We’re Fighting Them Over There… So We Can Fight Them Everywhere

We’ve heard the following justification for the Iraq war from President Bush: “We’re stopping the terrorists from achieving ideological victories they seek by spreading hope and freedom and reform across the broader Middle East.”

In reality, the Iraq war is spawning a new generation of foreign insurgent fighters who are taking the skills and expertise in bomb-making that they learned in Iraq back home and spreading them all over the globe, including the continent of Africa. The New York Times reports:

About 25 percent of the nearly 400 foreign fighters captured in Iraq come from Africa, according to the military’s European Command, which oversees military operations in most of the African continent

A small vanguard of veterans are also returning home to countries like Morocco and Algeria, poised to use skills they learned on the battlefield in Iraq, from bomb making to battle planning, against their native governments, the officials said

“They’re getting to use those training skills, hone them and eventually go somewhere else and use them,” one defense official said. “The bottom line is you’ve developed a new extremist. It doesn’t paint a pretty picture down the road.”

When Bush says, “We’re taking the fight to the terrorists abroad, so we don’t have to face them here at home,” I wonder whether he knows just how broad a fight he’s created.