Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Al Qaeda - Iraq Connection

Jesse Sweeney (JS) has challenged that there was no connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda (See comments under Missile Sting post). This is simply not true. According to the 9/11 report (pages 60, 61, 66) there in fact were connections between Saddam's regime and Al Qaeda and Bin Laden. Saddam even offered Iraq to Bin Laden as a safe haven. It's unclear whether any of these offers from both sides were ever taken advantage of, but the fact that there was a relationship progressing between the two groups in response to the US being a common enemy is clear.

This, nevertheless, clouds the real issue. Iraq was invaded because Saddam had connections to terrorists. Saddam had the ability to create weapons of mass destruction and distribute them to terrorists to be used. Saddam had made cash rewards to the families of suicide bombers among the Palestinians. Saddam had many weapons already that were unaccounted for. Saddam refused to account for them. Saddam never aloud free access to the country to inspectors. Saddam was in violation of the conditions set for the end of the Gulf War in 1991. All intelligence pointed to the fact that Saddam was a current threat that had to dealt with. This was corroborated by the intelligence from Britain, Russia, and many other nations. Invading Iraq was the right thing to do and we are, in fact, safer because of it.