Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Foreign Policy: Tell that to the Marines

Paul Wolfowitz says the war in Iraq is part of the war on terror in today's Wall Street Journal.

Anyone who thinks that the battle in Iraq is a distraction from the war on terror should tell it to the Marines of the 1st Marine Division who comprised the eastern flank of the force that fought its way to Baghdad last April. When I met recently with their commander, Maj. General Jim Mattis in Hillah, he said that the two groups who fought most aggressively during the major combat operations were the Fedayeen Saddam--homegrown thugs with a cult-like attachment to Saddam--and foreign fighters, principally from other Arab countries. The exit card found in the passport of one of these foreigners even stated that the purpose of his "visit" to Iraq was to "volunteer for jihad."

We face that poisonous mixture of former regime loyalists and foreign fighters today.
I agree, but the failure to identify militant Islam as the force that drives our enemies continues to be a dangerous and negligent omission.

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