The brilliant strategy of Iraq and the GWOT - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 128 (permalink) Old 07-13-2007, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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The brilliant strategy of Iraq and the GWOT

The following is a transcript from July 12, 2007. The interview was with correspondent Richard Engel, who spent some time inside of Al Qaeda cells operating in Jordan.
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CARLSON: I‘m impressed by the report you filed today. And let me ask you the obvious question, after Danny Pearl, how did you get access to these guys and why didn‘t they harm you?

ENGEL: Well, I think the easy answer is they were very proud of what they are doing. Al Qaeda feels very strong right now. This was a cell in Jordan, and they want to show to the world that al Qaeda has changed, that they are now these small self-sustaining, self-contained cells that are able to move in and out of Iraq.

The initial idea, according to the Bush administration, was to gather all of the militants in Iraq, fight them there so they don‘t have to be fought in the U.S. These militants definitely wanted to say, we‘re no longer in Iraq, we‘re operating openly and this is the new face of al Qaeda.


CARLSON: Operating openly in, among other places, Syria and Jordan, neither of which has a fundamentalist government. Are their governments worried about the presence Islamic radicals like this within their borders?

ENGEL: Very much so. Jordan has already had several attacks against it. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian former leader of the al Qaeda in Iraq movement was behind those attacks, so he carried out attacks both in Iraq and then back at home.

So many Arab countries are worried about this blowback effect and that is exactly why Saudi Arabia is trying this somewhat experimental program. After the war in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union, many mujahedeen, or Islamic fighters, returned to countries like Saudi Arabia and carried out attacks.

They want to make sure that a new generation of fighters doesn‘t come back from Iraq and do the same thing.


CARLSON: If you can sum up a couple of basic reasons that the guys you interviewed were drawn to al Qaeda, what would they be?

ENGEL: Iraq. Iraq. It‘s all about Iraq. That is the main motivating factor. It‘s what they see on the Internet, it‘s what they see on the television. Most of the recruits now are self-recruits. These are people who watch videos on their cell phones, on the Internet, and they decide to join up with al Qaeda.

They train themselves at home. There are jihad manuals openly available on the Internet and it‘s the—Iraq is the big draw. Also Palestine and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that is something that is emotionally very engaging for the—for people—for angry young men here in the Middle East.

But because it‘s so difficult to get into the West Bank and Gaza Strip because of tight Israeli security restrictions, it‘s much easier for them to fight in Iraq. So that is exactly what they‘re doing. It is definitely Iraq.


CARLSON: Well, how easy is it? Let‘s say you‘re a young Jordanian inflamed by what you see on satellite television or the Internet and you want to join the resistance in Iraq, how hard is it to do that?

ENGEL: Buy a ticket. Buy a ticket to Baghdad. It‘s not that difficult.

CARLSON: Just fly in and ask around?

ENGEL: Most of these people do not—just fly in and ask around.

It‘s not that difficult. Anyone from the Arab world who wants to go to Syria because it‘s a pan-Arab state is allowed without a visa to enter Syria.

Some of the militants we spoke to said that al Qaeda specifically wants people that do not have criminal records, doctors, engineers, people who can move freely about not only in the Arab world, but Europe and the United States.

Iraq is a target, but all of them kept repeating over and over again that their main objective is Europe, particularly the U.K., and the United States. Iraq is the training ground but the ultimate objective is well beyond Iraq‘s borders.


CARLSON: And finally, Richard, we see poll numbers in this country, you never know how accurate they are. Tell me your impression. How much support—popular support does al Qaeda have in places like Jordan and Saudi Arabia, U.S. allies—fundamentally U.S. allies?

ENGEL: Most people do not believe in al Qaeda. They think it‘s a vicious, bloodthirsty terrorist organization, and that‘s across the board. But what people do have sympathy for is this idea that, well, maybe groups like al Qaeda, even though we hate them, are somewhat necessary as a fringe movement.

There‘s a general impression, I think about 90 percent of Egyptians according to opinion polls I‘ve read, believe that America‘s foreign policy is fundamentally a war on Islam. And that impression is widespread across the region.

So if you take that as a basic premise that people in the Middle East fundamentally believe the Bush administration and the war on terror is a war on Islam, then there‘s unfortunately a fairly substantial group of people who are willing to take the next step, believing that the—there needs to be groups within the Middle East that should fight back against this perceived war against Islam.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #2 of 128 (permalink) Old 07-14-2007, 03:32 PM
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We have turned the most reprehensible people on this planet into heroes.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #3 of 128 (permalink) Old 07-14-2007, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by FeelTheLove
We have turned the most reprehensible people on this planet into heroes.
Yep: Democrats.

B

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thatís what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama
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post #4 of 128 (permalink) Old 07-14-2007, 03:37 PM
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The only reason Democrats are heroes is because the strategy of your Fuhrer has blown up in your faces. The failure of Bushism is catastrophic for this country. Our enemies have grown while our military has become hamstrung and weakened. Those who once helped us now hate us. It was a brilliant strategy, wasn't it?

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #5 of 128 (permalink) Old 07-14-2007, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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There it is right from the horse's mouth. Just as common sense suggests, our involvement in Iraq is the greatest recruitment tool Al Qaeda could have ever hoped for. The report also suggests that many/most of the Al Qaeda terrorists we are fighting in Iraq were not Al Qaeda terrorists at the time of the invasion.

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post #6 of 128 (permalink) Old 07-14-2007, 03:38 PM
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"There‘s a general impression, I think about 90 percent of Egyptians according to opinion polls I‘ve read, believe that America‘s foreign policy is fundamentally a war on Islam. And that impression is widespread across the region.

So if you take that as a basic premise that people in the Middle East fundamentally believe the Bush administration and the war on terror is a war on Islam,"

Well, isn't it?

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post #7 of 128 (permalink) Old 07-14-2007, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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^ That perception is based upon our invasion of Iraq, period. Had we confined our activities to the pursuit of our attackers, I suspect such polls would yield very different results.

"Iraq. Iraq. It‘s all about Iraq."

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #8 of 128 (permalink) Old 07-14-2007, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeelTheLove
The only reason Democrats are heroes is because the strategy of your Fuhrer has blown up in your faces. The failure of Bushism is catastrophic for this country. Our enemies have grown while our military has become hamstrung and weakened. Those who once helped us now hate us. It was a brilliant strategy, wasn't it?
Lah - di - dah, Demo-boy!

B

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thatís what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama
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post #9 of 128 (permalink) Old 07-14-2007, 09:44 PM
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I noticed that one numerous threads giving you an opportunity to defend your Fuhrer and his bankrupt policies or to offer a reason we should stay and fight, you have been silent. Is Coulterism your only refuge these days? Hyperbole and insult all you have left? Sad. Sad. To think just a few years ago you were a successful member of a large right wing bully-boy squad on the MB Internet, and now, you are a shell of a man. Where are all your pals? Why have they left a punchie like you in the ring as they desert ringside?

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #10 of 128 (permalink) Old 07-15-2007, 07:02 AM
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Bo.....you very much seem to be the resultant embalmed turd of the "Nazi" scum cowards that fled the sinking ship (Nazi-Germany) under the guise of persecuted Jews and took undue refuge in the post-war US? ...heh, heh....very much so!
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