We invaded and occupied a country in the heart of the Arab Middle East. If al Qaeda had railed against the mere presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia, the invasion and occupation of Mesopotamia was both intolerable — al Qaeda’s image and self-image could not suffer such a grave indignity — and a tempting opportunity to humiliate the only remaining “superpower.” Al Qaeda had to declare its objective to be the defeat of the United States in Iraq.
Of course, Al Qaeda clearly believed that it could drive the United States from Iraq just as Osama bin Laden believed that we would not have the stomach to invade Afghanistan, or that he and his mujahideen could push Saddam’s armies out of Kuwait without the help of the Americans. Unfortunately, the army and Marines of the United States and its allies proved to be much harder targets than al Qaeda imagined, and George W. Bush and Tony Blair were more able to withstand domestic political opposition than just about anybody expected they would be. [New Media had something to do with that — Cannoneer] Soon, it became clear that al Qaeda would not be able to drive the Coalition from Iraq no matter how many Sunni Ba’athists it recruited.
In the fullness of time history will reveal that the polarization of the Arab and Muslim world against al Qaeda is essential for victory against the transnational jihad, and that it was the direct result of the forward foreign policy of Bush and Blair.
Waiting for history to unfold takes patience. No, children, we are not there yet, but we are on the right road, and traffic is beginning to move.