Wednesday, March 12, 2003
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Iraq, Al Qaeda, and a modest proposal for the Security Council
This Washington Post story provides some excellent detail on the precise link between Iraq and Al Qaeda. The first few grafs:
Now, this piece makes two things clear. First, contrary to many skeptics' assertions, there is an Al Qaeda presence in Iraq. Second, it's also clear that Saddam Hussein has little to do with this presence. At worst, Hussein's policy on Al Qaeda might be characterized as benign neglect -- he's not helping them but he doesn't mind them being in parts of Iraq he can't control. There might be other reasons to support regime change in Iraq, but the Al Qaeda connection is a weak reed.
However, there's military action short of regime change. At a minimum, the Post story would seem to justify an offensive to knock out Ansar al-Islam and retake the Halabja Valley. This leads to an intriguing question. Given the obvious link between achieving this objective and the war on terror, and given the assertions by France and others that credible evidence of a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda would justify use of force, would the Security Council be willing to approve U.S. military action in this area? [So you think this would be an acceptable substitute to a whole-scale invasion?--ed. No, I still support an invasion. But securing Security Council support for this phase of operations might be an good stop-gap proposal].
This would be an excellent test of where exactly the French and Germans stand. Is their opposition to Iraq based on a blind determination to counter U.S. power, or is there some nuance to their stance?posted by Dan on 03.12.03 at 01:48 PM