The Terror War Goes On
The capture of Saddam Hussein is reason for real celebration for
the Bush administration and for the Iraqi people, but its effect on
the War on Terror is unclear.
Of course it's a boon for stability, reconstruction and democracy
in Iraq, but beyond that it's too early to tell.
Saddam's capture could persuade Syrian and Iranian leaders that
their support for terrorism, in the form of such rogues as Hamas,
Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and al Qaeda, is a fool's
errand and will likely resign their fate, as well, to the despot
dustbin of history.
And if Saddam decides to cooperate with his debriefers, we could
learn a tremendous amount about the questions that tug at our
intellects daily, such as the organization of the resistance
network in Iraq, Iraq's relationship with terrorist organizations,
and, of course, the fate of his weapons of mass destruction
Information about Iraq's role in terrorism, now and in the past,
would help us unravel the fabric of the world's terrorist network.
And have Saddam's WMDs question been spirited to Syria or Lebanon's
Bekaa Valley or buried deep in the Iraqi desert?
But the War on Terror continues. Word of an assassination attempt
on Pakistan's President Musharaff, who sided with the United States
against al Qaeda and the Taliban after 9/11, shows that this
struggle is not over by any stretch of the imagination.
Considering Pakistan's nuclear arsenal and its border with
Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia (another potential hotspot
inhabited by the terrorist Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and the
radical fundamentalist group Hizb ut Tahrir), the country is
arguably one of the most important in the War on Terror.
And if that news isn't enough: A U.N. panel has reportedly warned
of a continuing, lucrative funding stream to terrorists, including
drug money. A separate report by the the U.S. General Accounting
Office squealed on Sunday that the Justice and Treasury Departments
are still struggling with understanding and stemming the flow of
terrorist blood money, especially where terrorist groups are using
commodities, such as diamonds, gems, or gold, to move money
The U.N. report also warned that al Qaeda "has already taken the
decision to use chemical and biological weapons in their
forthcoming attacks. The only constraint they are facing is the
technical complexity to operate them properly and
This means that it isn't getting their clammy mitts on weapons of
mass destruction, it's how to use them properly to kill the most
people possible. So it's not a question of if, but a question of
when, some innocent civilians will suffer the fate of these
horrible weapons at the hands of al Qaeda or one of its
international franchises, such as Southeast Asia's Jemaah
Bagging Saddam is great news, but it's not Miller time yet. It's
one less face hanging in the rogue's gallery, but letting our guard
down in Iraq, or elsewhere, for even a second could be
Brookes is a senior fellow for National Security
Affairs at the Heritage Foundation.
First appeared in the New York Post.