We’ve been saying it for years. Instead of effectively addressing the terrorist threat to the United States that was clearly demonstrated by the 9/11 attacks, this administration chose to use those frightening and serious attacks as an excuse to invade the oil-rich country of Iraq, purely in the interests of advancing an economic and/or ideological agenda in the Middle East. The scope of that agenda is yet to be realized by most people.
It’s now clear there was no connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq at the time of the attacks. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and there was no threat from Iraq to the United States.
This week, the director of national intelligence released “The Terrorist Threat to the U.S. Homeland.” The report’s conclusions are disturbing. Nearly six years after 9/11, terrorism remains a huge threat. Al Qaeda has replaced leaders killed or captured by the United States, regrouped in its former home base on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and is trying to use affiliated terrorists in Iraq “to raise resources and to recruit and indoctrinate operatives.”
So everyone now also knows that the terrorist threat to our country has worsened, not because our attention has been diverted, but precisely because we invaded Iraq, created havoc and spawned a breeding ground for new terrorists.
Coupled with the ideological agenda has been an astounding ineptitude. Apparently nothing was thought out before we attacked the cradle of civilization. L. Paul Bremer strolled into the country, dismissed almost the entire bureaucracy of Ba’ath party members and dissolved the army, and invited Al Qaeda to come in. There were no plans in place for keeping the peace or for running the country after the invasion. Mistakes were compounded by mistakes. Today, we don’t know who our friends are and who are enemies are in Iraq.
If unsuccessful overseas, Homeland Security and the FBI are working hard at home. Every time an Arab or Muslim is charged with a crime, no matter how small, terrorism charges are added on to the case. As if those inside the country plotting terrorist attacks would expose themselves by committing stupid criminal acts. This, of course, helps further the cooperation of the community.
Then there was the recent visit to Dearborn of our Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff himself. Law enforcement has gone to great lengths to create bridges to this community. The group itself that comprises law enforcement and community leaders is called BRIDGES. But did DHS use their formal connections when Chertoff decided to visit here? No. The Secretary of Homeland Security, going on someone else’s advice, met with a few imams in an essentially abandoned building that has no occupancy permit! There was virtually no media coverage of the event, possibly because of the poor way the press conference was run.
But Chertoff did accomplish one thing on his tour about the country. Between Chicago and Detroit the guy had a “‘gut feeling” that there was going to be another terrorist attack inside the U.S. Thus, when asked what he talked about in his meeting with the imams, he replied that he asked them to help catch terrorists. That, of course, gives the community every confidence in their imams and strengthens them in their assigned task!
We’re not surprised that Chertoff gets his intelligence from his gut. His boss gets the word to go to war from God.