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What Secret is This? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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I can not understand all this secrecy over the recent Washington report which says the war on Iraq has increased terrorism. This is the conclusion the world’s media has made in its reports and coverage, including the conservative American press. The report is the work of 16 intelligence agencies. Until the report is published in full, its summary suggests that it includes the most publicized secret in the world since the appearance of Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi, hundreds of videos showing abducted people, and ID cards found in the clothes of hundreds of people who were killed. They included Egyptians, Algerians, Moroccans, Mauritanians, Saudis, Kuwaitis, Syrians, Palestinians and Sudanese. Had these nationals entered Iraq during the rule of the deposed president Saddam Hussein, they would have been executed before they could even use their weapons, since Saddam would not have shown tolerance for ideas, extremism or even religiousness.

Yes, Iraq was free from terrorism during most of Saddam’s rule, until he invaded Kuwait. His army was defeated, his borders were opened and groups of armed opposition managed to infiltrate the country. After that, his forces could only maintain control over the big cities and the highways during the day.

However, after the fall of the Iraqi regime and its incompetent president Saddam, (Paul) Bremer, the most incompetent governor in the history of wars, volunteered to demobilize half a million Iraqi military men who had mastered the art of fighting through twenty years of war experience. He also kicked out the security and intelligence forces with all the information that they possessed about anything that moved in Iraq. As a result, the whole of Iraq became a field for terrorism par excellence.

This analysis does not require all US intelligence agencies to figure out because it represents the basics of politics, and it is common knowledge, and the most apparent conclusion.

We are very much surprised to see this report is classified. Before that, we were surprised to see that intelligence experts took so long to discover the truth about terrorism and Iraq. We are similarly astonished to hear the current oversimplification. It is said there would not have been terrorism, had Iraq not been invaded. Even after they ran away from the ruins of Torra Borra, Al-Qaeda, Bin Laden and his colleagues were spread like cancer in at least 15 countries around the world. They still have their supplies coming in. Preachers and promotions go to them and weapons are stored in territories under their control.

No doubt Iraq has become an extended battlefield, and this has expanded the movement of Al-Qaeda. It has attracted more recruits to its folds. Now Al-Qaeda has more publicity than is necessary for partisanship and confrontation. There is no doubt about this at all. However, the belief that extremism and terrorism would have not become dominant in the past three years is a wrong notion, which contradicts all kinds of reality on earth. Terrorism was not born in Iraq and is not confined to its borders. It is a very long battle. The fight against communism took fifty years. The new war on terror might take as much time. In other words, we still have thirty years ahead of us in our fight against terrorism. Therefore, we should not jump to conclusions and make predictions.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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