Minutiae
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"Chuck Norris doesn't read books; he stares them down until he gets the information he wants out of them."
- ChuckNorrisFactsdotcom

Saturday, March 20, 2004
Instapundit has been saying it for months. I never wanted to because well, it's just depressing to admit. They're not anti-war they're just on
the other side.
"The world is a more dangerous place because of the US-led war in Iraq, which may have toppled Saddam Hussein but also unleashed postwar violence and an upswing in terrorism, the French foreign minister said.

"This is a belief that I have never stopped expressing," Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin told Le Monde newspaper in an interview in its Friday edition.


"We have to look reality in the face: We have entered into a more dangerous and unstable world, which requires the mobilization of the entire international community," de Villepin said.

Assertions by the administration of US President George W. Bush that ousting Saddam would make the world a safer place proved not to be true, de Villepin said.

"Terrorism didn't exist in Iraq before," de Villepin said. "Today, it is one of the world's principal sources of world terrorism."
Ahem. Leaving aside the question of whether Al Qaida bombed Spain in retaliation for the war and then declared a truce when Spain basically apologized... There's this.
"Iraq-al Qaeda link
    We have obtained a document discovered in Iraq from the files of the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS). The report provides new evidence of links between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
    The 1993 document, in Arabic, bears the logo of the Iraqi intelligence agency and is labeled "top secret" on each of its 20 pages.
    The report is a list of IIS agents who are described as "collaborators."
    On page 14, the report states that among the collaborators is "the Saudi Osama bin Laden."
    The document states that bin Laden is a "Saudi businessman and is in charge of the Saudi opposition in Afghanistan."
    "And he is in good relationship with our section in Syria," the document states, under the signature "Jabar."
    The document was obtained by the Iraqi National Congress and first disclosed on the CBS program "60 Minutes" by INC leader Ahmed Chalabi.
    A U.S. official said the document appears authentic."
It's especially worth remembering that all the people who opposed the war now have a big stake in things working out badly. Particularly in light of the mass graves, torture rooms, and how well things are going.
"LAST March, Iraqis were suffering under the thumb of one of the most brutal dictatorships of the last hundred years - a regime that industrialized brutality, tortured children to coerce their parents and raped women to punish their relatives. A U.S. Army commander in Iraq told me last July about the excavation of one mass grave where they discovered remains of 80 women and children - with little dresses and toys.

Today, Iraq's era of systematic savagery is over. Thanks to the dedication and courage of American and Coalition military and civilians, the support of the U.S. Congress and the American people, life in Iraq is improving steadily:

* Electricity reached pre-war levels last October, and is on track to reach 150 percent of pre-war levels, despite an infrastructure devastated by Saddam.

* Oil production has reached 2.5 million barrels per day, well ahead of projections.

* Funding for public health care is up 26 times the level under Saddam.

* All 22 universities, 43 technical institutes and colleges opened on time last fall.

* Some 72 million new textbooks will go to primary and secondary schools by the end of this school year, so children will no longer learn arithmetic from books that say "2 Saddams plus 2 Saddams equals 4 Saddams."

ONE of the most important developments is the increasing role played by Iraqis in providing for the security of their country. Since Baghdad was liberated, Iraqi security forces went from almost none to the 200,000 who currently serve in various security roles.

Today, Iraqis who are fighting and dying for the "New Iraq" are numerically the largest member of the Coalition. While they are not as well-trained or equipped as American forces, they have many advantages because they know the country and the language. They're the "home team" and enjoy tremendous popular support - to the terrorists' frustration.

It is altogether appropriate that Iraqis should fight to defend their country, and it is heartening that they continue to volunteer in large numbers despite the enemy's attempts to frighten them.

A few weeks ago, after an attack on a police station in Fallujah, when the U.S. offered Iraqi Civil Defense Corpsmen help in subduing the attackers, they said, no thanks - we want to do this job ourselves so people will know we can.

Ali, the Iraqi blogger, put such attacks into a larger perspective: "Some people still wonder what would be the relation between the liberation of Iraq and [the] war on terrorism. I think that the fact that nearly all the terrorists are gathered on our land to fight so fiercely should be more than enough explanation." He added: "We are . . . showing [other Arabs] what they can achieve once they are free . . . I see these evil powers show their true and ugly face and play their last card - surer than ever that we are winning."

WHEN 9/11 changed everything, it was that same determination that led America to take up our own fight against terrorists. Perhaps no one understands better than New Yorkers just how much changed that day. What happened in lower Manhattan, at the Pentagon and in Shanksville meant we could no longer allow the world's most brutal tyrants to traffic with terrorists - or allow the Middle East to breed terrorists on a massive scale.

Today, nothing is more important to world security than fighting these terrorists where they live. Or sustaining progress in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Winning in both countries is imperative. But it is only part of the larger war on terrorism. It won't be over with one victory in Afghanistan or another in Iraq - important as they are. It won't be over when we capture or kill Bin Laden.

The recent homicide bombings in Spain - a country that has taken a courageous lead against global terrorism - warn us that every free and open society is vulnerable. Free nations must remain united in fighting for freedom against a threat that is as evil and as dangerous as the totalitarian threats of the last century.

It's an enormous job. In Iraq alone, as the president often reminds us, it won't be quick and it won't be easy. Saddamist killers and foreign terrorists are doing all they can to stop progress. However, a recently intercepted letter from Abu Masab al-Zarqawi - a major terrorist mastermind in Iraq - to his al Qaeda associates in Afghanistan suggests that he is getting discouraged: The geography is unfriendly and Iraqis are too, the writer laments. Every time they mount an attack to drive Iraqis apart, they come together instead.

"Democracy" in Iraq, he writes, "is coming," and that will mean "suffocation" for the terrorists. Zarqawi says his best hope is to start a Shi'a-Sunni civil war by killing Shi'a."

posted by Rachel 3/20/2004
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