthrew Saddam [that requires a domestic police action].
As for your second point, it has been pointed out on many occasions by intelligence agencies throughout the world [and our own CIA in Congressional testimony after 9/11] that Al Qaeda was NOT a presence in Iraq prior to our invasion. Saddam hated him, his policies and OBL playing in Saddam’s sandbox. Iran did not influence Iraq and there were not ‘terrorists’ camps’ in Iraq. Saddam was NOT considered a player in international terrorism, he much preferred the dictator role and focusing on killing his own people. You cannot name a single event that occured in the decade leading up to our attack where Saddam had responsibility for any International terror event. All of that information was released in the Republican led Congressional hearings after the 9/11 Intel failures.
Terrorists only poured into Iraq to fill a vacuum left when we toppled Saddam and did not already have an adequate security force in place to stop them from coming in and aiding and abetting the triggering of the Civil War that is raging there now.