Monday, October 18, 2004


Zarqawi and al-Qaeda

So I am reading here on Yahoo! News that Monotheism and Holy War, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's terrorist organization, has declared its allegience to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda in an internet statement.
The declaration, which appeared Sunday on a Web site used as a clearinghouse for statements by militant groups, said al-Zarqawi's Tawhid and Jihad group and al-Qaida had been in communication eight months ago and "viewpoints were exchanged" before the dialogue was interrupted.

"God soon blessed us with a resumption in communication, and the dignified brothers in al-Qaida understood the strategy of Tawhid and Jihad," said the statement, whose authenticity could not be confirmed.

The statement ran a Quranic verse encouraging Muslim unity and said al-Zarqawi considered bin Laden "the best leader for Islam's armies against all infidels and apostates."
So there were some discussions about eight months ago, then talks broke off, and now Zarqawi & Co. are agreeing to endorse and follow bin Laden and al-Qaeda. By my reasoning, this means that before we attacked Iraq, Zarqawi's group was not affiliated with al-Qaeda. And one could pretty much gather that there was one thing that brought the two together. And that's the war in Iraq. So not only does it seem to quash the idea that al-Qaeda was operating inside Iraq before the war (since the Zarqawi-bin Laden connection had served to be that link for the Bush administration in the past) but it also seems to prove that the war in Iraq has provided the opportunity for the terrorist community to network and grow. But, no, that's not what the Bush administration got out of the news:
"But we've always said there were ties between Zarqawi and al-Qaida, which underscores once again why Iraq is the central front in the war on terror," White House spokesman Trent Duffy said in Washington. "It's also proof positive of why the president's firm resolve to fight terrorists overseas so we don't face them in America's neighborhoods is the only clear way to prevail."
Yeah... that makes sense. Because there was an announcement today that the two were connected doesn't mean that there were always ties between the two. That's like reading a wedding announcement and saying, "We've always said they were married." You'd sound like an idiot. Furthermore, how many Americans had Zarqawi & Co. killed before we went into Iraq? I don't know the answer, but I bet it's a lot less than he's killed since we went into Iraq. So there's your proof positive. The treatment of logic by this administration as if it's some nuisance that should be ignored in all cases is going to make my head explode one of these days.

UPDATE: Juan Cole has more on this development on his site.

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