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November 13, 2005

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The Bush administration passed on three chances to kill Zarqawi before the invasion.

"People were more obsessed with developing the coalition to overthrow Saddam than to execute the president's policy of preemption against terrorists," according to terrorism expert and former National Security Council member Roger Cressey.
...
Military officials insist their case for attacking Zarqawi's operation was airtight, but the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam.
Bush cited Zarqawi's presence in Iraq (in the Kurdish-controlled no-fly zone, out of reach of Hussein) as "proof" of Iraq's supoprt for terrorism, but didn't actually do anything about him, even though the Pentagon presented three plans to get him before the invasion.

Does the "flypaper theory" cover exporting terrorist attacks from Iraq?

Also from RAND, CIA greybeard Graham Fuller -- expert on Middle East, Central Asia, and the Muslim world.

He'll remind you of things you know are true, but never want to hear: that "obvious" direct solutions blow up in your face ... not everyone who dumps on you is your enemy ... and you can't do just one thing.

One especially provocative thesis: By default, Islamic fundamentalists are the vanguard of democracy in their respective settings. Kingdoms, military regimes, one-party democracies can stamp out political movements ... but they can't crush the mosques.

All the natural "juice" that flows into asking "why aren't things different from the way things are?" ends up pooling and souring in fundamentalist cellars.

[adapted from a post of mine, April 2002]

Also, that business about turning down three chances to kill Zarqawi is totally confirmed and verified, right? When exactly do Democrats get to get political mileage out of that horrendously cynical decision? Why couldn't we get any in 2004?

Why couldn't we get any in 2004?

Because John Kerry windsurfs, and looks French.

We, as a nation, do have priorities, you know.

"Zawahiri wasn’t directly implicated in the 1977 assassination of Anwar Sadat..."

1981.

D'oh! Was thinking of the year Sadat went to Israel, and somehow mixed up the dates. Thanks for the correction.

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