Der neue Dschihad made in Iraq

--- Wer noch Zweifel daran haben sollte, dass Bushs Krieg gegen den Terror zumindest im Fall Irak bislang vollkommen nach hinten los ging, könnte durch einen Bericht über das Zweistromland als neue Bruttstätte des islamistischen Dschihad gegen den Westen eines Besseren belehrt werden: the nature of the insurgency in Iraq is fundamentally changing. Time reported last fall that the insurgency was being led by members of the former Baathist regime, who were using guerrilla tactics in an effort to drive out foreign occupiers and reclaim power. But a Time investigation of the insurgency today—based on meetings with insurgents, tribal leaders, religious clerics and U.S. intelligence officials—reveals that the militants are turning the resistance into an international jihadist movement. Foreign fighters, once estranged from homegrown guerrilla groups, are now integrated as cells or complete units with Iraqis. Many of Saddam's former secret police and Republican Guard officers, who two years ago were drinking and whoring, no longer dare even smoke cigarettes. They are fighting for Allah, they say, and true jihadis reject such earthly indulgences. Their goal now, say the militants interviewed, is broader than simply forcing the U.S. to leave. They want to transform Iraq into what Afghanistan was in the 1980s: a training ground for young jihadists who will form the next wave of recruits for al-Qaeda and like-minded groups. Nearly all the new jihadist groups claim to be receiving inspiration, if not commands, from Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi, the suspected al-Qaeda operative who the U.S. believes has masterminded the insurgency's embrace of terrorism. ... Before the U.S. invaded iraq last spring, al-Zarqawi was a fringe player on the global terrorist stage. According to U.S. intelligence officials, the 37-year-old Jordanian spent months traveling from Afghanistan to Iran to Georgia, offering his services as a terrorism consultant to Islamist groups. His firmest prewar connections were with Ansar al-Islam, a Kurdish-based militant group associated with al-Qaeda. ... Over the past six months, al-Zarqawi's profile in jihadi circles has risen with the increase in terrorist attacks in Iraq, including suicide bombings. Through aggressive use of the Internet, al-Zarqawi has promoted himself and his group, Attawhid wal Jihad, or Unity and Holy War.

Weiteres Bush- und "Krieg gegen den Terror"-Bashing von Paul Krugman in der New York Times: "Let's say the obvious. By making Iraq a playground for right-wing economic theorists, an employment agency for friends and family, and a source of lucrative contracts for corporate donors, the administration did terrorist recruiters a very big favor.