Wednesday, February 25, 2004
IHT: Chief of the CIA warns of �next wave� of terrorWASHINGTON George Tenet, the director of central intelligence, has said that the world is at least as "fraught with dangers for American interests" as it was a year ago, despite the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq and successes in dismantling the leadership of Al Qaeda
This illustrates the paradox we face and perhaps the brave face that President Bush is trying to put on the situation. While he tells us that because of his war of choice in Iraq that the world is a better and safer place, our CIA director tells us that the world is at least as dangerous for us as it was before the war in Iraq. The reality is in the difference between rogue states and terrorist organizations, I think. While the toppling of Saddam Hussein does remove a brutal dictator with a history of aggression who was hostile to U.S. interests, it does very little to alter the landscape in terms of terrorism.
While the war in Iraq is having the interesting side benefit of attracting large numbers of terrorists and Al Qaeda members anxious to strike at U.S. forces (and thus providing us with a chance to attack them with our best troops far from American soil) the reality is that it has also stirred up a lot of anti-Americanism and perhaps bred a whole new generation of Americans.
However we do have to attack the anti-American terrorists where and when we find them. The catch is in the differentiating between terrorists and states.
Whatever you believe about what Bush has told us about this war, he was certainly telling the truth when he said it would be a very, very, long fight.
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