Al-Qaeda – Strong And Growing?

A survey proports to show that al-Qaeda has 18,000 fighters ready to strike at the West.

This figure is essentially arbitrary, being based on the estimates of how many al-Qaeda trainees passed through camps in Afghanistan before the fall of the Taliban. However, this figure can’t be accurately estimated. Furthermore, the figure of only 2,000 fighters killed or captured is far too low. Given the heavy losses inflicted upon al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters in the 2001 Operation Enduring Freedom and subsequent strikes, 10,000 might not be far off. Certainly a casualty rate of 10% seems very difficult to believe. Of course, since there isn’t exactly a census of al-Qaeda terrorists every year, the actual figure is anyone’s guess.

Of course, the report also insinuates that the war in Iraq has created more terrorist recruits for al-Qaeda. In the short term, this may be true. In the long term, Iraq is severely hurting al-Qaeda. Their resources are focused in Iraq rather than in the West, and they are facing heavily-armed US troops rather than civilians. Furthermore, as Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi himself noted, a democratic Iraq is al-Qaeda’s worst nightmare. They know that if the Iraqi people can build a successful and dynamic society in an area where fundamentalism and autocracy are the norm, it will shatter the self-imposed isolation that feeds terrorism. The seeds of reform have been planted in the Middle East, and once those seeds start to grow terrorism will wither. This is why Zarqawi and his fellow terrorists are trying so desperately to stop the process towards democracy in Iraq.

Iraq is the most important battlefield in the war on terrorism. The only way to prevent al-Qaeda from spreading further is to continue the process of draining the swamp of terrorism through a process of democratization. This war won’t be over tomorrow, or next year, or likely for some time. However, the only way we can lose is if we lose the will to see this conflict to its end.

2 thoughts on “Al-Qaeda – Strong And Growing?

  1. “The only way to prevent al-Qaeda from spreading further is to continue the process of draining the swamp of terrorism through a process of democratization”

    Do you know what HRW and Amnesty think of that?

    -double standard: pretend to spread freedom while reducing it (guantanamo, Patriot Act, Abou Graib, etc.)

    – the UN are dead, thanks to the US. From now on, ther UN is unable to impose its views, and the universality of justice is now declared a lost cause. The US are for more globalization only when they earn money from it. Resolution 1487 will be put on the table every year -no prosecution on US soldiers, putting an end to the hope that someday, the ICJ could prevent any country from committing atrocities.

    – The securitarian vision of the US is a threat to freedom as nothing can prevent these “new rules” to be applied (the UN are dead). Normally, american citizens should be the first to suffer from it, since internal and external pressure will hit their shoulders first.

    Thank you Mr Bush. Thank you to all of his followers. You definitely deserve your title of neo-cons (“nouveaux cons” en français).

    By the way Jay, you still haven’t found the good way to present the views of the neo-cons, or this is the type of explanation that must not go down to the random citizen, but must remain in the society of the enlighted and educated people ruling the nation? (for those who don’t know it, this is the first thing to know for a good neo-con: the people is too stupid to understand; only a happy few can do the job; fortunately it’s my friends and their children!)

  2. Cut the “neocon” crap. The term “neocon” isn’t some term for anyone you disagree with. It’s a term meaning a conservative who was a 60s radical but changed his/her views because of the Cold War. Irving Kristol is a neocon, in fact he invented the term. Bush, Rumsfeld, and pretty much everyone in the Bush cabinet are not “neocons”.

    The UN committed suicide long ago. The UN was never an effective organization. The very first conflict they got into (Cyprus) is still going on. They sat by while thousands of Albanian Muslims were murdered in cold blood at Srebrenica. Teenagers are being raped by UN forces in the Congo. While Saddam Hussein murdered over 400,000 Iraqi children, Benon Savon and Kojo Annan were making sweetheart deals with Saddam Hussein.

    Thinking that the UN is some noble organization dedicated to anything other than lining their own pockets is foolish. The UN deserves to be disbanded and replaced with a Community of Democracies.

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