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We have created the very circumstances that we intervened to prevent. We have now created a connection between al-Qaeda and the remaining Baathists and Republican Guard that didn't exist before. We have created American targets that didn't exist before. We have turned the Iraqi people and the United Nations into targets that didn't exist before. The whole intention of the invasion has been counterproductive. But the real issues are not just tactical. There is also a deep strategic issue--the Preventative War Doctrine, which Condoleezza Rice enunciated last year, that the United States has a right to intervene pre-emptively against rogue states that may have connections to terrorism and may eventually be a threat. That doctrine has been proved faulty and ineffective. The basic justification for the war was that Iraq presents a potential threat and therefore we have a right to eliminate it. But instead the threat has been increased. This points to the deep deficiency of the doctrine. The problem is that terrorists aren't states; they are martyrs with no address.
JOHN L. ESPOSITO Professor of International Affairs at Georgetown University and author of Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam
The theory that Iraq will become the theater of terrorists is naive thinking. The situation in Iraq is more analogous to the Afghan jihad in the sense that resistance is coming mainly from within the country. Yes, jihadis have been attracted to Iraq, just like during the Afghan-Soviet war, but the more ominous development is the growth of global extremism as a reaction to the Iraqi situation and the proliferation of recruits to global terrorism or of terrorist groups. Many of these groups continue to fight in their own countries or regions as well as to espouse global terrorism. The indigenous resistance in Iraq could grow and provide an impetus for the growth of global terrorism. But you have to be careful not to lump all of global terrorism under one corporate terrorist group led by one terrorist CEO. What makes terrorism so dangerous is that it's so diffuse.