Thursday, January 15, 2004
The al-Qaeda Connection

It's been discussed many times over. It's been beaten to death, resurrected, and beaten to death again. The question of whether or not Saddam Hussein had any connection with al-Qaeda was and is one of the loudest harping points by anti-war (pro-Saddam?) protestors, and even Democratic Presidential hopefuls. Well, after months of debating and questioning, perhaps this will help clarify things:

U.S. troops have captured a handful of big-time al Qaeda terrorist suspects in northern Iraq, acting on tips from Iraqis who are increasingly emboldened to help coalition forces after the arrest of Saddam Hussein, the Pentagon said yesterday.

Pentagon officials said last night that a series of raids by the Army's 101st Airborne Division in the northern city of Mosul over the past week, including one on Monday, targeted members of al Qaeda and its local affiliate, Ansar al-Islam.

The raids were directed at suspects whose names were on new lists of terrorists that Army intelligence has compiled recently with the help of Iraqi citizens, military officials said.
Okay, so now we have definitive proof that Dr. Howard Dean is incorrect when he asserts that "the capture of Saddam has not made America safer." Further, this is only the latest piece in a mounting pile of evidence that suggests Saddam was, at the least, supportive of what al-Qaeda did, both with his heart and with his pocketbook.

The series of raids over the past week run by the US Army's 101st Airborne were successful precisely because those Iraqis who were previously afraid to leave their houses were comforted by the fact that Saddam is now in custody. This news has brought wholly new, clear intelligence out of people that refused to speak before, and only because Saddam had been apprehended. Even the prisoners in Guantanamo - few of them Iraqi, and the rest supposedly not affiliated with Saddam Hussein - expressed feelings of shock over the event.

So now - we've ascertained with certainty that Saddam Hussein's capture has made Iraqi citizens more willing to talk, and has affected those already in custody, pressing them toward a feeling of despair that will make them more likely to divulge further information. These new data have allowed US forces to apprehend more insurgents, more foreign terrorists, and even (now) more al-Qaeda operatives. I'd say that this all adds up to a safer future for America - how about you?

[HatTip to Power Line]
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A webjournal of ideas, comments, and various other miscellany from a Texan university student (with occasional input from his family) living in Toronto, Ontario. Can you say "culture shock?"

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