Thursday, June 23, 2005

Who Is Getting Caught in the Flypaper of Iraq?

According to MSNBC, most foreign fighters on the insurgents' side come from Saudi Arabia. This is not surprising, not surprising at all. What should be surprising is the fact that the Bush administration pretends great friendship with Saudi Arabia. Yet the majority of the 9/11 suicide terrorists were Saudis and it is the Saudi form of islam, Wahhabism, that is the main breeding ground of muslim terrorism. Contrast our friendship with the fundamentalist Saudis to our invasion of Iraq, a country that used to be secular. Mindboggling, isn't it?

The MSNBC article asks why so many Saudis choose terrorism and answers it with explanations that are more like triggers than real reasons:

Why do they go?

Saudis captured in Iraq say it's because of pictures on Arab television network Al-Jazeera.

"We saw the Americans massacring the Iraqis," says one Saudi prisoner in Iraq via translation.

Radical Saudi clerics urge them to go to Iraq to kill Americans.

"I read the communique of the 26 clerics," says another Saudi prisoner in Iraq.

The underlying real reasons have to do with the unequal distribution of wealth in Saudi Arabia, with the thirty percent unemployment rate, with the lack of any real democracy and with the school system which resembles one gigantic madrasa for all students, with lots of religion and very little of anything that would be valued in the job markets. I suspect that the anger of the population is channeled towards the west, at least partly in order to protect the Saudi royals from becoming the obvious targets.

What is going to happen to all the terrorists that manage to avoid Bush's sticky papertraps? Who knows? But the likelihood is high that they will not calmly return home and resume peaceful lives. In fact, they might well reappear in places closer to our homes:

The war in Iraq is creating a new breed of Islamic jihadists who could go on to destabilise other countries, according to a CIA report.

The CIA believes Iraq to be potentially worse than Afghanistan, which produced thousands of jihadists in the 1980s and 1990s. Many of the recruits to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida had fought in Afghanistan.

Mission accomplished, Mr. Bush?