10 Years after we let bin Laden's al-Qaeda into Iraq
March 7, 2013 by Bruce Wallace, 121Contact
Did you see al-Qaeda in Iraq's new video? 10 years after the invasion I’m remembering Saddam Hussein and his relationship with al-Qaeda. Most of the U.S. is comfortably forgetting about Iraq. Forgetting the big things like the innocent civilians who died by the tens of thousands; the American soldiers who did their duty, died or returned home damaged forever; the promises; the lies…
But one little thing about Iraq and al-Qaeda is on my mind today because al-Qaeda in Iraq just released their latest video and it says a lot about the last ten years.
Saddam hated al-Qaeda. He thought of them as a direct threat to the extremely secular empire he ruled. At the time the U.S. government was accusing him of colluding with al-Qaeda there weren’t any around. If any showed up he wasted no time in eliminating them.
One of the first things the U.S. did when the
invasion was complete was to disband the Army, the Police, and the
Administrative Government. This clean-slate approach wasn’t ignored by bin
Laden. Al-Qaeda operatives slipped in and hit the ground running with skills
honed in Afghanistan. Perhaps this was the start of his global tactic of
slipping into weakened countries to foment discord; something we see operating
in many African nations today; think Syria; think Mali.
And al=Qaeda did increase the chaos. And they are still disrupting things today. The new video shows their fighters “firing mortars at Iraqi army targets in Anbar, Baghdad, Ninawa and Salahuddin provinces.” [SITE] That’s a lot of territory; a lot of infiltration, coordination, and influence. And America opened the door.
But let’s just forget about it. Because it’s too
hard to admit the consequences of the amazingly bad decisions we made about
Iraq. Now we have a chance to do it all over again in Syria. But if we don't remember we don't have a chance to learn from our mistakes.