The Bush Administration says that we attacked Iraq, among other reasons, because we wanted to fight the terrorists on their turf rather than in the American homeland. Is it possible that al Qaeda would rather fight us there, too?
In the recent book Countdown to Crisis by Kenneth Timmerman, it becomes clear that much more is known about Iran's attempts to acquire nuclear strike capabilities than about Iraq's abilities in the same arena. It is apparent that Iraq has not succeeded to anywhere near the extent as Iran when it comes to nuclear capability. This may be dependent on the destruction of the Osirak nuclear facility by Israel in 1981.
Near the end of the book Hubris by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, the suggestion is made in passing that perhaps Iran put known Iranian sympathizer Ahmed Chalabi and others up to the task of convincing the Bush Administration that Saddam Hussein possessed nuclear weapons.
In July of this year, The Management of Savagery, a 268-page document by al-Qaeda operative Abu Bakr Naji, was translated into English by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. Reporting on the translation and concomitant revelations, The New American magazine has this to say:
Rather than plotting to attack the U.S. homeland, al-Qaeda prefers to draw the U.S. into distant fights in the Muslim world, concludes Will McCants, a West Point fellow.
“Naji [author of the al-Qaeda study] believes the way you really hurt empires is to make them commit their military far from their base of operations,” McCants observes. Naji doesn’t support further 9/11-style attacks on the U.S. “because right now he feels al-Qaeda has the upper hand in the public relations battle” in the Muslim world. “The point is to make [the U.S.] come in” as invaders, where the Muslims who fight our troops will “be seen as fighting the crusaders directly so you’ll win over the public.... That’s the way they want to get to the U.S."
In our attempt to keep terrorists off our shores, did we conform exactly to al Qaeda's plan? If so, what's our next move?