America’s self-inflicted war wounds
The symbolism of getting General David Petraeus to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the anniversary of 9/11 appealed to the White House. It should not have. It is crass. General Petraeus’s struggle to salvage the Iraq war merely underlines the fact that invading Iraq was a crazy way to respond to the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
Six years after 9/11, the US needs to re-think. It is now clear that Iraq was the biggest blunder of the Bush years. It is also becoming evident that counter-terrorism should no longer be the centrepiece of American foreign policy. As the official 9/11 commission demonstrated, Saddam Hussein played no role in the terrorist attacks. He also had no nuclear weapons and no significant relationship with al-Qaeda.
But the Iraq invasion was not simply the wrong response to 9/11. It has actually made the terrorism problem worse in five significant ways.
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