TEN YEARS AFTER 9/11, JIHADISTS' ARE WINNING THE WAR
Some really believed that the years following the attacks have brought the free world and democracy to an inch from victory. Others among us believe that thanks to today’s policies we are finally better than ever before.
Sad to say at this anniversary, but both views are wrong. We weren't close to strategic victories some five years ago and we are far from defeating the jihadists today. This sober assessment isn’t for domestic politics consumers, far from it.
Here are some realities:
Afghanistan: Bringing down the Taliban regime was a smashing victory for the U.S., NATO and the Afghan people particularly for women and minorities.
Defending the country against the return of the jihadi militias and containing their incursions from inside Pakistan’s enclaves were the right strategic choices. But the U.S. and NATO failed to engage civil society groups, women, and secular wings to help launch a democratic revolution in the country instead of spending billions on asphalt, construction, and futile unproductive projects.
Iraq: Managing the country without a strategy to confront the ayatollahs and Bashar’s regimes was a mistake. As in Afghanistan, work half done in Iraq backfired. Billions were spent and huge human sacrifices were made without enabling the Iraqi society to rise against the multiple anti-democracy forces.
Now a catastrophic policy of abandoning Iraq’s democrats to the region’s Islamists, during the past three years seems to be what we're left with.
Yes Saddam is gone, and there is a multiparty system in Iraq. But Iran controls the Shia militias that are devouring the government and two-thirds of the country; the Salafi Islamists of the Sunni areas are pushing back against the moderates; the Kurds are encircled by three threatening regimes; and the Christians and other minorities are relentlessly persecuted.
Iran: The present administration has dangerously engaged with Tehran, allowing the Khomeinist regime to expand its threats in all directions: Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, Eastern Arabia, Northern Yemen and other continents. None of the U.S.' policies, including sanctions, have stopped Iran’s development of missiles and its frenetic pace to equip them with nukes. And when the Green revolution exploded, we let the Pasdaran take back the streets unquestioned.
In Libya the administration joined the fray against Moammar Gadhafi only to eventually partner with the country’s Islamists. In Syria Washington’s hesitates between the Baath and the Brotherhood ignores democratic reformers. The same alignment is projected for Yemen, Bahrain, and other Arab countries. The democrats of the Arab Spring are losing.
Still operating and killing in AFPAK, franchises opened in Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, North Africa, and their cells hit in India, Russia, and Europe. Al-Qaida today is 10 times larger in global reach than the old one headed by bin Laden.