I must admit that I expected Senator Webb to add another installment to yours truly’s long-running series of posts tracking his historical and policy errors, but even I was shocked by the depths of ignorance to which he fell on the Senate floor yesterday.
There will be very little motivation for al-Qaida to continue in Iraq once we have left.
Are you kidding me?!
Here are some “motivations” for al Qaeda of which, perhaps, our geopolitically challenged Senator was unaware.
A new safe haven: After more than five years of being forced to run and hide in the Afghan-Pakistan mountains, Iraq would be a bonanza for al Qaeda. The idea that a-Q would simply abandon it because there are far fewer Americans to kill is ridiculously naive.
Iraq’s oil fields: Does anyone seriously think al Qaeda will pass up an opportunity to seize resources on which it can exponentially expand its terrorist network and operations? To ask that question is to answer it.
A chance to claim victory: With their earlier victory in Somalia has been largely reversed, al Qaeda has no place where they can claim they fought off the “infidels” anymore. Give them Iraq, and they’ll be able to call themselves the “strong horse” once again.
Webb’s statement reveals a very deep flaw about the Democrats’ entire outlook on the WBK War. Webb (and I doubt he’s alone in the Democratic caucus) seems to believe al Qaeda is merely reacting to America’s policy decisions. If we stand down in Iraq, so the theory goes, they will, too. This is yet another sign that a Democratic president will follow similar logic in Central Asia, and pull us out of Afghanistan.
However, al Qaeda is not merely interested to killing as many Americans as it can find. Osama seeks to rebuild the Arabian Empire of old (with a resurrected Ottoman Empire thrown in), and Iraq would be an excellent geographical and economic base of operations for them. For Osama’s deputy (or successor if he’s dead) – Ayman al-Zawahiri – victory means nothing less than One World under Sharia. That would make Iraq somewhat less important geopolitically, but far more important economically.
We have to remember al Qaeda started this war, and they won’t end or minimize it on our say-so.
Webb also added one more statement that revealed his utter ignorance of the world around him:
. . . the Iraqis themselves are quite capable of standing up to al-Qaida without our help. They don’t want al-Qaida in Iraq.
Now, I would certainly agree that Iraqis do not like al Qaeda, but the Afghans didn’t like it either, and that didn’t stop Osama from getting in with the tyrannical Taliban and benefiting from its rule by fear, and in fact it took an American military involvement to bring that reign of terror to an end.
In time, of course, the Iraqis will be able to “stand up to al Qaeda,” but if they could do it now, I suspect they would have told us. The day folks like Sheikh Abdul Sattar Buzaigh al-Rishawi of the Anbar Salvation Council announce, “you guys can go home, we got this,” I’ll listen, but I need to hear it from him, not a Senator who doesn’t think al Qaeda will stay in the first place without Americans to fight.
By the way, Senator, if you are right in your assumption that al Qaeda would have “very little motivation” to stay in Iraq after we’ve gone, why would Iraqis need to stand up to them? Perhaps because even you know that notion is specious?