Independent Democracy

Thought provoking commentary

U.S. foreign policy fuels Muslim attacks

Letter to the Editor from the Providence Journal in Rhode Island 4/12/07.

In questioning the premise that the Iraq war has made us less safe, the Naval War College professor Theodore Gatchel criticizes the “reluctance of proponents of the ‘we’re not safer’ thesis to offer any measures” supporting their viewpoint (“The measurement of national safety,” Commentary, April 1).

Well, the terrorism expert Peter Bergen suggested that “an exponentially rising number of terrorist attacks is one metric (concerning the war on terror) that seems relevant” (Foreign Affairs, November-December 2005). Bergen points out that the year 2003 saw the highest incidence of significant terrorist attacks in two decades, and then, in 2004, that number tripled.

Professor Gatchel seems to suggest that the fact that we have not been attacked in the United States since we invaded Iraq means that the Bush administration’s pre-emptive attack on that country may be making us safer. His argument seems to be at odds with history and common sense.

One need only remember our history, in which a fairly modest attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 was followed by the horrendous attack of 9/11. The presumed architect of these attacks, Osama bin Laden, has been precise in stating why the attacks occurred.

According to Michael Scheuer, the CIA analyst who has tracked bin Laden since 1996, Osama has attacked us because of our policies and actions in the Muslim world. Scheuer points out that our recent policies have radicalized the Islamic world. In his book The Far Enemy, Fawaz Gerges states that most people in the Muslim world were hostile to al-Qaida after the 9/11 attack, but that sentiment changed after America invaded Iraq. He notes that now many Muslims see it as a “binding Islamic duty” to drive the invading forces out of Iraq.

George Bush may see us as liberators, but most people in the Iraq and the rest of the Middle East see us as invaders and occupiers. Our presence there continues to increase violence and death throughout the world, and leads to the strong possibility of retaliation by those who feel wronged by the United States.

Fortunately, the American people have rejected the Bush administration’s plan to engage in an ongoing cycle of violence and death. Hopefully, our congressional leaders will have the courage to listen to the people and bring our troops home now.

West Kingston, R.I.

Disclaimer: Comments belong to the individual’s themselves. This blog is not for or against anything the author said. It’s posted here for informational purposes only.


April 11, 2007 - Posted by | Current Events, Iraq, Letters to the Editor, Military & War, Politics, Rhode Island

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