Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Biased Reporting

A study from the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies estimates that al Qaeda trained 20,000 terrorists in Afghanistan and that approximately 2,000 have been killed as a result of the actions in Afghanistan and Iraq - a 10% reduction in manpower. So, how does AP report this? "al-Qaida Ranks Swelling Worldwide". All I can say is let's hope that this kind of "swelling" continues.

AP apparently bases this headline on the statement that;
"The U.S. occupation of Iraq brought al-Qaida recruits from across Islamic nations, the study said. Up to 1,000 foreign Islamic fighters have infiltrated Iraqi territory, where they are cooperating with Iraqi insurgents, the survey said."
But isn't it likely that some, if not the majority of the "fighters" infiltrating Iraq are among the twenty thousand trained in Afghanistan? Given the importance of the struggle there, you would think that they would send some experienced members rather than new recruits. But, for argument's sake, even if everyone one of the thousand is a newly minted terrorist, doesn't that mean that they're still down a thousand net? What the story seems to bear out is the importance of the struggle in Iraq, and particularly the establishment of a democracy there. So much for Iraq being a distraction in the war on terror.