Michael Totten

We Are Not Creating More Terrorists

According to the conventional wisdom in certain quarters, the war in Iraq is only creating more terrorists. As usual, “the conventional wisdom is wrong”:http://iraqpundit.blogspot.com/2008/02/sunni-extremism-is-now-in-retreat.html.

Here is Iraqpundit:

It’s important to note that, whatever the raw numbers of jihadis in Iraq, they have been by far the most lethal aspect of the so-called “insurgency”; their aim all along was to foment a sectarian civil war among Iraqis, especially by slaughtering as many innocent Shiite men, women, and children as possible.
Gerecht’s second point is that the jihadis who have entered the country have not been embraced by the Iraqis. As he puts it, “the arrival of foreign holy warriors is deradicalizing the local population — the exact opposite of what happened in Afghanistan.”
The percentage of Muslims saying that suicide bombing is justified in the defense of Islam has declined dramatically over the past five years in five of eight countries where trends are available. In Lebanon, for example, just 34% of Muslims say suicide bombings in the defense of Islam are often or sometimes justified; in 2002, 74% expressed this view.” In that survey, Al Qaeda’s reputation in the Muslim world had plummeted. To use Bin Laden’s own imagery, he had become the “weak horse” in his battle with the U.S.

Meanwhile, “a brand new Muslim country declared independence today”:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/18/world/europe/18kosovo.html?ex=1360990800&en=b33c85bf57920629&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink.

An outpouring of adulation for the United States — Kosovo’s staunchest ally in its quest for independence and the architect of NATO’s 1999 bombing campaign against Mr. Milosevic — was evident everywhere. Thousands of revelers unfurled giant American flags, carried posters of former President Bill Clinton, and chanted “Thank You U.S.A.!” and “God Bless America.”