A new documentary on PBS, *America at a Crossroads,* dealing with the origins of Jihadism and especially bin Laden and al Quaeda, features extensive interviews with Lawrence Wright and others, including the remarkably well-informed, extremely articulate former CIA bin Laden unit member Michael Scheuer. It is Scheuer who answers the question I asked in an earlier blog about the commonality of motive and/or unintended consequences of our misguided invasion of Iraq, confirming all my worst suspicions.
Scheuer says that by invading one of the Mideast's secular Islamic states, the U.S. played right into the hands of bin Laden and his Jihadist ideologues. From Zawahairi, bin Laden gleaned that the equivalent of a third world war "ranging from China to Iran to North Africa" would be brought about no later than 2020 c.e., and although our first taste of the bait in Afghanistan "did not go as bin Laden had expected," our misadventure in its southern neighbor -- first on bogus warnings of WMD'S, then on the excuse that without Saddam the world is a better place -- gave bin Laden exactly what he wanted.
In speeches even today, the Neo Cons, led by Cheney, continue to insist that by taking war to the terrorists, we trap terrorism in the lands they're known to occupy. This betrays blatant ignorance (or obfuscation) of the obvious fact that Saddam did not tolerate or encourage terrorists at any time, seeing them as potential enemies by proxy. Terrorists, Saddam believed, would only "bring on the heat." Apparently Cheney takes to heart his predecessor Goebels's advice that a lie told often enough will eventually be clothed as Truth. (Earlier, on one of the Sunday pundit shows, one of the architects of the War, Richard Perle, reiterated that even if the invasion was not carried out as well as hoped, it was worth it. There is a marvelous irony in the news that his "twin," Wolfie, has been exposed as a cronyist looter of the World Bank, apparently employing a personal secretary at a grossly inflated salary because it was the only way the ugly motherfucker could get laid!)
It's a myth that waging the Iraq War will keep terrorists at bay in Muslim nations. Scheuer -- who just happens to identify himself as "a Republican" -- says that it is just a matter of time before al Quaeda strikes again in the U.S. The worst development of all is the nativity of home-grown, al Quaeda-identified cells having no direct links to bin Laden but learning by his example. My prediction is that the next attack on our own soil will be in the nature of a dirty bomb, probably a nuclear device (or devices, set to go off simultaneously in several major cities) that release chemical agents or epidemic diseases into our waters or the air. It is just a matter of time. It may not have been ordered directly by al Quaeda, as was the 9/11 attack, but it will have that group's earmarks all the same. There are copycat cells all over the world.
The PBS documentary resumes next Sunday. It is a harrowing thing to see. It's to be hoped that the Right people watch it, but then they only place value of what they see and hear on Fox.