Wednesday, July 18, 2007


No One Chooses to be a Terrorist; We Create Them

I’ve read the new Intelligence Assessment and just can’t agree with this spin on it by Post writer Michael Abramowitz: Intelligence Puts Rationale For War on Shakier Ground -

“The White House faced fresh political peril yesterday in the form of a new intelligence assessment that raised sharp questions about the success of its counterterrorism strategy and judgment in making Iraq the focus of that effort.”

I read it to mean that Iraq is now the key ongoing Al Qaeda operation so our continued attention to it is a worthwhile endeavor. Obviously we disagree...whatever. What’s irksome to me though is that Mr. Abramowitz allows one Daniel Benjamin the last word and he uses it to repeat that tired canard of how our presence in Iraq “creates” terrorists:

“Referring to al-Qaeda in Iraq, Clinton administration official Daniel S. Benjamin, who has written books and articles on international terrorism, said: "These are bad guys. These are jihadists." He added: "That doesn't mean we [should] stay in Iraq the way we have been, because we are not making the situation any better. We're creating terrorists in Iraq, we are creating terrorists outside of Iraq who are inspired by what's going on in Iraq. . . . The longer we stay, the more terrorists we create."

I simply cannot accept such banality. The US was subject to terrorist attacks long before this latest foray into Iraq – terrorists’ numbers didn’t seem to want through the Clinton administration. When Khobar Towers made the news in June 1996, Daniel Benjamin was working as a Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Presidential Speechwriter (he would later serve as Director for Transnational Threats for the National Security Council). Do you think he was then forcibly arguing to the President that our forces staying in Khobar probably “created” those terrorists? Perhaps it will come to light in a subsequent release of Presidential papers but I’m going to guess that Mr. Benjamin wasn’t that obtuse. For that matter, did the USS Cole’s stop in Yemen in October 2000 quickly “create” the terrorists that attacked the ship?

This all seems part and parcel with the tedious tendency of many of our brethren on the left to ascribe (blame) wanton human behavior as a creation of Society – more specifically, American Society. The U.S. has had troops stationed around the world for years (and I’ve been fortunate enough to have been part of those forward deployments). They attract their detractors but, by and large, I would think it be tough to blame any terrorists’ activities in Germany, South Korea or Japan as of our “creation”. Honestly, doesn’t part of the blame for the “creation” of terrorists – like, say, 99.99% - rest with the terrorist themselves?

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